190 millions of 5G subscriptions by the end of 2020; Upgrade possibility for FP3/3+

Today I read in the news (multiple sources) that Ericsson expects that there will be 190 millions of 5G subscriptions by the end of 2020. As I am expecting to keep my FP2, I will not be one of them, but, what about the FP3? Can it be upgraded to support 5G or will we have to wait for the FP4?

No, the FP3 cannot be upgraded, the SoC is built into the device frame and not a module. Qualcomm has just announced its first midrange 5G chipset, Snapdragon 690. So far, 5G has only been available in the high-end.

Currently, I cannot see any “killer app“ for 5G on a phone. That might of course change eventually.


Ok, it could happen that I skip the FP3 until the FP4, with 5G. I skipped the FP1 because I had just got a phone when it appeared.

Currently, 5G has issues because it has a higher battery consumption, not lower, which was the objective.

As killer apps, one could be the free to air delivery of TV directly to the mobile, although it is not clear that this will be possible. Another is the possibility of using the 5G subscription for both, the mobile and the home Internet access. It could become cheaper and more convenient to switch to 5G, in the future. Maybe there are others.

Even if a device supports 5G I doubt that you will be able to make use of everything that is promoted under the label 5G today. So having an early 5G support in your device will most probably mean that you will soon have to buy a new one to leverage all the upcoming features. All in all the advantages for the operators and for the industry are bigger than for the simple customer I’d say.


Does 5G bring any new capabilities, except for speed? I understand how significant bandwidth increases can enable new features and applications, but it is literally just that, isn’t it?

1 Like

Don’t know where to start. Maybe as an overview there are three application profiles:

  1. eMBB: enhanced mobile broadband, that is what as a mobile phone user you connect with higher data rates. In the background this is achieved by multiple techniques.
  2. uRLLC: ultra reliable low latency communication, this is about autonomous driving and such stuff. Data rates aren’t important, but it’s important to have the few packets delivered in no time and for sure. They are even talking about remote surgery.
  3. mMTC: massive machine type communication, that means many, many small devices with low energy consumption that can communicate with who- and whatever for years on battery power by only sending some data chunks once every hour or day.

As you can see for the typical end customer mainly aspect number 1 is directly interesting but all three profiles can be covered by the same network with technologies like network slicing where within a physical network multiple virtual networks can be set-up.
There’s much more that is new in 5G and that brings advantages for some stakeholders. If you want to know more then you can use some of the keywords from above in the search engine of your choice and you’ll have reading material for hours :wink:


I don´t know if it would be feasible to make the SoC a module, so the future FP4 phone can be upgraded to 6G or whatever comes next.

1 Like

I am still using Faiphone 1 (I was one of the first 500) for phone calls and the old S3 Neo of my son for apps. Now next year all carrier will shut down 3G, thus forcing me to a new phone at least for data.
As you can see I am a real long term user.
Therefore I will buy a Fairphone 3+ only if it is guaranteed that the day a 5G support by Fairphone is possible, I will only need to change the sending/receiving module.
I don’t want to be forced again to a new phone the day every carrier will shut down 4G.

I am afraid it won’t be possible. This is a part of the core-module, and I don’t think you would be able to change just the relevant module.
Though if you want to have a definitive and official answer, you should #contactsupport.


I have moved the posts here, as it is virtually the same discussion.
And I adjust the title of this thread, to make the content clearer.

More interesting points to this discussion to be found in this thread:


Since 4G is a subset of 5G you needn’t worry that your 4G phone ceases to work anytime in the next five or six years. I certainly don’t and will buy a FP3(+) in the near future.


The Fairphone 3/3+ does not support 5G and never will.

1 Like

it’s very difficult to upgrade a SoC, because it’s a microchip witch includes the equivalent parts of a PC like the CPU, GPU, and the chip-set, you have to connect the memory (RAM), storage (ROM)… everything, and it have to be compatible, it’s not so easy, it have to be welded to the motherboard.

The best they can do is update the motherboard into a new version witch gives support to thees technologies: 5G and WiFi 6

Nowadays there are many SoCs with support thees technologies, more powerful cameras, more RAM, faster storage…

The most important thing is that **everything has to be compatible with the SoC or CPU **, if not, it won’t work, the same with a PC.


This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.