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2024 is a busy year for TCL. First, the company announced a staggering number new smartphones and two new tablets at CESand now presents something else in MMC 2024– One of the world’s first 5G dongles to take advantage of the latest standards. 5G low consumption.

Linkkey IK511 from TCL Mobile is a new 5G pocket adapter powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

5G for everyone, everything, everywhere

TCL Linkkey IK511 5G.
TCL Linkkey IK511 TKL

RedCap is short for “reduced capacity,” and while it may not seem like what you want in a 5G modem, it’s actually a good thing, filling an important gap and promising to bring 5G to a whole new class of devices.

While Qualcomm’s flagship modem chips, like the new Snapdragon X80, are incredibly powerful devices, more power comes with more power consumption. It’s normal for something like Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, not all devices need to achieve the blazing-fast 5G speeds offered by mmWave networks and new technologies such as 5G carrier aggregation. These premium chips don’t come cheap either.

5G is about much more than just speed. Higher capacity allows more devices to stay connected in crowded places, and low latency means you get much faster response times for all the little activities that most of us do much more often, like instant messaging, browsing social media, etc. d. receiving notifications. Moreover, 4G/LTE networks will not last forever.

As a result, there are entire classes of devices that require 5G connectivity but cannot meet the power requirements of a smartphone or tablet’s 5G modem. Qualcomm X35 was originally announced as a 5G modem chip for the next generation of smartwatches. This is probably still the most common use case, but as TCL’s new Linkkey IK511 shows, it’s not the only one.

Connecting what is not connected

TCL Linkkey IK512 5G on a desk connected to a laptop someone is typing on.
TCL Linkkey IK512 TKL

While pricing has yet to be announced, the Linkkey IK511 promises to offer users a more affordable way to ditch 4G/LTE networks and take advantage of 5G. The reduction in capacity also means lower costs, but for most people the IK511 should offer more than enough performance for everyday use as the RedCap standard is still capable of download speeds of up to 150Mbps and upload speeds reaching 50Mbps.

By comparison, a 4K UHD stream from Netflix requires just 15Mbps of bandwidth, while even higher quality streaming services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ top out at around 40Mbps.

TCL hopes its new 5G dongle will help democratize 5G. “Together with Qualcomm Technologies, TCL will bring 5G to more customers and help usher in a new chapter in the future of communications and connected devices, accelerating global connectivity,” said Jesse Wu, general manager of Smart Connected Devices at TCL.

TCL Linkhub HH132 Pro on a table in the living room next to two people sitting on a sofa in the background.
TCL Linkhub HH132 Pro TKL

The Linkkey IK511 joins the more powerful Linkkey IK512, which is designed for situations that require more bandwidth. It supports 5G speeds of up to 2.46 Gbps when paired with the Linkhub HH132 Pro router to bring fixed wireless access (FWA) to homes and small businesses. While TCL says the Linkkey IK512 will be available in Europe later this year, pricing and availability of the IK511 have yet to be confirmed.

Source: Digital Trends

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