A Device Supporting Gigabit LTE will be Launching This Year

Qualcomm, Netgear, Ericsson and Australian carrier Telstra has announced the first product capable of supporting gigabit LTE, a wireless technology able to support speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The mobile hotspot will use different technologies like carrier aggregation in order to reach very high speeds. The hotspot will run on the LTE networks Telstra already has and will be made available before the year ends.

The processor of Qualcomm’s 800 series smartphone will be equipped with an X16 modem capable of supporting gigabit LTE speeds. This next-generation smartphone will be available in the first half of 2017. Currently, the X12 only supports up to 600Mbps maximum – a limitation the X16 will significantly change when it officially launches. Once the X16 modem is in smartphones, Qualcomm expects carriers in every market to start offering gigabit LTE service.

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Then again, a 1GBps at this point is still not realistic. The device is capable of supporting it but early tests show that speeds just average from 112 to 307Mbps, with a 533Mbps peak. It’s clearly not a full gigabit but users will be able to experience faster service than what they currently have.

In addition, Qualcomm isn’t just stopping with this gigabit LTE announcement. They have also announced the Snapdragon X50, their first 5G-compatible modem capable of supporting speeds up to 5Gbps and is expected to be available in 2018.

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The X50 modem will use the 28GHz millimeter wave band and will also make use of technologies such as beam forming and beam tracking in order to get to those speeds. The antennas for 5G are smaller than that of 4G but a series of 16, 24 or 32 pieces can be used rather than one 4G antenna.

The first X50 products are expected in the first half of 2018 with the Winter Olympics in Korea being the testing site for 5G technology.

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