Qualcomm's Snapdragon X24 modem will enable 2 Gbps LTE speeds
14 February, 2018, 19:15
Qualcomm's new 2Gbps LTE modem is an important step toward 5G.
In the first few years of the 5G changeover, we're going to see up-to-2Gbps 4G; a low-to-mid-band nationwide mobile 5G, which T-Mobile and Sprint are setting up, which could be about the same speed; and a short-range, high-speed 5G being laid down in big cities.
Above: Real world speeds provided by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
The 4G/5G overlap is, like the 3G/4G migration before it, a deliberate strategy: carriers upgrade their 4G networks, and will first deploy 5G in customer-rich zones like central business districts. "It will allow us to basically offer continuity of service between 4G LTE and 5G as the 5G systems are being launched". X24-based phones that also have 5G modems will, ideally, smoothly ramp up and down between fast LTE and early 5G networks without experiencing the sort of "speed cliff" you feel when you drop from 4G LTE to EDGE, for instance.
For reference, phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Motorola Moto Z2 Force can already download at a theoretical peak of 1 gigabit of data per second, while 5G phones using Qualcomm's X50 modem promise to download up to 5 gigabits per second.
Qualcomm, it would seem, is starting 2018 with a bang. "We're excited to demonstrate these advancements at Mobile World Congress and showcase how our technologies are created to expand the reach of 5G NR to new industries, new deployment and business models, and new ecosystem participants". This unprecedented feature set is created to allow devices that feature the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem to utilize all spectrum assets available from a mobile operator, whether in licensed spectrum, or with License Assisted Access (LAA).
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According to a report from Gadgets 360, chip maker Qualcomm announced that more than a dozen different smartphone and PC OEM manufacturers have tied up with the company, to have the former incorporate the upcoming Snapdragon X50 5G NRmodem in their devices beginning next year.
It supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4×4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers, for a total of up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams.
Qualcomm says the X24 is the first announced Category 20 LTE modem supporting up to a whopping 2 Gbps of downstream bandwidth.
It supports 60 MHz envelope tracking for up to 3x uplink carrier aggregation channels with simultaneous High Power User Equipment (HPUE) support in Band 41, to deliver power-efficient connectivity for mobile devices.
Mobile operators can gain flexibility in using their spectrum to offer better Internet speeds to consumers, while also improving their network capacity and maximizing spectral efficiency.
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