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Qualcomm’s new X55 modem supports 5G speeds up to 7Gbps, but also LTE

Qualcomm unveiled its second generation 5G modem the Snapdragon X55. It pushes wireless speeds up to 7Gbps, but more importantly it also supports 4G LTE as well as legacy technologies like 3G and 2G.

The X55 supports both flavors of 5G, mmWave (high-bandwidth) and sub-6GHz (better coverage). And it works on both TDD and FDD networks so it can be used in devices for the West and for China.

On a mmWave network, the modem can gulp up 8000MHz bandwidth (with 2×2 MIMO) for a whopping 7Gbps download and up to 3Gbps upload. In sub-6GHz mode it goes up to 100MHz bandwidth and 4×4 MIMO.

The X55 is fast even on old 4G LTE networks with speeds up to 2.5Gbps down and 0.3Gbps up. But looking towards the future, it supports Stand Alone mode for a time when only 5G networks are available (the X50 only supports Non-Stand Alone mode).

Note that by 2G and 3G support Qualcomm means both the GSM and CDMA versions, so EDGE, EV-DO, etc. are all covered by this single modem. Basically, it can work on just about any cell network.

The advantage of having the X55 support older networks is that it can be connected to a chipset without a modem. Devices with the X50 rely on the chipset’s LTE support, for example (only the Snapdragon 855 so far).

Anyway, expect to see devices with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem in late 2019.

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