Qualcomm is doubling down on LTE before moving onto 5G
Qualcomm is doubling down on LTE before moving onto 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE: World's first Cat 20 2Gbps modem set to debut at MWC
14 February, 2018, 18:09
Among the final flurry of announcements to come from Qualcomm's big 5G day was, curiously enough, a new 4G modem. The highest carrier aggregation now supported in Canada is 4x carrier aggregation, though through the use of unlicensed spectrum carriers could take full advantage of the modem's capabilities.
In short, that means faster downloads and reduced power consumption. Because of this, the first couple generations of 5G phones will still rely, at least in part, on LTE connections (just as phones now occasionally switch over to 3G when conditions are poor).
American chip manufacturer Qualcomm has officially announced the Snapdragon x50 modem based on 5G technology. Sprint's 5G network, set to launch in the first half of next year, utilizes a different part of the spectrum than AT&T's will, for example, and so it may require a specialized RF front-end solution paired with Qualcomm's X50 modem on handsets. Qualcomm also confirmed that the new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem would be featured in a live demonstration at the Mobile World Congress 2018 tech show in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and Netgear.
Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem as a precursor to migration to its 5G modem sometime in 2019.
The Snapdragon X24 also offers a glimpse of our 5G future, where the internet connection to our smartphones and other connected devices is faster, more stable and available in more places.
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The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers 2x the speed of the company's first generation Gigabit LTE modem.
Qualcomm says its fibre-like data speeds enhance burgeoning data-heavy cellular activities like immersive 360-degree video, connected cloud computing and instant apps.
The X24 achieves the speeds it can because it supports "up to 7x carrier aggregation on the downlink" as well as 4X4 MIMO on up to five aggregated carriers.
The company's top-speed 4G modem, the Snapdragon X24, supports peak downloads of 2 Gbps (with the usual caveat that you'd need to be the only person connecting to the tower), and the X50 will push that to a peak of 5 Gbps. Additional system capacity improvements are made possible through support of Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO), a Massive MIMO technology that is foundational to future 5G NR networks. In the uplink, the Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.
Qualcomm's mobile modems still lead the pack but the huge chipmaker is facing ever-increasing competition from other players such as Intel; both make modems for the iPhone X and Qualcomm lodged a legal complaint about Apple infringing its patents - the latest in a series of legal disputes between the two companies. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.
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