High-speed 5G wireless technology is set to start its deployment in the United States this year, and Intel is already announcing ambitious plans for 5G-enabled computers in 2019. Ahead of this year's Mobile World Congress, Intel has announced partnerships with HP, Dell, Microsoft, and Lenovo to launch 5G-capable Windows PCs powered by its XMM 8000-series 5G modems. The 5G Windows PCs should become available sometime in the second half of the next year, according to Intel. The move will mark Intel's first foray into the commercial 5G market and should herald a new era of PCs that can achieve ultra-fast internet speeds.
Intel did not offer many details on the initiative but said it will show off its first 5G-enabled concept PC, a 2-in-1 hybrid, at MWC in Barcelona, Spain. The concept PC packs an early 5G modem and an eight-generation Intel Core i5 processor. The company further added that the 5G modems it's working on will support 2G, 3G, and LTE as well. Ultimately, Intel wants to deliver gigabit internet speeds to consumers, though 5G deployment will take a while. At MWC, Intel will also demo video streaming over a 5G network, as well as other innovations such as its eSIM technology and a new "thin PC" with support for the 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard.
The company further touts that 5G will enable PC owners to enjoy new experiences such as untethered VR, high-quality video streaming, or large file downloads that take just a few seconds to complete. 5G would allow people to engage in a number of online activities on the go without worrying about speed or reliability. Intel believes 5G will reimagine many digital experiences and claims it's paramount that PCs are able to keep up with the incoming networking revolution. Despite notable efforts toward 5G deployment, it remains to be seen when 5G networks will actually be functional and offer widespread coverage in the near future. In the U.S., Verizon and AT&T plan to roll out their first 5G networks by the end of 2018, while T-Mobile said it will start its 5G rollout next year, much like Sprint.