OnQ Blog

LTE carrier aggregation is here: See it in action

Jan 19, 2016

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

Here’s a straightforward question: What’s better—fast or faster?

The answer seems obvious. And we would wager that “faster” is something everyone wants when it comes to accessing the Internet from their smartphones.

Why? Because a good portion of smartphone apps require access to the Internet. How else would photos, movies, songs, Web pages, tweets, and status updates get to our phones? Faster Internet speeds means we can get to all the stuff we love in less time.

And yet while many people would say “faster” when asked, most would not know that the modem inside their phones makes a huge difference as to whether they can get faster Internet speeds from their LTE networks.

Enter a technology called LTE Advanced carrier aggregation. That’s a mouthful, but the basic concept behind it is deceptively simple. To enable faster speeds, this technology multiplies the number of LTE connections between the phone and the cell network.

So instead of having just one LTE connection between the network and your phone, an LTE modem that supports carrier aggregation when paired with a compatible network  can actually bond together multiple, separate LTE connections and treat them as though they’re one. It can double or even triple Internet speeds.

Think of a highway: Using carrier aggregation is like adding more lanes to widen the highway, creating more space for more cars to travel on the highway at the same time.

But do the faster speeds make a difference in the apps you use on a daily basis? Yes, they do. And we wanted to show you on a live network, with a real phone. In the video above, we show you how two apps—Google Photos and Google Play—become so much better with carrier aggregation: downloading photos to the phone takes half the time with carrier aggregation than with a traditional LTE connection. Likewise when downloading apps from Google Play.

Half the time. Think about how often the apps you use have to download things from the Internet. Now think about all of them doing that in half the time they take now. How much of your day would you get back?

The video also shows how important it is to pair the right phone (and the right modem inside) with the right network. Sprint has recently launched their LTE Plus network, which, amongst other things, uses carrier aggregation technology to significantly boost Internet speeds to customers. But to enjoy those faster speeds, you need a phone with the right modem inside.

Enter the HTC One A9—a premium smartphone featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor with X8 LTE. Because of the integrated X8 LTE modem, the One A9 is engineered to take full advantage of the improved LTE speeds on Sprint’s LTE Plus network.

So not only does the One A9 provide the elements of a premium smartphone experience—beautiful design, exquisite materials and craftsmanship, a great camera, a sharp display, and amazing sound—it also offers epic LTE speeds that keep you downloading, streaming, and sharing faster.

Carrier aggregation is an amazing technology, and it’s going to continue evolving to improve mobile networks over the next few years. And with capable Snapdragon at the heart of the devices you love, you can enjoy the best LTE networks today—and even better ones in the future.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


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.

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