OnePlus teams up with Qualcomm to launch 5G device in 2019

Qualcomm's new X24 LTE modem can reach a ridiculously fast 2 gbps

The X24, which is the world's first modem built on a 7nm FinFET manufacturing process, supports Category 20 LTE with 7X carrier aggregation and 4×4 MIMO on a maximum of five aggregated LTE carriers. Which, I think we can agree, are both desirable.

The X24 is Qualcomm's third-generation Gigabit LTE modem and will offer a 2x speed boost over its first-generation chip, the company says, enabling devices to better support intensive mobile functionality, including 360-degree video, "instant apps", and richer entertainment. The intricacies of today's LTE networks are invisible to most people, but carriers around the world purchase backhaul and tower equipment from many different companies, and they all have to seamlessly work together. The Snapdragon X24, on the other hand, is a future-ready modem - setting the ground for 5G connectivity.

Among the final flurry of announcements to come from Qualcomm's big 5G day was, curiously enough, a new 4G modem.

Qualcomm is predicting that commercial devices featuring the X24 will be available this year, despite reports that its largest customer may abandon its modems altogether. This, in turn, opens the door to better performance than what we have now, though since your network speeds aren't just dependent on the modem in your phone, it might be best not to expect 2Gbps speeds from phones utilizing an X24 at all times. As evidenced by our work with these distinguished OEMs from around the globe and as we demonstrated in 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies is utilizing our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem. The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem will be featured in a live demonstration at Mobile World Congress Barcelona in conjunction with Ericsson, Telstra and NETGEAR. LTE isn't going anywhere; it will be the primary vector for mobile data for several years yet and even when 5G starts to ramp up LTE will be the fallback technology on the frequent occasions when you're out of range of a 5G cell, or a leaf gets in the way of the signal or whatever.

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It's not a true 5G chip though, with the firm's already announced X50 chip capable of speeds up to 5Gbps, but it's likely to arrive in phones later than the X24.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is said to be the first Category 20 LTE modem to support speeds of up to 2 Gbps.

This feature allows smartphones with the new X24 LTE modem to utilise all spectrum assets available from a mobile operator, whether in the licensed spectrum or with License Assisted Access (LAA). There is also full-dimension Multi-Input Multi-Output (FD-MIMO) to give way to carriers to start sending their 5G signals. "At the same time, operators can gain flexibility in using their spectrum assets to offer blazing fast speeds to consumers, while also improving their network capacity and maximising spectral efficiency", said Qualcomm in its blog post.

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