Feb 14, 2018
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
The excitement continues to build as we approach 5G launch in 2019. Qualcomm Technologies aims to put 5G smartphones in your hands by the first half of next year. In anticipation, operators are strengthening the Gigabit LTE foundation on which their future 5G networks will be built.
Gigabit LTE will provide high-speed coverage in areas where 5G signals aren't available and a consistency of experience for users of 5G devices that have Gigabit multimode capability, like those utilizing the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem family. Additionally, Gigabit LTE improves network capacity and provides an enhanced mobile experience.
Gigabit LTE continues to gain momentum as more operators and mobile device OEMs jump on board. Today, 45 operators in 26 countries have embraced the technology and 17 commercially available devices are powered by Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems, making Gigabit LTE a smashing success.
We broke several barriers since Qualcomm Technologies announced its first Gigabit LTE modem in 2016, yet we continue to push the modem performance envelope. Today, Qualcomm Technologies announced its third generation Gigabit LTE solution: The Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem. It represents several significant mobile industry firsts:
The first announced modem to support Category 20 LTE download speeds of up to a blistering 2 Gbps
The first announced 7nm chip, the most advanced commercially available silicon manufacturing process
The first announced LTE modem to support downloads on up to 20 independent spatial streams, including 4x4 MIMO on up to 5 aggregated carriers
The first announced LTE modem to support up to 7x carrier aggregation
What does this unprecedented feature set mean to you? It means that you are closer than ever to experiencing 5G-like speeds today.
The improved network capacity and real-world download speed that Snapdragon X24 offers will enable a new generation of applications and services, such as enjoying delay-free 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) VR videos, immersive gaming, and downloading movies in 4K resolution and higher in just a few seconds – for both single users as well as many users sharing the same cell site.
All of this is delivered by a tiny chip that’s engineered to provide fantastic power efficiency for your device, thanks to the cutting-edge 7nm process on which it is built.
But blazing-fast, real-world download speeds alone do not explain the true significance of the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem. Featuring more combinations of LTE carriers, 4x4 MIMO configurations, and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams compared to previous generations, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem will help expand the global Gigabit LTE coverage footprint by accommodating a much wider range of configurations in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. The true power of the Snapdragon X24 LTE lies in its ability to help mobile operators fully mobilize their spectrum assets and maximize the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, while extending the capabilities of Gigabit LTE as the foundation for multi-mode 5G devices and networks.
For example, let’s consider three operators with different spectrum holdings in our previous generations. The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem can help operator 1 utilize more of its spectrum assets and aggregate additional LTE carriers to achieve gigabit speeds. It can help operator 2 enjoy higher capacity and better spectral efficiency by adding more MIMO layers on their existing spectrum and achieve gigabit speeds on fewer aggregated carriers. Finally, Snapdragon X24 can allow operator 3, who may have very little licensed spectrum to use freely available unlicensed spectrum, with License Assisted Access (LAA) technology to offer its customers gigabit speeds.
Check out these three different scenarios that show the gain of X24 vs X16 and X20.
Scenario 2: High-order aggregation over MIMO spatial streams
The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is packed with an array of other important features. It supports Category 20 LTE upload speeds of up to 316 Mbps, boosted by 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation and up to 256-QAM. Snapdragon X24 also offers additional capacity to mobile operators through support of Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO), a Massive MIMO technology that is foundational to future 5G NR networks.
Additionally, Snapdragon X24 supports the concurrent multi-constellation, multi-frequency global navigation satellite system (GNSS), which is optimized to provide highly accurate location positioning required in applications such as autonomous driving and V2X.
When can you get your hands on Snapdragon X24? We’ve already begun sampling it to our customers and we expect the first mobile devices powered by the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem to be available by end of 2018.
We’re very excited to show a live demonstration of the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem’s eye-popping 2 Gbps download speeds at Mobile World Congress Barcelona in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra, and NETGEAR. If you’re attending, be sure to visit our booth (Hall 3, Stand #3E10) to witness our latest breakthrough. We also demonstrated the blazing speed of 2Gbps with our partner Nokia. Check it out here - you don’t want to miss it.