Qualcomm announces Gobi chipset with LTE Advanced and Carrier Aggregation

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Qualcomm, well known for both its radio chipsets and processors, is announcing today that its latest Gobi chipsets -- the MDM9225 and MDM9625 -- are capable of LTE Advanced and Carrier Aggregation for higher data speeds. Carrier Aggregation (which isn't what you'd think) is a technology that allows the LTE radio in a device to pull down data across multiple bands of spectrum. This means that a device could simultaneously receive data over two (or more) different frequencies, combining it to give data speeds similar to what it would be over a larger chunk of a single frequency. For example, if a carrier has deployed 10MHz of spectrum in one frequency and 10MHz in another, the chip could combine those two and give users the same experience as if the carrier had deployed 20MHz of continuous spectrum in one band.

This is some nerdy radio stuff, but the end result is very important. There's a lot of spectrum out there, but it's not always allocated to each operator in the most efficient way. As networks transition between older 3G technologies and LTE, the spectrum may not be allocated in complete 20MHz blocks for use by a single network. These new Qualcomm chips let devices connect to these disjointed bands simultaneously.

These new MDM9x25 chips are manufactured using a 28nm (nanometer) process, and offer LTE Advanced with downlink speeds up to 150mbps on top of extensive 2G and 3G (including DC-HSPA+) support all in one chip. The process has already been shown off inside of a Sierra Wireless mobile hotspot, and Qualcomm says that OEM partners began sampling the chips in November of last year to make it into consumer products in late 2013.

Qualcomm Technologies Announces First 4G LTE Advanced Embedded Connectivity Platform for Mobile Computing Products

-- Newest Addition to Gobi Embedded Platform Increases LTE Data Speeds up to 150Mbps, Supports Carrier Aggregation, Provides Additional LTE Bands Worldwide --

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the industry's first 4G LTE Advanced embedded data connectivity platform for mobile computing devices, including thin form factor laptops, tablets and convertibles. The technology, based on Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi chipsets -- the MDM9225™ and MDM9625™ -- is the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with peak data rates of up to 150Mbps.

The introduction marks the arrival of Qualcomm Technologies' third-generation 4G LTE embedded chip, extends Qualcomm Technologies' modem technology leadership in mobile computing, and promises to deliver the fastest 3G and 4G LTE connections worldwide, while offering the broadest multi-region coverage via a single SKU solution. PC OEM customers can now select from a broad ecosystem of embedded module vendors that support a range of Gobi chipsets, from 3G solutions with speeds up to 42Mbps to cutting-edge 4G LTE Advanced. Coupled with new and innovative pay-as-you-go, no contract data plans, these products enable thinner, lighter and better connected mobile computing devices running leading operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows RT, and support a variety of modules for thin form factors, including PCI Express Mini Card, PCI Express M.2, and Land Grid Array. The Gobi MDM9x25 embedded platform also includes an embedded GPS receiver with GLONASS support for enhanced asset tracking, turn-by-turn navigation and other location-based services. Additionally, the Qualcomm RF360 Front End solution, providing expanded active band support integral to Qualcomm Technologies' single SKU LTE World Mode solution will also be included.

"Our broad portfolio of Gobi chipsets -- including 3G 42Mbps, 4G LTE and 4G LTE Advanced -- features industry-leading LTE multiband support for seamless connections to the fastest networks worldwide," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm Mobile Computing. "This latest addition can be easily implemented across enterprise, SMB and consumer industries allowing end users to download and stream rich HD content, access enterprise applications, share large files quickly and connect virtually wherever they are in the world."

Qualcomm Gobi MDM9x25 chipsets began sampling to module vendors last November and will enable commercial device launches in the second half of this calendar year.

"Fujitsu's mobile computing portfolio is adapting to meet the changing needs of today's workers. In addition to new and innovative form factors, connectivity is increasingly important, which is why we rely on Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi technology," said Akira Nagahara, senior vice president, Personal Systems Business Unit, Fujitsu Ltd. "Gobi modems enable us to offer the fastest LTE connections our customers demand across a range of devices, including the latest Fujitsu hybrid tablets and convertible laptops."

"Qualcomm Gobi embedded mobile broadband connectivity is a compelling solution for users of our ThinkPad laptops, further enhancing wireless access options to offer connection virtually anywhere" said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager, ThinkPad, Lenovo. "As the leading worldwide commercial notebook vendor, we're devoted to continually improving our products and thrilled to be bringing our customers even faster LTE connections thanks to Qualcomm Gobi's newest connectivity platform."

"Integrating Qualcomm Gobi technology into our industry-leading family of Toughbook mobile computers provides tremendous flexibility to our multi-carrier, multi-national customers by dramatically simplifying the ordering process and delivering an all-in-one solution for fast and reliable connectivity worldwide," said Victoria Obenshain, vice president, wireless, for Panasonic. "Today's global business environment demands flexible connection options and the ability to access the fastest 3G or 4G network regardless of your location."

"Huawei mobile broadband modules and data cards featuring Qualcomm Gobi technology are enabling business and consumer applications around the globe," said Steven Lau, vice president of mobile broadband product line, Huawei Device Company. "With the Qualcomm Gobi embedded platform now supporting LTE Advanced, we'll be able to offer our customers even faster and more versatile connectivity options worldwide."

"Fast and reliable 4G LTE connectivity is more important than ever as we expand our product portfolio to include embedded computing solutions," said Dr. Junhong Du, chairman, Longcheer. "As a Qualcomm Technologies customer, we count on Qualcomm Gobi technology to deliver our module customers the industry's best and most advanced mobile broadband connections worldwide."

"We congratulate Qualcomm Technologies with this first-to-market launch," said Rob Hadley, chief marketing officer, Novatel Wireless. "The latest Qualcomm Gobi platform with LTE Advanced and carrier aggregation supports the evolution of mobile broadband solutions delivering advanced technology and very fast connectivity.  The latest Gobi 9x25 platform will enhance our ability to bring the most advanced mobile broadband devices to the market and deliver the experience to connect seamlessly, anywhere, any time."

"Sierra Wireless is committed to offering its customers leading-edge wireless technologies to support the best possible performance for their devices and applications," said Dan Schieler, senior vice president, mobile computing, for Sierra Wireless. "Working with Qualcomm Gobi technology enables us to offer the fastest LTE mobile broadband speeds with higher data rates and support for carrier aggregation to improve performance as network operators move to LTE Advanced networks."

"The need for faster and more versatile mobile broadband connectivity has never been greater and we're excited to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to provide LTE Advanced support in the next-generation of USB modems, embedded modules, and mobile hot spots from ZTE," said Ding Ning, vice president, ZTE Corporation. "Business travelers and consumers alike will benefit from the consistently fast and reliable data feeds these products will deliver on Gobi technology."

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.