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Qualcomm’s new X55 5G modem can hit 7Gbps

Posted: 20 February 2019 3:32 pm

Don't expect those speeds right away, however.

Ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Qualcomm has announced details of its second generation 5G integrated modem. The Qualcomm X55 will be the successor to the Qualcomm X50 5G modem that's expected to power most – but not all – of 2019's 5G phones.

Where the X55 steps it up is in speed and band compatibility, with claimed downstream speeds of up to 7Gbps and upload rates of up to 3Gbps on 5G networks.

The range of 5G is still something of a concern for carriers, but the X55 won't be a slouch in that regard either, as it's also a category 22 LTE device, capable of up to 2.5Gbps download speeds. You'd need a carrier that supports those kinds of speeds, mind you, although Telstra's 4G deployments are already getting close to that.

Qualcomm also announced a new antenna module for the Qualcomm X55, the QTM525. It's a single chip solution built on the 14nm scale, essentially a smaller and more powerful version of the QTM052 found in the X50 module.

All sounds good and speedy, right? Well, not so fast... literally. Qualcomm's announced the new chips today, but they're only in the sampling process with its customers, with expected availability in "late 2019".

What that means in practical terms is that the X55 is extremely unlikely to be in any consumer devices this year, but it could well be the talk of the show for MWC 2020 – by which time, Qualcomm will probably be busy announcing its successor.

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