A few weeks ago Qualcomm Technologies and T-Mobile held The Gigabit Class LTE Experience to demonstrate the speed and power of Gigabit Class LTE on T-Mobile’s network with flagship smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems.
At the event, T-Mobile announced that LTE Advanced, the next generation of LTE, has expanded to more than 920 markets. In 430 of those markets, a combination of carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 256-QAM is now live, so customers with supported devices can enjoy Gigabit Class LTE download speeds. T-Mobile also unveiled plans to launch Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), another advanced LTE technology which taps into unlicensed spectrum, on small cells this year to further densify the network for even more capacity and speed.
Over 50 media and industry analysts got the chance to experience Gigabit LTE first-hand on T-Mobile’s network through several live demonstrations of real-world applications. More significantly, they witnessed how Gigabit LTE devices help increase network capacity and reduce congestion, translating to a better performance for all users — even those with non-Gigabit LTE devices.
The event began with a live, on stage, speed test, using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, powered by the Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, with an integrated X16 LTE modem. The test measured a 611 Mbps download speed, out of a theoretical peak speed of 800 Mbps (based on the available spectrum in that location).
While download peak speeds offer solid proof points about the capabilities of the Gigabit LTE devices and networks, the event focused on experiencing the many benefits of Gigabit Class LTE through live demonstrations.
First, we demonstrated 360-degree, 60 FPS 4K VR video streamed simultaneously on five DayDream VR headsets, each with a Gigabit LTE-enabled smartphone inside. These immersive videos, provided by NextVR, featured highlights from major sporting events, and represented bandwidth-intensive content for a typical mobile network. Our demonstration showed how the videos were streamed without any noticeable latency or distortion.
If you were to download your favorite TV shows just before you switch to airplane mode in your next flight, you’d appreciate the blazing speed of Gigabit LTE.
We then showed how Gigabit LTE devices can download movies and TV shows for offline play over T-Mobile’s network much faster than their non-Gigabit LTE counterparts. Four phones were attempting to download a 2.5 hour movie from Netflix. Two phones were Gigabit LTE capable devices — the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30 — and two were earlier generations of those phones (the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the LG V20). The Note 8 and V30 completed the download in half the time of their predecessors. One industry analyst noted: “If you were to download your favorite TV shows just before you switch to airplane mode in your next flight, you’d appreciate the blazing speed of Gigabit LTE.”
Attendees then experienced the superior access to cloud storage that Gigabit LTE supports in a productivity-focused scenario. Two laptops were set up side-by-side — one tethered to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and the other to a non-Gigabit LTE phone. A Google Drive folder was shared with both laptops simultaneously, and attendees witnessed how much faster the Galaxy Note 8-connected laptop synchronized the shared folder to disk.
Finally, attendees experienced an impressive capacity demonstration showing how Gigabit LTE can help reduce network congestion and increase the total data rates served to consumers. On one side of the table, there were six Gigabit LTE devices, and on the other side, a row of six non-Gigabit LTE devices. First, we ran a speed test on the six non-Gigabit devices, and observed a total speed, or sector capacity, of 266Mbps with average data rate of 45Mbps on each device.
Then, we replaced three of the non-Gigabit devices with Gigabit LTE ones. The result showed a total sector capacity of 410Mbps — an increase of 50 percent in network capacity. The average data rates of the three non-Gigabit devices went from 45Mbps to 60Mbps demonstrating how Gigabit LTE devices can improve speeds even for users with devices that don’t support Gigabit LTE.
Lastly, we replaced all six devices with Gigabit LTE devices. The total aggregate sector capacity went up to 675Mbps – a stunning 150 percent increase.
The demonstration exhibited that with Gigabit LTE everyone can benefit: users with Gigabit devices experience faster speeds, operators get increased capacity, and networks have less congestion which ultimately means better service for all users — even those with devices that don’t support Gigabit LTE.
As we continue to break through the Gigabit barrier and further enhance network capacity with our second-generation Gigabit LTE modem — the Snapdragon X20 — we are also building a solid foundation for 5G networks, presenting an early glimpse of what consumers can expect in the future, and allowing app developers to experiment with next-generation experiences today.