Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sampling started

Alan Olson
February 14, 2018

The demonstration saw 2Gbps speeds achieved by aggregating 100MHz of spectrum across the bands 1, 3 and 7, using a NETGEAR Nighthawk mobile router equipped with Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X24 LTE modem, the world's first-announced Category 20 LTE modem. Though 5G speeds will eventually outclass what even the best 4G LTE modems are capable of achieving, it's going to take a long time to get to that point.

The X24 does this through 7x carrier aggregation, bonding seven different 20MHz slices of radio spectrum and enabling 20 data streams at once.

But since 5G speeds will be so much faster than the LTE we're used to - even 1gbps is 51 times faster than the average speed of the fastest LTE network in the United States - that drop could be even more painful than getting stuck on 3G is today. 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).

The Snapdragon X24 Gigabit LTE mobile modem gives us an insight into the 5G world we'll start to see develop during and beyond the next year.

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.

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Qualcomm is predicting that commercial devices featuring the X24 will be available this year, despite reports that its largest customer may abandon its modems altogether.

As the industry moves towards delivering 5G networks and smartphone modems in 2019, the new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem's promise to deliver fiber-like Internet speeds delivered wirelessly.

The list of global operators supporting Snapdragon X50 5G Modem for Mobile 5G NR Trials in 2018 includes AT&T, Sprint, Verizon (USA), BT (UK), China Telekom, China mobile, China Unicom - from guess where - China, Deutsche Telekom (Germany), KDDI, NTT Docomo (Japan), Korea Telekom, LG Uplus SK Telekom from Korea, Orange, Vodafone (many countries in Europe), Telecom Italia mobile (TIM) and of course Australia's jewel Telstra.

It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices. It's meant to give us a glimpse of the kind of mobile broadband we can expect with the arrival of 5G in 2019. The company has already started sampling chips to its partners and expects commercial products on the market before the end of the year. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

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