Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) announced that it has finalized testing of LTE Category 9, with the Snapdragon 810 set to be the first SoC to offer the modem. The chipset also comes with an eight-core 64-bit CPU and will be featured in high-end devices next year.
With LTE Category 9, customers can expect download speeds of 410 Mbit/sec, which is achieved through Carrier Aggregation. The technology involves combining different spectrums to provide more bandwidth.
Qualcomm has been testing the new modem with carrier EE, which was able to deliver the bandwidth by combining a 20MHz channel of 1800MHz spectrum with another 20MHz of 2.6GHz, followed by a third 15MHz channel of 2.6GHz . The major advantages touted by Qualcomm with the new modem are increased reliability and higher bandwidth, and while LTE Category 9 does come with a theoretical limit of 410 Mbit/sec, it would be difficult for users (at least in the next year or so) to reach anywhere near that figure in real-world testing conditions.
While Qualcomm is facing an increased pressure from the likes of MediaTek (TPE:2454) in the LTE segment, it still enjoys a majority of the market share when it comes to baseband modems. As for when LTE Category 9 enabled devices will be available to customers, it is possible that we’ll see the official announcements at the Mobile World Congress in February, followed by a launch sometime in the early second quarter of 2015.