US-based semiconductor company Qualcomm has started sampling Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem and devices makers are expected to launch their new devices by the end of 2018.
So, how does this new, bonkers-fast LTE modem fit in with Qualcomm's strategy to launch its X50 5G modem next year? Qualcomm expects its 2Gbps modems to pull down real-world averages between 200 and 600 megabytes per second, or Mbps. 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.
"In 2017, NETGEAR and Telstra launched the world's first commercial Gigabit LTE device and we are pleased to work with Telstra, Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson for the next generation of unparalleled mobile devices". The fact that Qualcomm showcased 1.24 Gbps speed in October at the company's 4G - 5G summit in Hong Kong and as soon as four months later it managed to demonstrate the same modem with 4.51 Gbps speed. That's because "5G starts us off at 5 times faster than the best 4G networks available today", said Sherif Hanna, Qualcomm's director of product marketing for 4G and 5G products. "We're excited to demonstrate these advancements at Mobile World Congress and showcase how our technologies are created to expand the reach of 5G NR to new industries, new deployment and business models, and new ecosystem participants".
The Snapdragon X24 chip is set to be the world's first Cat 20 modem to make it out into the wild and will boast "fiber-like" internet download speeds of up to 2Gbps.
The new modem follows the 1.2Gbps X20, which is the modem in the Samsung Galaxy S9's Snapdragon 845 chipset. By being able to support both 5G and super-fast LTE connections, devices will be able to more seamlessly make that tradeoff between 5G and LTE since the speeds will - hopefully - be more comparable.
It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices.
System capacity is further improved through support of Full Dimension MIMO, a form of massive MIMO that is foundational to 5G, reports Qualcomm.
"As the world's first announced Gigabit LTE modem to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, created to provide enhanced mobile broadband and deliver an extremely important gigabit coverage layer for commercial 5G networks and mobile devices that are expected to start launching in 2019", said Serge Willenegger, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's wireless division. In the uplink, Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3x20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.