Telstra, Ericsson, Netgear test Qualcomm’s new 2-Gbps LTE modem

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Image credit: Casimiro PT /

Qualcomm has released a blitz of announcements ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018, including a new LTE modem capable of 2-Gbps speeds that’s also been lab-tested by Telstra, Ericsson and Netgear.

The new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, revealed on Thursday, is the world’s first announced Category 20 LTE modem supporting up to 2 Gbps download speeds – twice the speed of Qualcomm’s first generation Gigabit LTE modem – and the first-announced chip built on a 7 nanometer FinFET process, Qualcomm says.

The Snapdragon X24 supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink, as well as 4×4 MIMO on up to five aggregated LTE carriers for a total of up to 20 concurrent spatial LTE streams. This allows devices to utilize all spectrum assets available from a mobile operator, whether in licensed spectrum, or with License Assisted Access (LAA). Additional system capacity improvements are made possible through support of full dimension multi-input multi-output (FD-MIMO). In the uplink, the Snapdragon X24 supports Category 20 upload speeds, 3×20 MHz CA and up to 256-QAM.

In the Telstra demo, the Snapdragon X24 was put to the test inside a Netgear Nighthawk mobile router. The demo also utilized Ericsson’s Baseband 6630, Radio 4415, and the latest Gigabit LTE network software. The demo aggregated five 20-MHz LTE carriers (100 MHz in total) across three different frequency bands, with each carrier using 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM.

Ericsson, Telstra, Qualcomm Technologies and Netgear will be showcasing a similar demo live at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Meanwhile, Qualcomm released several other announcements on Thursday:

  • Qualcomm said it has demonstrated advanced 5G technologies for the next phase of the global 5G NR standard being developed by 3GPP. The demos, which occurred live at an event in San Diego on February 7, included 5G NR spectrum sharing technologies based on Spatial Domain Multiplexing (SDM) and Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) concepts, wireless PROFINET industrial Ethernet over 5G NR, and 5G NR-based Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology for autonomous driving.
  • Qualcomm announced a new LTE IoT software development kit for its MDM9206 LTE IoT global multimode modem. The new SDK is designed to assist OEMs, application and solution developers, new IoT entrants and other non-traditional ecosystem players in the creation of new cellular-enabled IoT applications, products and solutions.
  • Qualcomm also announced “wireless edge services” – a set of trusted software services designed to meet the requirements of new enterprise and industrial IoT customers to securely provision, connect and manage long life-cycles of billions of intelligent wireless devices through their cloud platforms. Qualcomm wireless edge services software is expected to be exposed through new APIs and available on select Qualcomm chipsets – initially the MDM9206, MDM9628 and QCA4020 – and later on, select Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms.
  • While they were at it, Qualcomm also announced that it met with Broadcom representatives for two hours and “listened carefully to what they had to say”. The Qualcomm board will promptly meet to discuss the meeting and to determine the next steps,

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