Devices with Intel's 5G modem are coming in early 2020 with 6Gbps download speeds

Intel announced its XMM 8160 5G modem today, saying that it's bumping up the timing of its launch by six months. Previously, it was expected in 2020, but now it will ship in the second half of 2019 with devices arriving with the chip in the first half of 2020.

The XMM 8160 will support download speeds of up to 6Gbps, which can reasonably change the landscape of connectivity. The modem supports both standards for 5G NR, which are mmWave and sub-6. mmWave, or millimeter waves, are high-frequency waves that require a direct line of sight; even something as small as a leaf can disrupt the signal. Sub-6GHz waves aren't as susceptible to interference.

The chipset will also be able to fall back on older standards, including 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G. That means that even if you can't get the blazing fast speeds of 5G, you'll still be able to fall back on the gigabit speeds that are supported by 4G LTE.

Heading into 2019, you can expect to hear much more about 5G NR. Pretty much every carrier has announced that it's launching 5G next year, and devices are on the way. Of course, depending on where you live, you might be waiting until 2020 or later.

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