The “n” trouble of 5G users, where is the frequency band stuck?

On March 12, about the troubles of 5G mobile phones in the frequency band, the most memorable one may be Lei Jun’s n79 frequency band theory, which has set off some mobile phone manufacturers on the Internet. war.

However, to this day, 5G mobile phones are still suffering from the problem of incomplete frequency bands, and the frequency band support options of various brands in the world are different even in their own products. This has also created “n” annoyances for some potential 5G mobile phone consumers.

The “n” troubles of 5G mobile phone users

Currently, in the international market, the most obvious lack of frequency bands for some mobile phones is the lack of support for millimeter wave frequency bands. Among the newly released products recently, manufacturers generally choose the strategy that the top flagship supports millimeter wave, and the standard flagship does not support it.

China Mobile’s 5G users can only choose the domestic version of the mobile phone when choosing a 5G mobile phone. On the contrary, 5G users of China Unicom and China Telecom have begun to buy the Korean version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 to use 5G.

In addition, the products of domestic mobile phone brands also do not currently support the millimeter wave frequency band, which will not have any impact on domestic sales. After all, it will be possible to deploy millimeter waves in China in 2021. However, for Europe, America, Japan and South Korea, since the United States has begun to deploy millimeter waves in 2019, Europe, Japan and South Korea will deploy millimeter waves in 2020 and do not support the millimeter wave frequency band, which will obviously affect the competitiveness of products in the international market. .

That is to say, if consumers want to buy a mobile phone that perfectly supports various frequency bands, can support the pace of operators’ 5G network construction in the next two years, or are not afraid of 5G networks all over the world, it does not exist yet.

Hardware support is no longer a problem

For this problem, the first thing that can be determined is that the technical support of the hardware is no longer a problem.

Among the mainstream models that have been released so far, whether it is the Xiaomi Mi 10 series, Samsung Galaxy S20 series, and Sony Xperia series released in early 2020, they all use the combination of Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+X55. The Redmi K30 5G, OPPO Reno 3 Pro 5G, and Realme X50 5G, which were released in December 2019, use the combination of Snapdragon 765G+X52. Both the X55 and X52 can support the Sub-6GHz and millimeter wave frequency bands under the operator’s 5G network in 2020 and 2021.

At the Snapdragon Technology Summit in 2019, Qualcomm senior vice president and general manager of mobile business Alex Katuzan emphasized in the release of the Snapdragon 865 mobile platform: “The newly released Snapdragon 5G mobile platform is a real A 5G solution for the world.” In fact, the Snapdragon X55 modem and RF system paired with the Snapdragon 865 mobile platform was a product for all 5G frequency bands and regions around the world when it was released. The X52 has been officially confirmed later, and it also supports all 5G frequency bands in the world.

In addition, the Exynos 5123 baseband currently matched with the Samsung Exynos 990 also supports Sub-6GHz and millimeter wave frequency bands.

Even for the future, the Snapdragon X60, which was just released in February, has begun to focus on how to make better use of various 5G frequency bands. One of the main features is to support the carrier aggregation of Sub-6GHz and millimeter wave frequency bands, and in the In the Sub-6GHz frequency band, carrier aggregation of TDD and FDD can also be supported. Thereby, the daily use rate of 5G terminals is greatly improved.

Obviously, the more frequency bands supported by the mobile phone, the better, and it can also be realized in hardware technology. So where is the “n” trouble of the mobile phone stuck?

Three reasons for “n” annoyance

Perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S20 series has given the first reason for the difference between versions in different regions: the operator. The S20 Plus 5G and S20 Ultra 5G that support n260 and n261 mentioned above are the versions sold in the United States, but the Korean version does not currently support the millimeter-wave frequency band. Due to the removal of the millimeter-wave module, the local two Both phones are also 2g lighter than the US version. The statement given by Samsung is that the choice of millimeter wave is determined according to the 5G network situation in each country, which is the result of Samsung’s negotiation with South Korean operators.

In fact, it is not difficult to see from the number of frequency bands listed above that only support millimeter waves. The decisive role of US operators is also obvious. Verizon exclusively allows mobile phones to only support millimeter waves, and it is also constantly displayed in publicity. Very high peak rate in this frequency band. Coincidentally, Deutsche Telekom is currently vigorously promoting the S20 5G model in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series in the U.S. market, which only supports Sub-6GHz features and Deutsche Telekom’s current low-band 5G strategy.

However, this also leads to the second reason why current 5G mobile phones cannot support all frequency bands: design trade-offs. The biggest reason why the Galaxy S20 5G does not support the millimeter wave band may come from the small size and thickness, and the millimeter wave antenna is not easy to fit. The interior space of mobile phones is becoming more expensive, and the bezels are even more so. Perhaps in 2021, when smaller-area antenna modules are available, more 5G mobile phones can be plugged in, and more frequency bands can be supported.

The third reason may be able to find the answer from the light 2g of the Korean version of the S20 Plus 5G and S20 Ultra 5G, and that is cost. Since there is no demand from local operators, it is undoubtedly a waste of money to install them, so it is better not to install them at all.

So, when will the “n” troubles of 5G mobile phones be solved? Perhaps the deployment progress of global operators will give the answer. In 2020, the United States, Europe, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia will build 5G networks with FDD in Sub-6GHz (mostly TDD before). In addition to the deployment of millimeter waves in Europe, Japan and South Korea in 2020, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will also boost the commercialization of millimeter waves, and the ultra-high peak rate is also conducive to the application of new technologies in the arena. At that time, on the one hand, global operators will build their own 5G networks more complete, and on the other hand, with the technological development of related components in terms of process, power consumption, and volume, the “n” troubles of 5G mobile phones will hopefully be completely solved.

In general, although 5G has begun commercial use, it has not reached the ideal state in terms of content, application and tariffs. After all, 5G base stations will not fill every corner of the city in a day. Before 5G users have grown to a certain level, there will be no emerging industries such as live broadcast platforms and short video platforms. This always takes a long development process. .

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