That's the promise of Qualcomm's latest LTE chip: the Snapdragon X24, which the company says is capable of hitting blazing-fast download speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. 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.
The X24 does this through 7x carrier aggregation, bonding seven different 20MHz slices of radio spectrum and enabling 20 data streams at once. The most advanced networks only offer three aggregated LTE carriers at the moment, so would struggle to get close to such a nippy download speed. The X24 LTE will be an upgrade over X20 LTE modem found on company's flagship Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. "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".
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. This technology advancement will enable faster mobile broadband speeds and greater network capacity for all subscribers.
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.
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Not only is it the world's first Cat 20 LTE modem to offer 2Gbps speeds, it's also the world's first announced chip built on a 7-nanometer FinFET process. As evidenced by our work with these distinguished OEMs from around the globe and as we demonstrated in 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies is utilizing our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem.
Qualcomm's third generation Gigabit LTE solution will be featured in a live demonstration at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and NETGEAR. There is also full-dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) to give way to carriers to start sending their 5G signals.
Moreover, Qualcomm also detailed the use of the 5G technology in areas like mobile broadband to smartphones, Always Connected PCs, head-mounted displays for virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality.
In the uplink, the X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3x20MHz CA and up to 256 QAM encoding. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.