By the end of next year, you might be able to buy a laptop that comes with a 5G cellular connection. At least that’s what Intel says will happen, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Those four companies are supposed to be working toward creating PCs with built-in 5G connections that’ll be available by “holiday 2019,” using Intel’s modems.
That’s about it as far as details go for now. Intel says the 5G modems it’s building will also support 2G, 3G, and LTE, which is good since 5G deployment isn’t likely to be all that far along by then. The goal is to provide gigabit speeds.
For the time being, take this announcement as more of a target than as hard evidence that 5G PCs are two years away. While 5G technology is getting closer and closer to reality, there are still major unknowns. AT&T and Verizon only plan to have just started rolling out their networks by the end of 2018, and T-Mobile isn’t even looking to start a rollout until 2019.
Qualcomm is also working to put 5G modems inside devices come 2019 and has said it’s working with 18 phone companies to release products. It’s pretty unclear how much you’ll be able to do on a 5G network by then. But if you’re in just the right location, it sounds like there should be some phones and laptops that can connect.