With Qualcomm announcing the completion of its first 5G tests on mobile devices this October, all signs are go for the anticipated release of 5G-capable smartphones in the first half of 2019. Performed on a 28GHz mm wave frequency band, the tests achieved gigabit speeds. But once 5G networks are fully-implemented, Qualcomm says its X50 5G modem will be able to handle 5Gpbs speeds.
Recent smartphone components such as the X50 5G modem and the Snapdragon 636 and 835 upgrades are gearing up for the accelerated speeds that 5G will allow. But just as significant as these super-fast speeds are the big data applications that 5G will enable. The ability to process big data on mobile devices in real-time will empower smartphones to handle on-device applications such as artificial intelligence, facial recognition and streaming virtual reality. Here’s a look at three ways the latest mobile modems, processors and smartphones are paving the way for revolutionary 5G big data applications.
Expanding the Limits of Data
One of the ways the smartphone industry is getting ready for 5G is increasing the total capacity of networks, says CNET senior reporter Stephen Shankland. Since 5G transmits data faster, networks need to be able to move more data in a given amount of time. To accommodate this, leading mobile network providers such as T-Mobile are expanding their network capacity. This will not only enable users to download data faster, but it will also allow them to download larger volumes of data. The result will be improved experience for applications requiring high volumes of data, such as video viewing and streaming virtual reality. These applications should run reliably even in crowded situations such as city centers and stadiums that tax the limits of 4G.
To support this, the latest smartphones are increasing their on-device data capacity as well as using faster processors. For instance, the LG G4 already had an impressive 3 GB of system memory and 32 GB of built-in storage, with up to 1 TB of expandable memory, along with a 1,800 MHz processor. The LG G6 increases this to 4 GB of system memory, 2 TB of expandable memory, and a 2,350 MHz processor.
Adding On-device AI
Another way mobile device manufacturers are preparing for 5G ‘s big data potential is adding on-device artificial intelligence to new smartphones. AI applications typically use so much data that they require support from PCs or cloud resources, making data transfer rates too slow for practical mobile use. But 5G-ready smartphone components’ increased processing capacity and speed makes them capable of supporting on-device AI that doesn’t depend on cloud resources.
For instance, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 upgrade includes built-in neural network-layer support for on-device AI and machine learning. This enables the 835 to support applications such as AI-assisted intelligent photography, personal assistants and immersive virtual reality and augmented reality.
Strengthening Data Security
As 5G networks and 5G-capable processors allow big data to be transferred and handled more rapidly, the amount of sensitive data at risk from hackers will grow. This will include data transmitted through mobile wallet apps, intelligent personal assistants, smart TVs, wearables, connected cars and other devices in the Internet of Things.
To ensure that big data stays secure on 5G networks, smartphone processors are beginning to incorporate more robust security features. For example, the Snapdragon 835 supports biometric identification methods such as facial and eye recognition. It also supports on-device malware detection, as well as device attestation, an advanced method of preventing device hacking by running checks on such data as device ID, location and time, software versions, operating system behavior and app behavior. By deploying such advanced security measures, smartphone manufacturers aim to make sure that big data stays safe over 5G network connections.