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Qualcomm’s newest modem is a step toward the 5G future

by Danny Zepeda | February 14, 2018February 14, 2018 2:00 pm PST

Qualcomm is one of the leading companies trying to usher in a future where 5G networks are the standard. But before that future can arrive, we need to bum it on LTE for a while, and Qualcomm is making the wait time much more bearable with the introduction its new X24 LTE modem.

The X24 LTE modem, Qualcomm’s follow up to the X20, is its LTE modem of the future. It will work together with its recently announced X50 5G modem. Among the major upgrades the X24 offers is it is the first 7 nanometer semiconductor chipset on the market.

According to Qualcomm, the X24 modem is capable of getting speeds up to 2Gbps. But that’s in perfect circumstances. Real world usage pegs that number at a fifth: about 400 to 500mbps. 

An issue that will plague 5G networks is its reception through millimeter waves. A direct line to the connection will yield normal results—insanely fast data speeds—but anything so much as a wall blocking the signal and it will drop. Qualcomm’s X24 LTE modem is the stopgap that will take the place of 5G when it hits those rough patches, delivering a great LTE data connection.

Smartphones will come equipped with both the X50 and X24 modems: one for the 5G network and the other for the LTE network.

Qualcomm says the transition from the 5G network to LTE network will be seamless, happening in a few milliseconds. When you’re not getting gigabit speeds, you’ll be covered with LTE.

The first devices to feature the X24 LTE modem will be IoT devices, debuting later this year. The first mobile phones to include the modem will arrive in early 2019, when the first devices with the X50 modem are also expected to debut. Perfect timing.


Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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