Qualcomm's X24 Modem Pushes 4G LTE to 2Gbps

From PC Mag: The 4G/5G boundary is about to become really fuzzy. Today, Qualcomm announced the X24, a 4G LTE modem that can reach 2Gbps, or about half the maximum speed of its current 5G modem—and faster than the average 5G customer will receive for years.

The X24 does this through 7x carrier aggregation, bonding seven different 20MHz slices of radio spectrum and enabling 20 data streams at once. That will rely not only on licensed spectrum, but on carriers using Wi-Fi airwaves to transmit LTE data, which is called Licensed Assisted Access or LAA.

"Not a lot of operators have seven carriers," said Sherif Hanna, director of product marketing for modems at Qualcomm. "But what they do have is four or five, and now they can use those and add LAA as well on top of it." T-Mobile and AT&T are both implementing LAA in the US, Hanna said.

The modem can also do 4x4 MIMO on five carriers, which would also achieve 20 data streams. Operators like Australia's Telstra could do that, Hanna said.

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