LONDON -- A new Market Data forecast from ABI Research expects the number of smartphones with Category 9 or Category 10 LTE modems, which enable mobile broadband speeds in the downlink of up to 450 Mbps, to reach 64 million in 2019. These devices are not expected to be widely available in the marketplace before the end of 2016.
Last week Qualcomm unveiled its Gobi 9x45, the first mobile modem to support these speeds. However, enabled smartphones are unlikely to hit the market before 3Q 2015 at the earliest. “During the same period last year, Qualcomm unveiled its Gobi 9x35 chip, a Category 6 modem with download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. To date, this chip has only been embedded to selected versions of some commercially available smartphones targeted at the Korean market,” said Malik Saadi, a Practice Director at ABI Research.
Category 10 modems are targeted at devices supporting at least 3 downlink (3DL) LTE Carrier Aggregation (CA) of up to 3x20 MHz 3GPP-approved channel combinations across various LTE bands and modes. 3GPP has been busy defining various 3DL LTE CA in recent quarters. The number of 3GPP work items dedicated to various 3DL inter-band and intra-band LTE combinations has reached 57 in 2Q 2014, 34 of which are targeted at the North American market.