Towards the end of last year, many (including ourselves) declared 2019 the year that 5G would come to the masses. As it’s turning out, calculations were off by about 12 months, with only a handful of manufacturers revealing 5G smartphones, none of which are available in South Africa.

Now Qualcomm confirms that it will be working to bring 5G to more devices in 2020.

Confirmation comes at IFA 2019, where the silicon manufacturer noted that its portfolio of Snapdragon chipsets capable of supporting 5G is expanding next year. This not only for the flagship 8 lineup, but mid-range 7 and 6 series too.

“With over 150 5G designs launched or in development to date using the Company’s 5G solutions, Qualcomm Technologies is driving the proliferation of 5G across multiple tiers to make the next-generation of camera, video, AI and gaming experiences more broadly available,” the firm explained in a press release.

“This expanded portfolio rollout aims to support features and frequency bands globally and has the potential to make 5G accessible to more than 2 billion smartphone users,” it adds.

These expanding tiers that Qualcomm is working on will leverage the company’s Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF system, it notes, with it designed to not only generate leading connectivity, but delivering improved energy efficiency and featuring in cutting-edge form factors too.

As for which manufacturers will be making the most of Qualcomm’s forthcoming 5G offerings, the firm has already outlined a number of candidates.

“Twelve leading global OEMs and brands including OPPO, realme, Redmi, Vivo, Motorola, HMD Global, the home of Nokia smartphones, and LG Electronics, plan to use this new integrated Snapdragon 7 Series 5G mobile platform in their future 5G mobile devices,” the company says.

“The Snapdragon 6 Series 5G Mobile Platform is designed to make 5G user experiences even more broadly available in alignment with operators’ deployment plans to deliver 5G coverage around the world. The Snapdragon 6 Series is known for bringing the most asked for mobile experiences to the masses,” it continues.

While it is good to see a number of OEMs already onboard, we likely won’t see many mid-range 5G devices at MWC 2020 next year, with Qualcomm earmarking the latter half of 2020 for phone announcements and launches.

Hopefully by then South Africa will have its 5G spectrum issues resolved.