Believe it or note, but 5G networks have been up and running for more than 18 months already. We’ve had quite a few smartphones with 5G already, but getting the network protocol built into laptops has been a bit slower. MediaTek and Intel are currently collaborating to bring support for the MediaTek T700 5G modem to Intel-powered laptops, giving laptop manufacturers an alternative to the 5G chipsets that Qualcomm has been pushing. While we don’t know what the premium will be for a laptop with a MediaTek 5G model will be, the company typically undercut Qualcomm, allowing for lower prices for the consumer.
“Our partnership with Intel is a natural extension of our growing 5G mobile business, and is an incredible market opportunity for MediaTek to move into the PC market,” said MediaTek President Joe Chen. “With Intel’s deep expertise in the PC space and our groundbreaking 5G modem technology, we will redefine the laptop experience and bring consumers the best 5G experiences.”
Intel is currently progressing “on system integration, validation and developing platform optimizations” to ensure that the MediaTek T700 5G modem works flawlessly with its processor and in the process of building out support for its OEM partners to help them integrate the 5G modem in products coming to market in early 2021.
MediaTek’s T700 5G modem will allow computers and laptops to connect with non-standalone and standalone Sub-6 5G networks, giving the end-users a reliable, fast and efficient connection to the internet. While a lot of emphases has been placed on mmWave 5G connectivity due to its blazing fast speeds, Sub-6 5G (while slower) is a lot more prevalent, power-efficient and reliable, allowing users to connect to 5G practically anywhere rather than needing to be within eyesight of a mmWave 5G tower.
While MediaTek and Intel has not confirmed any products that will be using the new T700 5G Modem, there’s a good chance that it will be using is next year’s Chomebook offerings, allowing for always-on 5G connectivity.