Qualcomm, doubling down on 4G LTE before moving onto 5G

It is said that the arc of a fledged industry displays its best products before they become out-of-date. This is conveyed as an “S-curve” where following a burst of investment and innovation, a particular category plateaus to clear a path for what’s to come.

The world is in a stage for 4G mobile service best known as LTE. Though we are on the verge to soon see its successor (5G), which can ship in phones and everything else that connects to the internet, however, one supplier of LTE products, Qualcomm, wants to bring 4G close to 5G as possible before it moves forward.

Qualcomm is announcing the X24 to stop the notion that LTE still has a lot of life yet. It is the first modem to support 2Gbps speeds which is double that of the X16 of today and is built on an enormously power-efficient 7nm process.

To achieve the 2Gbps speed, the chip is able to combine up to seven connections at a time known as the 7x carrier aggregation with a lot of potential combinations of both unlicensed and licensed spectrum to find the speeds. This is a move to allow carriers all over the world in their various spectrums to maximize spectrum use to reach top speeds.

We may not see these achievements till 2019, putting the X24’s debut at the turning point of the X50’s, Qualcomm’s first 5G modem. However, the company is looking beyond its initial spec 5G spec finalized in December. The elaborateness of LTE networks are inconspicuous to a lot of people but carriers around the world purchase backhaul and tower equipment from various companies. Qualcomm will demo the first step towards a 5G network at the MWC as well as innovative ways that carriers can share spectrum to advance a more efficient internet in general. As 5G is anticipated to be debuted in 2019 with a potential speed of about 5Gbps in the millimeter wave spectrum range, there will be need for efficiency to ensure that the bandwidth is utilized properly.

5G won’t be limited to mobile broadband and phones, according to Qualcomm, its chips will be ubiquitous in industrial enterprises – private 5G networks are going to be big, and have the potential to replace wired ethernet setups in many business environments – and also in cars, which will need a connection to the internet on the way to autonomy.

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