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Qualcomm Unveils the First 5G NR Solution for Small Cells

Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM has introduced the industry’s first 5G NR (New Radio) solution for small cells and remote radio head deployments via its subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. The announcement was made by the company at The Small Cells World Summit 2018 in London.

Qualcomm Continues to Lead in the 5G Market

Qualcomm has focused on solutions for small cells for a long time. The 5G NR solution is highly flexible and is designed to enable original equipment manufacturers to reuse both software and hardware designs across sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave products. This will enable operators to easily switch between low and high frequency spectrum bands. The solution is built on FSM100xx platform, which has a software-defined modem, enabling operators to upgrade it with 5G evolution. Also, the solution will work equally well both outdoors and indoors. This is of significance because the 5G signal on mmWave spectrum is known to have difficulty penetrating buildings.

All four top U.S. operators are planning to launch 5G NR services in some markets or the other by 2019. Qualcomm stated that the new platform will be ready for sampling in 2019 and it is currently working with some customers to give them early mover advantage.

Small Cells Potentially the Future of Core Mobile Network Planning

According to analysts at Mobile Experts, revenues from global small cell equipment sales are expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2023. The firm said that the major carriers are driving the demand as they focus on improving networks through the implementation of small cells.

5G NR: What is it?

5G NR is a new air interface developed for 5G. An air interface is the radio frequency part between the mobile device and the active base station. The active base station can change as the user constantly changes location. Primarily, the 5G NR is designed to improve the performance, flexibility, scalability and efficiency of current mobile networks, and to take optimal advantage of the available spectrum.

Price Performance of Qualcomm

In the past three months, Qualcomm has persistently underperformed the industry. Over this period, the stock has lost 8.8% against growth of 0.6% for the industry. The performance was primarily affected by the ongoing dispute with Apple Inc. AAPL and its contract manufacturers (Qualcomm licensees), as well as the previously disclosed dispute with another licensee.


Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Qualcomm currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry space are BlackBerry Limited BB, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

BlackBerry has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.6%.

Motorola has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8%.

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