A week ago, at its 5G Day event, Qualcomm demonstrated new technologies such as spectrum sharing and URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communication). They should boost the speeds with the recently approved 5G NR standards. That’s not a secret 5G will become the new main connectivity option in the future. But as you know, this requires some time and complete transformation will last up to 10 years. Thus LTE will remain the most important part of mobile data in the few next years. Because of this, many service providers are working on gigabit LTE, but till the date, the fastest speed has been 1.2Gbps. Today, the company announced the Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 latest gigabit LTE modem that reaches up to 2Gbps.
This is a great jump from the 1.2Gbps promised by its predecessor, the X20 found on the Snapdragon 835. Actually, SND835 comes with a Cat.16 that provides up to 1Gbps speed. The Australia Telecom shows the best-measured value of 979Mbps (download) and 129Mbps (upload). But there has been the Kirin 970 with the world’s first LTE Cat.18 (download) and Cat.13 (upload) support, which provides the industry’s highest peak download rate of 1.2Gbps. It was tested by Rohde & Schwarz (1.17Gbps).
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The Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem can provide such a connectivity option due to the 7x carrier aggregation support on the downlink as well as 4×4 MMIO (multi-user input and output) on up to 5 aggregated carriers. The Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM when it comes to the uplink.
This is the first commercially announced Category 20 LTE modem supporting 2Gbps speeds. Plus, it’s the first chip running on a 7nm process node. Thus it will provide the most power saving performance ever.
It’s assumed the Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem will be integrated into the company’s next flagship chip that will power premium phones in the next years. They should appear on the market in the first half of 2019. Thus this will happen at the same time as the first 5G phones will, making it a key part of a hopefully smooth transition in 2019.
The chip maker has said, it is testing the new modem, and if everything goes well, the Snapdragon X24 will be introduced at MWC 2018 later this month in conjunction with Telstra, Ericsson, and Netgear.