Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 Modem With Up to 2Gbps Download Speeds Unveiled

Qualcomm is doubling down on LTE before moving onto 5G

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. 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.

Another leg of the strategy is to create more integrated RF silicon, because otherwise smartphones will run into power consumption and size challenges.

So, how does this new, bonkers-fast LTE modem fit in with Qualcomm's strategy to launch its X50 5G modem next year?

For reference, phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Motorola Moto Z2 Force can already download at a theoretical peak of 1 gigabit of data per second, while 5G phones using Qualcomm's X50 modem promise to download up to 5 gigabits per second. In addition, we will also see the first 5G devices.

Above: Real world speeds provided by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. 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. The Snapdragon X24, on the other hand, is a future-ready modem - setting the ground for 5G connectivity.

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As the world's first commercially announced Category 20 LTE modem supporting download speeds up to 2 Gbps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem delivers 2x the speed of the Company's first generation Gigabit LTE modem. Further, the new Snapdragon modem has 4x4 MIMO antenna arrays on five LTE carriers to enable a maximum of 20 concurrent LTE streams at once.

Qualcomm says the X24 may be its last LTE modem.

At its 5G day yesterday (US time), Qualcomm laid out other 5G NR developments on its drawing board, including licensed-assisted access (LAA) for sharing spectrum between licensed and unlicensed applications; and Qualcomm's spectrum-share scheme called 5G MulteFire (a 5G version of a technology that uses unlicensed spectrum for LTE transmissions). Additional system capacity improvements are made possible through the 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 LTE supports Category 20 upload speeds with 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.

With the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem's fiber-like Internet speeds delivered wirelessly, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can offer consumers incredible mobile experiences such as immersive 360-degree video, connected cloud computing, rich entertainment and instant apps. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

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