Qualcomm 4G LTE Advancements Impact Tablets, Notebooks: MWC

The technology, based on Qualcomm’s MDM9225 and MDM9625 Gobi chipsets, enables data rates of up to 150M bps and could impact mobile device manufacturers.

BARCELONA, Spain — Wireless technologies specialist Qualcomm at the Mobile World Congress here announced two 4G Long Term Evolution advancements, including an embedded data connectivity platform for mobile computing devices like thin-form-factor laptops, tablets and convertibles, and successfully demonstrating LTE carrier aggregation and Category 4 data rates.

The technology, based on Qualcomm's MDM9225 and MDM9625 Gobi chipsets, supports LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with peak data rates of up to 150M bps and is designed to enable thinner, lighter and better connected mobile computing devices running operating systems such as Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft's Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms.

The Gobi MDM9x25 embedded platform also includes an embedded GPS receiver with support for Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), a radio-based satellite navigation system, offering enhanced asset tracking, turn-by-turn navigation and other location-based services. The Gobi MDM9625 and MDM9225 chipsets began sampling to vendors last November and are anticipated to enable commercial device launches with LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation later this year.

"This latest addition can be easily implemented across enterprise, SMB [small and midsize business] 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," Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm Mobile Computing, said in a statement.

LTE carrier aggregation is a new technology that combines radio channels within and across bands to increase user data rates, reduce latency and enable LTE (Cat 4) downlink throughput speeds of up to 150M bps for operators without 20MHz of continuous spectrum. The demonstration was powered by the third-generation Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE MDM9225 chipset (the first in the industry to support LTE carrier aggregation) Sierra Wireless' AirCard mobile hotspot and Ericsson network infrastructure.

The Qualcomm Gobi MDM9x25 chipset, manufactured using a 28-nanometer process, features significant improvements in performance and power consumption from previous generations. The chipset occupies a smaller design footprint and features significant enhancements with an industry-leading combination of carrier aggregation, extensive 2G/3G/4G frequency-band support, superior performance and a small footprint with low power consumption.

"4G LTE networks are being deployed around the world and across a wide range of spectrum holdings—more than 20 frequency bands and counting. The ability for multimode, multiband 3G/4G LTE mobile devices to connect across two or more LTE bands will be an important part of providing the best possible mobile data experience to consumers,"Amon continued. "Qualcomm is committed to the successful deployment of 4G LTE networks worldwide. The milestone we have achieved with Sierra Wireless and Ericsson is a key step toward making LTE carrier aggregation technology a commercial reality."