Telstra, Ericsson, Qualcomm and NETGEAR achieve 2Gbps speeds in live demo

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At its 5G day yesterday (US time), Qualcomm laid out other 5G NR developments on its drawing board, including licensed-assisted access (LAA) for sharing spectrum between licensed and unlicensed applications; and Qualcomm's spectrum-share scheme called 5G MulteFire (a 5G version of a technology that uses unlicensed spectrum for LTE transmissions). "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".

Qualcomm has previously talked up the 5G X50 modem - boasting speeds up to 5Gpbs, but as it's a 5G chip it will appear in handsets after the X24. At the beginning, as carriers start to roll out their 5G networks, 4G LTE is going to still be important for many mobile users.

"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 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.

The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem has started sampling to customers with the first commercial devices expected by the end of 2018.

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American chip manufacturer Qualcomm has officially announced the Snapdragon x50 modem based on 5G technology. The X24 LTE will be an upgrade over X20 LTE modem found on company's flagship Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. The Snapdragon X24 supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4x4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers - both mobile industry firsts - for a total of up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams.

What makes the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem announcement interesting is certainly the 2Gbps download speeds claim.

System capacity is further improved through support of Full Dimension MIMO, a form of massive MIMO that is foundational to 5G, reports Qualcomm. On the upstream side, the modem supports 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation and 256-QAM for upload speeds up to 316 Mbps.

In the meantime, Qualcomm's freshly announced X24 LTE modem will support 2 gigabit-per-second speeds, the first of its kind to do so. And while most of us have marveled at the 10nm manufacturing process that is used for today's flagship smartphones, the Snapdragon X24 is built on a new 7nm FinFET process.

Qualcomm says that the fiber-like internet speeds that the X24 LTE modem is capable of will give us "mobile experiences such as immersive 360-degree video, connected cloud computing, rich entertainment and instant apps".

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