Verizon uses Qualcomm's new X20 modem to go beyond 1Gbps wireless speeds

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Verizon logo (Image credit: Android Central)

While 5G is a ways away, there's still some growing room for 4G LTE. Qualcomm has been field testing its X20 LTE modem, which will allow for a theoretical limit of 1.2Gbps download speeds on cellular connections. Now, Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm (opens in new tab) have announced they were able to achieve a stable 1.07Gbps in lab conditions.

The test uses a combination of 12 separate LTE streams on 3X carrier aggregation, along with 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM, technologies that all carriers, especially T-Mobile, have been touting in their quest to eke as much speed out of the current 4G LTE spec as possible.

From Verizon:

This 1.07 Gbps achievement builds on Verizon's recent announcement about Gigabit LTE with support for License Assisted Access (LAA). Also of significance, the 1.07 Gbps speed was achieved using only three 20MHz carriers of FDD (Frequency Division Duplex using separate transmit and receive frequencies) spectrum, achieving new levels of spectral efficiency for commercial networks and devices. These efficiencies will enable the delivery of the Gigabit class experience to more customers and lead to new wireless innovations.

The companies achieved the 1.07 Gbps industry milestone by using 12 simultaneous LTE streams, which allow for up to 20 percent increase in peak data rates and capacity with a corresponding improvement in average speeds. Ericsson's Radio System and LTE software, in concert with a mobile test device based on the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, enabled these high speeds.

In the lab, the 1.07 Gbps speeds were achieved using all licensed band combinations with:

  • 12 LTE streams with 3 cell carrier aggregation of FDD spectrum
  • 4x4 MIMO per carrier (multiple in, multiple out), which uses multiple antennae at the cell tower and on consumers devices to optimize data speeds
  • 256 QAM per carrier, which enables customer devices and the network to exchange information in large amounts, delivering more bits of data in each transmission, significantly enhancing data speeds

Even with this achievement, it will be a long time before consumers are able to see these high speeds. There are no consumer devices that include the Qualcomm X20 modem, but it may be included on next year's flagship devices, following more successful tests. Even then, carriers will need to upgrade the cellular towers before customers can take advantage of the super high speeds.

What would you do with a super fast LTE connection? Let us know down below!

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Tom Westrick
  • Hopefully with 5G the speeds don't tank like they have the past few years on verizon, even before they brought back unlimited plans.
  • Expect to pay MORE for 5G
  • well the weakness to having/providing unlimited data is you have data hogs who will abuse it and consume a lot of bandwidth ruining the high speed experience for everyone that's why in a way i prefer capped data as network integrity is better maintained
  • Difference now is throttling is written into the agreements so they can't pull100gb a month at full speeds. So thankfully the slowness hasn't been like it was in 3g unlimited days.
  • and? my home wifi will still suck.
  • I think 99% of people would be much more happy with current lte speeds BUT with much better coverage and cheaper service. How about they work on that....
  • I have 1gb fiber at home and every service throttles me anyway so not like theres a real benefit. Ea, blizz, steam.. I'm sure people's torrents work better and other p2p stuff? But happy to see technology advancing. Won't need home internet or Wi-Fi one day so will be interested how the ground game will shake out and the hardware guys who make routers switching to use 5g modems. Surely will tout that plus Wi-Fi for stronger cell signal.
  • If I understand correctly, you can burn your data limit in.. 0000010 milliseconds... Yeah...
  • What's the purpose!?
  • Imagine what that modem will do to battery life when they start putting them in cellphones.....everybody will be walking around with battery packs attached to there hips like old cellphone holsters, plugged into there phones tryna get juice lol...oh boy, completely nonsensical
  • What good will it do when you can't even achieve full speed on Verizon now and they are about to downgrade videos.
  • Wow. The future is faster data speeds...let us all complain.