Qualcomm announces reference design for the “wireless home”

via Flickr © Electronic_Frontier_Foundation (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Electronic_Frontier_Foundation (CC BY 2.0)

  • Design integrates Wi-Fi 6 and 5G
  • Promoted as the multi-gigabit, plug-and-play alternative to digital subscriber line (DSL), cable and fiber.
  • Consumers can truly “cut-the-cord”

This is a chipset (platform, as everything is now called) which integrates Wi-Fi 6 and a 5G fixed wireless access function in a single box. Qualcomm is calling it the ‘Plug-and-Play Alternative to DSL, Cable and Fiber’ (still needs a power cable, though) and expects/hopes that it will enable a vigorous take-up of fixed wireless access in the US. 

The offering integrates Qualcomm’s second-generation  Snapdragon X55 5G Modem and its Networking Pro 1200 platform for  Wi-Fi 6. Qualcomm claims broadband carriers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be able to rapidly develop and deploy all-wireless home internet solutions, “transforming the traditional home broadband industry with multi-gigabit, plug-and-play alternatives to digital subscriber line (DSL), cable and fiber.”

Given the cost of all the other flavours of wired/fibre broadband in the US, this sort of solution would appear to have a good chance. 

The reference design includes support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave frequencies. It says the reference design pairs a 5G backhaul capability with the latest in Wi-Fi connectivity, security and high-performance features critical to home broadband gateways.

“This new home gateway reference design can help ISPs and broadband carriers deliver triple-play home internet to customers, including fiber-like high-speed data, television and phone services, all with support for hundreds of devices, in a high-performance single-box solution powered by the latest connectivity offerings from Qualcomm Technologies,” said Nick Kucharewski, vice president and general manager for the Wireless Infrastructure and Networking Business unit.

Qualcomm claims the  design offers numerous stakeholder advantages across the ecosystem. Mobile operators can take advantage of their investments in 5G infrastructure to provide internet access to home users and enable new revenue streams; consumers can truly “cut-the-cord” with additional options for internet access beyond fixed-line broadband suppliers; municipalities can encourage increased investment in high-speed data infrastructure with a larger serviceable opportunity and property owners can enable high-speed internet without the costs of enabling and disabling fixed-line access for new tenants.  

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