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Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sampling started

Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sampling started

Or really, anything close to it.

That's a lot of jargon, but here's the key takeaway: the X24 can sustain high peak download speeds even on congested networks.

Think 4G LTE is fast?

The X24 will be launched by the end of 2018.

X50 modems are expected to hit commercial devices in the first half of 2019. 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). Qualcomm wasn't really offering us many details here, but my takeaway is that it's going to be down to the choices of its carrier and handset partners to decide which chip is the best fit for them.

This feature allows smartphones with the new X24 LTE modem to utilise all spectrum assets available from a mobile operator, whether in the licensed spectrum or with License Assisted Access (LAA). The new modem is specifically created to deliver peak download speeds of a whopping 2Gbps, which is twice the speed you can presently get from a fibre broadband service. In addition, we will also see the first 5G devices.

In Qualcomm's modem product portfolio, the X24 sits somewhere between the X50, which is theoretically capable of 5Gbps downlink, and the current-gen X16 in phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Essential Phone, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium, which maxes out at 1-1.2Gbps.

This is all, of course, speculation. It's a logical move for Qualcomm, considering that in the early days of 5G networks, coverage will be somewhat limited - especially for mmWave networks, which will likely only exist in highly trafficked areas at first. For more details, check out the press release below.

The modem is Qualcomm's eighth generation LTE multi-mode modem - multi-mode meaning it is capable of supporting multiple wireless generations.

"As the world's first announced Gigabit LTE modem to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, created to provide enhanced mobile broadband and deliver an extremely important gigabit coverage layer for commercial 5G networks and mobile devices that are expected to start launching in 2019", said Serge Willenegger, GM of 4G/5G and Industrial IOT at Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has revealed some of its plans for MWC 2018, which will include live demonstrations of its 5G technologies and Snapdragon X24 LTE modem. 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).

System capacity is further improved through support of Full Dimension MIMO, a form of massive MIMO that is foundational to 5G, reports Qualcomm. In the uplink, the Snapdragon X24 LTE supports Category 20 upload speeds with 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM. According to Qualcomm, this functionality will allow for X24-equipped devices to connect to the entire range of spectrum bands available to carriers, which would increase overall performance beyond what we have now.

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