My bad. That will make make the European, Chinese and Japanese nationalists happy!
I should have clarified that I was talking about the USB 2.0 connection on the Gemalto modem, not the M.2 slot. There is no reason for Purism to limit the M.2 slot to USB 2.0, so future upgrades to modems with USB 3.0 and G5 will probably be possible. One difficulty is that you will also need a different antenna for 5G (especially if using mmWave), but I see that Qualcomm has figured out how to make tiny 5G antennas, so it will probably be possible to include both the 5G chip and antenna on the M.2 plugin card, but to get good 5G reception, you need to include 5G antennas on all four edges of the phone, because your hand can block reception if you only have antennas on one or two edges of the phone.
The more that I learn about 5G, the more that I think that it is a really bad idea. It will be very expensive and incredibly wasteful to setup millions of microstations with only a 250 meter range, and we have no idea what will be the health effects for humans living next to all those microstations. The way that 5G will be implemented in the US with mmWave sounds like a nightmare to me.
The one cool thing is that the large size of the PLS8 chip package means that Purism will have to use a standard-sized 3042 M.2 card in the Librem 5. Because the PLS8 is 2mm thick, plus another 1mm for its circuit board, this means that the Librem 5 will probably have a thick case (I’m guessing 12 mm or thicker), but it also means that we can buy a standard replacement cellular modem from any supplier as long as there are Linux drivers for it.
This is frankly awesome. I guarantee that every review is going to criticize the Librem 5 for being too thick, but I am going to love having a phone that isn’t designed for planned obsolescence.