Wireless technology is a big part of today’s smartphones, ranging from cellular connectivity to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Now, Qualcomm has announced FastConnect, its name for the sub-system of wireless (i.e. non-cellular) tech in its Snapdragon processors.
The U.S. chip giant says FastConnect-enabled products are already available in some chipsets, such as the Snapdragon 855, Snapdragon 855 Plus, and Snapdragon 8CX PC chipset. These devices use the FastConnect 6200 platform, delivering several Wi-Fi 6 technologies, such as target wake time, 8×8 MU-MIMO, and WPA3.
In fact, Qualcomm specifically noted that the likes of the Nokia 9 Pureview, LG G8, OnePlus 7 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 9 offered the FastConnect 6200. When asked by Android Authority why these phones didn’t actually support Wi-Fi 6 (even though the Galaxy S10 series does), Qualcomm hinted at certification as a possible challenge for devices. But the firm said these devices should still provide great Wi-Fi compared to rival solutions nonetheless.
FastConnect 6800 announced as well
The company isn’t merely rebranding its existing tech, as it also announced the FastConnect 6800 platform. The latest wireless subsystem for Snapdragon phones implements additional Wi-Fi 6 tech like OFDMA and 1024QAM.
Other noteworthy FastConnect 6800 features include Bluetooth 5.1 support, up to 1.8Gbps downlink speeds, and dual-band simultaneous capabilities. The latter means you can simultaneously connect to 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi connections. The platform also supports uplink MU-MIMO, which should theoretically result in faster upload speeds.
Qualcomm says FastConnect 6800 will be part of an upcoming chipset (presumably the Snapdragon 865 or whatever the Snapdragon 855 successor is called). Either way, the addition of integral Wi-Fi 6 tech like 1024QAM suggests that widespread Wi-Fi 6 support in flagship phones is coming soon.
When could we see Wi-Fi 6 come to mid-range smartphones though? Qualcomm noted that its flagship features do “cascade” into mid-range segments, and said we could see Wi-Fi 6 on cheaper phones sooner or later.