& cplSiteName &

When Is a Gig Not a Gig? When It's Gigabit LTE!

Dan Jones

So-called "Gigabit LTE" networks and devices will typically offer download speeds in the range of 100 Mbit/s to 300 Mbit/s rather than hitting a gigabit, but that's still about three times faster than many 4G phones on networks today.

Talking to Light Reading Friday afternoon, Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) talked about a network simulation system it has put together to judge the performance of Gigabit LTE (a.k.a. Cat 16) in the real world. The simulation is of ten cell sites, each with three sectors, simulating around 800 users with a variety of LTE devices on the network in a diversity of radio signal conditions.

This means the performance is more like real life, rather than the near-gigabit peak speeds achievable in the lab. Qualcomm says support for three-carrier (60MHz) spectrum-band aggregation; support of the 256-QAM modulation scheme; and 4x4 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antennas on the network are necessary for Gigabit LTE.

Under less than optimum radio conditions on a loaded network simulation, Qualcomm found that Gigabit LTE devices hit around 98 Mbit/s downloads. That's around three times faster than the cat 6 LTE device you might well be reading this article on now -- on the same network simulation.

Sherif Hanna, staff manager of technical marketing at Qualcomm, tells Light Reading that he expects "a range of 100 megabits a second to 300 megabits," to be about the norm for Gigabit smartphones and devices. The lower range will happen when users are doing things like FTP downloads, while higher speeds will be achieved with "bursty traffic," such as when a user is checking their Twitter feed, Hanna -- himself a heavy Twitter user -- notes.

There are six smartphones available worldwide and three in the US that support Gigabit LTE, as well as four other "data devices," such as hotspots. The most well-known at the moment are the Samsung Corp. S8 and S8+, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chip onboard.

Given the legal tussles between Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Qualcomm, it is still an open question as to whether the iPhone 8 will use the Snapdragon and support "Gigabit LTE." (See Qualcomm Takes Q3 Pummeling From Apple.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2017 | 9:17:35 AM
Metrics magic
But Dan, the case can be made for "gigabit" if we just tweak the standard metric a bit, as in 1 Gbit/10s.
User Rank: Blogger
7/29/2017 | 2:16:21 PM
Re: Metrics magic
if they can get a steady 100-mbit/s all the time that's still good enough for most anything you can throw at it right now.
Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Will China React to Latest US Huawei, ZTE Slapdown?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/16/2018
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed