It’s a good thing phone carriers are offering unlimited data plans again, because Qualcomm has just unveiled a new cellular modem that would let you blow through some data caps in a matter of seconds.
At least, it could theoretically let you do that.
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X20 LTE modem leverages a few different technologies to allow download speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. But it’s unlikely that most wireless carriers will offer speeds that high anytime soon.
Qualcomm does note that “several leading OEMs and operators” do plan to launch “Gigabit LTE devices and networks” around the globe. But that’s still very much a work in progress… as is the X20 chip.
Samples are shipping now, but you’ll have to wait until 2018 before you’ll be able to buy a phone with a Snapdragon X20 LTE modem.
While mobile companies and wireless carriers prep for next-gen “5G” technology, the X20 modem still uses the 4G LTE standard. But Qualcomm says it supports 20 percent faster speeds than the company’s previous-gen X16 LTE modem, since the new model can handle up to 12 data streams simultaneously, with download speeds of up to 100 Mbps per stream.
It also supports dual SIM VoLTE (voice over LTE), allowing users to make high-quality voice calls over two different data networks without ejecting a SIM card to switch between networks.
In related news, Intel just announced its first Gigabit LTE modem, the XMM 7560. But Intel’s model tops out at speeds of “only” 1 Gbps.