Handset chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) on Thursday said that it has collaborated with T-Mobile US Inc in completing the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) standalone data call using the chipmaker’s first 5G modem, the Helio M70.
That provided further evidence that MediaTek is on track to build an extensive 5G ecosystem by extending its reach to telecom operators outside of China.
MediaTek said that it has received positive feedback from China Mobile Ltd (中國移動) on 5G chip tests earlier this year.
“This milestone achievement demonstrates MediaTek’s groundbreaking 5G technology and our commitment to make this new wave of connectivity accessible to people in the North American market,” T.L. Lee (李宗霖), general manager of MediaTek’s wireless communication business unit, said in a company statement.
“Over the next year, we will continue to collaborate with T-Mobile to help drive 5G network deployment,” Lee said.
The Hsinchu-based chipmaker plans to ship its first 5G system-on-chip, which would incorporate the Helio M70, for customers’ premium smartphones in the first quarter of next year, allowing it to compete with rivals in capturing the first wave of 5G business opportunities.
MediaTek plans to introduce its second 5G systems-on-chip in the first half of next year for mid-range 5G smartphones.
That is one of the company’s efforts to develop a full series of 5G chips used in smartphones in different price ranges and other devices, the chipmaker told investors last month.
As 5G uptake is expected to begin next year, MediaTek raised its forecast for global 5G smartphone shipments to 140 million units, from 10 million units it estimated earlier this year.
MediaTek and T-Mobile achieved the world’s first 5G NR standalone call in a multi-vendor environment that mirrors actual 5G deployment on T-Mobile’s network, making significant progress toward making 5G standalone networks a reality, the statement said.
MediaTek said that its multimode 5G chipset is designed for 5G standalone and non-standalone sub-6 gigahertz networks.
The 5G NR standalone mode, which is expected to be widely deployed next year, is designed to be even more efficient than the preceding Long-Term Evolution and non-standalone variants.
Standalone mode, coupled with the new 5G core, would lead to ultra-low latency, better coverage and increased capacity for operators, MediaTek said.
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