Published in Mobiles

Qualcomm pushes Gigabit 4G beyond 1.2 Gbps

by on18 October 2017

Exclusive: Confirmed by Cristiano Amon and Alex Katouzian

Top Qualcomm executives have confirmed that the chipmaker is working out ways to take 4G beyond Snapdragon X20 speeds of 1.2Gbps.

You don't often get the chance to chat with the two critical guys behind Qualcomm's SoCs and technologies. When Fudzilla talked to Cristiano Amon executive vice president Qualcomm and QCT president and  SVP and general manager of the mobile business unit at Qualcomm, Alex Katouzian, we had to make it count. 

Amon runs all QCT, Snapdragon and all SoC and technology stuff and Katouzian runs all the mobile stuff and oversees the product roadmaps and product management functions, including Snapdragon, MSM, APQ solutions as well as software, multimedia and even reference platforms – everything but the licensing.

One of the many questions was if we will see the 4G going beyond Snapdragon X20 speeds of 1.2Gbps and we got a clear answer that things in the future will be even faster.

Qualcomm is talking about 40 courier/operators around the world embracing the Gigabit LTE, and ten phones support Snapdragon X16 modems capable of 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps download speeds). Qualcomm announced a Snapdragon X20 modem capable of 1.2 Gbps speeds, and it doesn’t plan to stop there.

The question about the future of 4G was inspired by the idea that Qualcomm already speaks about Snapdragon X50 5G New Radio based phones launching in 2019. Some companies might stop at slower 4G speeds. Intel has yet to begin its 1 Gbps solution in 2018 while Huawei recently announced its 1.2 Gbps capable SoC following up a few quarters after 1.2 Gbps capable Snapdragon X20 1.2 Gbps capable modem. Samsung has 1 Gbps capable modems inside of its Exynos 8895 chipset. Some big players including MediaTek are not even close to 1Gbps speeds as they best they can do in late 2017 is a disappionting 450 Mbps.

5G relies heavily on the 4G in the sub 6 GHz bands currently dominated by the 4G networks. If you don’t have a millimeter wave coverage, your 5G phone will seamlessly fall back on the Gigabit LTE capable 4G network. 

They way Qualcomm sees the future of the first generation of 5G phones is that the faster then 4G network is, the better the overall experience will be. So, if you fall back from a few Gbps 5G network to a 1.2 Gbps or a few more hundred Mbps faster, your experience would not be jeopardized. 

If there are two words we picked up from Cristiano is higher bandwidth and the lower latency. That is the key to 5G and with fast 4G, experience. Investment in faster 4G will continue even when the 5G launches and before 5G becomes a reality in 2019.

We did touch other topics including 5G, Mesh – Self Organising WiFi, Automotive, ADAS, NXP, Snapdragon on Windows and a few others topics, so stay tuned.

Last modified on 07 November 2017
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