OnQ Blog

Watch a five-year-old explain LTE Carrier Aggregation (better than I can)

Sep 10, 2014

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Confession: I never understand technology the first time someone explains it to me. 

Or the second time.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m pretty technical and I LOVE gadgets. But bleeding edge technology is, well…complex science. And I’m no scientist.

Which is why a little explanation may help me—and perhaps you—understand why the recent Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 210 announcement is so cool. The big news is that Qualcomm Technologies announced that its newest Snapdragon processor, designed for affordable phones, will have an integrated Qualcomm® Gobi™ LTE modem. That means it will be equipped with an extremely fast 4G Internet connection, and a crucial new technology called LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation.

Thanks to Reddit, I’ve discovered an approach to learning unfamiliar technology. I ask someone smart to explain it like I’m five.

LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation is one of those technologies that requires a five-year-old explanation—at least for me. Luckily, the video below offers just that.

Want to know more about this behind-the-scenes technology?

An LTE modem gives smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices a fast connection to the Internet. Qualcomm Technologies’ Gobi LTE modems are especially fast, thanks to features like LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation. This technology can allow cellular providers to offer quicker data upload and download speeds.

LTE modems without carrier aggregation can only access one piece of wireless spectrum. For example, 10 MHz of spectrum can transfer up to 75 Megabits of data per second. If a carrier offers LTE at 10MHz, its customers can achieve data rates of only up to 75 Megabits per second. 

Downlink carrier aggregation allows the LTE modem to access data from more than one piece of spectrum at the same time. So if a carrier offers LTE on two pieces of 10 MHz spectrum, users can achieve speeds up to 150 Mbps (75 Mbps +75 Mbps).

This capability to combine up to 20 MHz spectrum is available now in the entry-level smartphone tier via the newly announced Snapdragon 210 processor! So users can enjoy the benefits of LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation around the world using affordably priced mobile devices.

By the way, our latest 4th generation modem i.e., Gobi 9x35, which is already commercial in Korea, has taken carrier aggregation to a new level. It can aggregate up to 40 MHz spectrum, which can offer speeds up to 300 Mbps. That’s fast enough to download a movie in just over 2 minutes or upload 200 photos in 31 seconds!

For more information on Qualcomm Gobi LTE modems, visit https://www.qualcomm.com/products/gobi

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

PJ Jacobowitz

Staff Manager, Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies