Intel lost its chance to build 5G modems on its own for smartphones, but on the PC side of things where the silicon giant maintains a stronghold, Intel teamed up with MediaTek to build 5G modems for laptops. The MediaTek T700 5G modem is the fruit of that labour. The 5G modem is designed for use in next-generation Intel-powered laptops.
The MediaTek T700 5G only supports the sub-6GHz bands for 5G connectivity and not the mmWave bands. The latter is what drives speeds to gigabit levels in a 5G network. However, the 5G modem has been tested for 5G standalone calls that don’t rely on a 4G network, ensuring that the tech works as a standalone service. For the current crop of 5G networks live across the world, the modem also supports non-standalone 5G networks that rely on a 4G infrastructure.
The power consumption metrics remain a mystery but MediaTek claimed the modem is “highly power efficient” and won’t drain the battery of the laptop while surfing the internet on a 5G network.
As for Intel’s contribution to the partnership, the company said it has worked on “system integration, validation and developing platform optimisations” for the 5G modem along with offering assistance to OEM partners to integrate it in their products.
The biggest advantage of having 5G support on a laptop is primarily the extra speed and lower latency, as compared to a 4G network. Both improvements are potentially game changing for computing on the go. There are already a crop of 5G laptops available globally like the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 and the Lenovo Flex 5G, and both of them rely on Qualcomm modems. With MediaTek also jostling for the space and has Intel’s blessing, we may see upcoming 5G laptops rocking the T700 5G modem inside.