Intel, along with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft said Thursday that the companies expect the first 5G Windows PCs to become available during the second half of 2019. That’s about the same time that Intel plans to begin shipping its XMM 8000 commercial modems, marking the company’s entrance into the 5G market.
Intel will show off a prototype of the new 5G connected PC at Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. Also, the company will demonstrate data streaming over the 5G network. At its stand, Intel said that it will show off eSIM technology—the replacement for actual, physical SIM cards—and a thin PC running 802.11ax Wi-Fi, the next-gen Wi-Fi standard.
Intel wants 5G to restart its wireless business after missing out on 4G because its rivals came up with advanced, integrated platforms from its competitors.
“Intel is investing deeply across its wireless portfolio and partners to bring 5G-connected mobile PCs to market, with benefits for users like high-quality video on-the-go, high-end gaming, and seamless connections as users traverse WiFi and Cellular networks,” the company said in a statement.
That’s the reason Intel wanted802.11ax in the market, the next improvement in Wi-Fi technology. Like 5G, 802.11ax—which promises Wi-Fi speeds across multiple gigabits per second—has yet to be finalised, let alone deployed.
That still hasn’t stopped so-called “pre-standard” hardware, like D-Link’s new routers. Once the 802.11ax standard is fully is ready for 2018 or early 2019, compliant networking gear can begin to roll out and undergo interoperability testing.
Smartphone vendors are expected to release their 5G plans once Mobile World Congress show begins February 26. The higher-speed modems will start showing up in hardware rolling out this year and next, with smartphone makers being forced to choose between tried-and-true 4G modems and more advanced (and possibly more power-hungry) 5G radios on the horizon. PC vendors will follow closely behind.
XMM 8000 should be based on the 5G NR standard and the company might showcase the PCs based on its own solution at the MWC early next week.