The first gigabit LTE network will go live in Australia.
Qualcomm has announced that it is partnering with Netgear, Ericsson, and Australian carrier Telstra in delivering the world's first gigabit LTE device and network. Telstra has worked with Ericsson in developing the gigabit-ready network, which will go live before the end of the year.
Simultaneously, Netgear is rolling out a mobile hotspot called the Mobile Router MR1100 that can hit gigabit speeds by leveraging 3x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256-QAM modulation. The hotspot is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 gigabit LTE modem, and will work on Telstra's network. Other carriers are also expected to start offering gigabit speeds over the course of the next 12 months.
Qualcomm has also mentioned that the next-generation Snapdragon 800 SoC will feature the X16 modem, making it compatible with gigabit-class networks. The SoC is expected to make its debut in the first half of next year.
Even though the X16 modem has gigabit connectivity, chances are you won't be able to hit those speeds in the real world. In Qualcomm's simulated testing, the company saw average speeds of 112Mbps to 307Mbps on devices with the X16 modem, going up to 533Mbps. That still translates to a significant increase over the current average of 19.61Mbps in the U.S.
Enabling real-world speeds in excess of 100Mbps allows for seamless access to cloud storage services, as well as immersive VR experiences in 4K.
Qualcomm is also launching the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which works on the 28GHz millimeter-wave spectrum. The device supports 8x100MHz carrier aggregation to deliver 800MHz of spectrum, enabling download speeds of up to 5Gbps. Qualcomm will begin sampling Snapdragon X50 in the second half of 2017, with commercial availability slated for 2018.