Qualcomm: 35+ commit to mmWave – and counting

Qualcomm released a long list of mobile industry leaders throwing their support behind 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology, including AT&T, UScellular and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom. But one U.S. carrier is noticeably absent, and it’s one of Qualcomm’s longest running customers: Verizon.

Verizon’s commitment to mmWave is well-known and not likely to subside anytime soon, considering its vast spectrum holdings. Even though C-band wins by more than a mile in terms of Verizon’s investment in the spectrum – it spent more than $50 billion on spectrum and clearing commitments – mmWave is still very much part of Verizon’s strategy.

Earlier this month, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis remarked how the company plans to harness both mmWave and C-band for its Home internet offering, which will be available to 15 million homes by the end of this year.

The operator continues to expand its mmWave coverage and traffic is starting to come back to many of those high-traffic mmWave areas that were closed during the pandemic. Verizon expects millimeter wave eventually to carry 50% of urban traffic. 

RELATED: Verizon in a millimeter wave groove, CTO Malady says

Asked about its absence from Qualcomm’s announcement, a Verizon spokesperson said there’s no change in their relationship. Verizon has been leading the way in 5G on mmWave since the beginning, so it apparently didn’t see the need to chime in here.

Plenty of others are willing to do so. Qualcomm announced that more than 35 global mobile industry leaders are supporting 5G mmWave in collaboration with Qualcomm. 

Besides the aforementioned carriers, the following put their names to the list: Airtel, Casa Systems, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Elisa, Ericsson, Fastweb, Fibocom, Gongjing Electronic, HMD Global, Honor, Infomark, Innowireless, KDDI, Kyocera, MeiG, Motorola, NBN, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, OPPO, Optus, Orange, Partron, Quectel, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics, Singtel, SoftBank, Sunsea AIoT, TCL Communication, Telia Finland, Telstra, TIM, True Corporation, vivo, Vodafone, Xiaomi and ZTE. 

RELATED: AT&T touts mmWave spectrum gains, but Verizon still has nearly 2X as much

Qualcomm points out that 5G mmWave uses spectrum resources in frequencies above 24 GHz to complement sub-6 GHz rollouts and “unleash the full potential of 5G.”

Signals don’t travel as far as other, lower spectrum bands and coverage is the subject of an untold number of jokes, but mmWave spectrum allows operators to add massive capacity and deliver multi-gigabit wireless speeds with low latency.

“The global deployment of 5G mmWave is now inevitable. It is essential to achieve the full potential of 5G and those embracing 5G mmWave will find themselves with a competitive advantage,” said Qualcomm President and soon-to-be CEO Cristiano Amon in a statement. “We are proud of our industry leadership in the development, standardization and commercialization of 5G mmWave and honored to work with major mobile industry leaders to accelerate its deployment worldwide.”