Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem promises a taste of the 5G good life in 2018

Qualcomm has revealed a handful of its plans for MWC 2018, which will include live demonstrations of its emerging 5G technologies and the all-new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem.

The Snapdragon X24 chip is set to be the world’s first Cat 20 modem to make it out into the wild and will boast “fiber-like” internet download speeds of up to 2Gbps. It’s intended to give us a glimpse of the kind of mobile broadband experience we can expect with the arrival of commercial 5G in 2019, as well as being the first 7nm chip to break cover.

The X24 is Qualcomm’s third-generation Gigabit LTE modem and will offer a 2x speed boost over its first-generation chip, the company says, enabling devices to better support intensive mobile functionality, including 360-degree video, ‘instant apps’, and richer entertainment including Ultra HD mobile streaming.

Crucially, we now know that the X24 will be the basis for the LTE component of the forthcoming Snapdragon X50 modem, which is what will feature in 5G devices from 2019, as well as Qualcomm’s next premium SoC, which is likely to be announced in late-2018 and called the Snapdragon 855, based on the company’s current naming conventions.

Demonstrating it live at MWC with partners including Ericsson, NETGEAR and Telstra, Qualcomm has already started sampling the Snapdragon X24 to its OEM partners and tells us that the first X24-equipped devices will be commercially available by the end of 2018 – what odds on the Galaxy Note 9, we wonder?

Check out the following video for an idea of what to expect.

Related: Snapdragon 845 specs, benchmarks and phones

Alongside this, Qualcomm will also be showcasing its 5G Near Radio (NR) technologies, having recently completed successful trials at its San Diego, California headquarters. The firm’s 5G efforts are central to the new 5G NR standard being developed by the 3GPP, which is a telecoms industry umbrella group overseeing the release of the next-gen spectrum. This will be the first time such a demo takes places in the public eye.

As well as featuring in consumer mobile devices, 5G is expected to aid the development of fully autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things ecosystem, among other things.

More business-facing announcements set for MWC including the introduction of new Qualcomm wireless edge services for its enterprise base, and the announcement of a new LTE IoT software development kit.

We’ll be live on the ground at MWC reporting on Qualcomm and all the other tech giants attending this year’s show – including being front and centre at the big Galaxy S9 launch – so stay tuned for the latest news as it happens.

Mobile World Congress 2018 takes place in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to March 1.

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