Exploring Vodafone, Xiaomi, Qualcomm’s 5G Uplink Breakthrough

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In a significant stride toward offering faster and broader connectivity, Vodafone, Xiaomi, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc have triumphantly trialed an advanced 5G technology. This is poised to boost user upload speeds and access to coverage with the introduction of new gadgets and smartphones anticipated in 2024.

These companies marked a milestone as the first in Europe to technically test this innovative 5G uplink technology, achieving peak upload speeds of 273 megabits-per-second (Mbps). Notably, this enhancement elevates upload speeds to near-download levels, extending coverage and capacity in the process.

The trial showcased the synergy of Vodafone’s new 5G Standalone networks in Germany and Spain, Qualcomm’s latest silicon technology (Snapdragon® 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform), and Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship smartphone. Improved uplink capacities stand to allow users to upload photos, videos, and files to social media and cloud storage nearly twice as rapidly as currently possible with forthcoming generation devices.

Alberto Ripepi, Chief Network Officer of Vodafone stated: “We want our customers to be among the first anywhere in the world to benefit from this new 5G feature when it becomes available. That’s why we are working with key partners to lead the industry in pulling together and testing the necessary network, silicon chips and devices to turn it into a reality, all while driving a stronger vendor and developer ecosystem.”

This technological leap is brought to life by the sophisticated capabilities of 5G SA, specifically, through a technique known as Uplink Carrier Aggregation with Tx Switching that combines multiple transmission channels supported by the mobile antenna and smartphone. Vodafone is at the forefront of this rollout, already commercially launching 5G SA in Germany and the UK with further pilots underway. As new devices emerge, the network will progressively adapt to support this advanced technology.

Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA of Qualcomm Europe, Inc., shared his enthusiasm stating: “We are proud of our continued collaboration with Vodafone and Xiaomi to achieve another 5G milestone. The evolution of 5G towards 5G Standalone, the ultimate realisation of 5G technologies is a crucial step for enabling the full promise of 5G with 5G Advanced.”

Simultaneously, Andi Zhang, Deputy General Manager of Product & Technology at Xiaomi emphasized their commitment, stating, “The successful pilot test of UL Tx switching highlights the added value that maximises resource utilisation with respect to user equipment’s capability and further enhances the uplink performance. We are committed to working with key partners in innovating in 5G and access technologies to enhance the customer experience and stay ahead.”

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