MediaTek has officially announced its first 5G baseband Helio M70 and supports 5G NR, 5Gbps downlink rate, and meets the 3GPP specifications of 5G. It is a strong rival for Qualcomm and Huawei. This indicates that Mediatek is to join the competition in 5G.
Although MediaTek is no longer at its peak and has already announced that it will no longer launch its flagship chip, it is still the first echelon chip supplier in the market, and the low-end products are still favored by the majority of mobile phone manufacturers. With the advent of the 5G era, this is an opportunity for MediaTek to be aggressive on market expansions.
At the same time, MediaTek Helio M70 baseband will be built on the basis of TSMC’s 7-nanometer process, which has a good boost in heat control. However, MediaTek expects that the baseband chips will not be commercially available until early 2019. The early partners include Nokia, NTT Docomo, China Mobile, and Huawei. In the future, MediaTek will provide them with 5G services.
Although MediaTek claims to have laid out 5G long ago, the launch of 5G modem has been late. In contrast, Qualcomm has already released the Snapdragon X50 with 5G modem, and Huawei has also introduced its first 5G supported Barron 5G01. We can assume that these two companies are leading the 5G competition.
The arrival of MediaTek 5G chips will at least bring some healthy competition to the market. Although the modem of Qualcomm and Huawei is certainly the strongest in the market, MediaTek still can target price-aware users. The partners of MediaTek can also see that although the SoC business is not very good, there are still many manufacturers willing to cooperate with MediaTek on the modem business. This will create a healthy competition in the market and will promote the positive development.