Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sampling started

Posted February 14, 2018

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is said to be the first Category 20 LTE modem to support speeds of up to 2 Gbps. "We were the first network operator in the world to enable 1 Gbps LTE on a commercial mobile network and we are pleased to be working with Qualcomm Technologies, Ericsson and NETGEAR to leverage these network investments to develop the world's first 2 Gbps LTE live demonstration to meet the ever-growing demand for data and speed from our customers". It supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink as well as 4x4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers for a theoretical total of up to 20 concurrent LTE streams. The most advanced networks only offer three aggregated LTE carriers at the moment, so would struggle to get close to such a nippy download speed. However, there are several features that distinguish the latest development from all the existing mobile modems, including the Snapdragon X20 that will come into reality with the launch of the Snapdragon 845 SoC very soon.

The Snapdragon X24 Gigabit LTE mobile modem gives us an insight into the 5G world we'll start to see develop during and beyond the next year. X24-based phones that also have 5G modems will, ideally, smoothly ramp up and down between fast LTE and early 5G networks without experiencing the sort of "speed cliff" you feel when you drop from 4G LTE to EDGE, for instance. This technology advancement will enable faster mobile broadband speeds and greater network capacity for all subscribers.

The chipset giant has already started sampling the modem, with devices expected to hit the market by the end of 2018. Qualcomm expects its 2Gbps modems to pull down real-world averages between 200 and 600 megabytes per second, or Mbps.

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Qualcomm has announced what is likely its last LTE modem, the X24, capable of 2Gbps peak download speeds.

The latest x50 modem will operate at around 6 GHz frequency and will be able to maintain a stable 4G network and also connect to the 5G network. Today Qualcomm announced its newest LTE modem for smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress.

The X24 is still a 4G chip, but it features Full Dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) antenna technology that is a key foundation of future 5G NR (New Radio) networks - 5G NR is the global 5G standard. In the uplink, Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.

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Qualcomm's Product marketing director Sherif Hanna told Vulture South network services and devices are now expected in the first half of 2019, with a little snark for current "5G" demonstrations (without specifically naming the test at the Pyongchang Winter Olympics).

It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices.

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