Qualcomm Inc. QCOM -0.47 % announced plans to deliver its first chip for the next generation of cellular networks, angling to be ready as some carriers roll out versions of 5G services by 2018.
The San Diego-based company said it expects the forthcoming Snapdragon X50 modem chip to be available in sample quantities in the second half of 2017 and to deliver download speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second.
That is roughly 100 times faster than peak speeds claimed by most networks that use the fourth-generation technology called LTE, for long-term evolution.
Most telecom carriers don t plan to begin offering such services until 2020, and industry groups have yet to finalize a technical definition for 5G.
But Verizon Communications Inc. VZ 0.22 % has discussed launching a service based on the technology to compete with fixed-line internet services by 2017.
Carriers in South Korea also are expected to launch 5G-class service in time for the Winter Olympics, which open in February 2018.