Qualcomm to help bring Category 20 devices to market this year

News

Qualcomm has started sampling its new Category 20 LTE modem to device manufacturers, which will support speeds of up to 2GBps.

The chipset maker said the product, its eighth LTE multimode modem and third generation Gigabit LTE product, would pave the way for 5G New Radio products. It expects the first devices to be powered by the chipset by the end of this year.

The new Snapdragon X24 can support up to seven times carrier aggregation and 4x4MIMO on up to five different bands on downlink. It supports 3x20MHZ carrier aggregation and 256QAM on the uplink.

Qualcomm said it also delivers power efficient connectivity through 60MHz envelope tracking and an advanced radio frequency transceiver. The chipset will support concurrent multi-constellation multi-frequency global navigation satellite systems, which it said could deliver highly accurate location-based services.

It said equipment manufacturers will benefit from using the chip by offering 360-degree video, cloud computing, entertainment and "instant apps" on their devices. Operators will also be able to use their spectrum more efficiently while delivering high speeds to consumers.

Serge Willenegger, SVP and General Manager, 4G/5G and Industrial IOT, Qualcomm Wireless GmbH, said: “As the world’s first announced Gigabit LTE modem to achieve speeds of up to 2GBps, the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem sets a major mobile industry milestone, designed 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.

“Further expanding on the use of 4x4 and LAA capability, the Snapdragon X24 packs a powerful array of the most advanced 4G LTE technologies commercially available, helping mobile operators to fully mobilise their spectrum assets and maximise the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, and mobile device makers to offer consumers a tangible glimpse of our 5G future."

David McQueen, Research Director at ABI Research, said: "This latest addition to Qualcomm’s modem stable is clearly a continuation of the company’s drive to take the industry closer to 5G, while also significantly widening the technology gap from its competing suppliers.

"However, while there are obvious benefits afforded to mobile operators implementing such technology, it will be challenging for smartphone OEMs to design handsets that can support so many bands and antennas.

"Moreover, with no X24 deals yet announced with the OEMs, it will be interesting to see how quickly handsets will become available in markets that carry the technology."