Verizon was able to fulfill the promise of Gigabit LTE, if only for a short period at an Ericsson Lab. The company used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 LTE modem to ramp up to Category 18 speeds with a recorded download rate of 1.07Gbps.
Combining multiple technologies, such as 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM, and using only three 20MHz low-frequency spectrum bands (Frequency Division Duplex), it was able harness 12 LTE beams to achieve the result. Licensed Assisted Access spectrum, where all carriers are free to play with, also helped as well.
The X20 modem is scheduled to appear on the next big Qualcomm SoC, likely the Snapdragon 845. We don’t know which manufacturer will get the coveted position of having the first smartphone out with the chip, but at least we know it won’t be the iPhone… at least, not yet.
Earlier this month, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Verizon tested a limited commercial deployment of Gigabit LTE in Boca Raton, Florida, with similar constraints and a Snapdragon X16 LTE modem (that’s on the Snapdragon 835) and got 953Mbps down.
Of course, traffic changes everything.