Qualcomm modem chipsets to feature LTE Advanced, carrier aggregation

BARCELONA, Spain--The first Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Gobi modem chipsets to support LTE Advanced will begin sampling in the fourth quarter of 2012 and will feature carrier-aggregation capability.

The MDM9225 and MDM9625 will support LTE carrier aggregation and true LTE Category 4 with data rates of up to 150 Mbps, said Qualcomm. The MDM9225 chipset supports LTE and WCDMA devices and the MDM9625 chipset supports LTE, WCDMA and CDMA2000 devices.

LTE allocations worldwide span multiple spectrum bands, so Qualcomm's chipsets are being designed out of the gate with support for more than 40 bands, enabling OEMs to select the specific bands they need to serve depending upon the region in which they plan to sell product, said Serge Willenegger, Qualcomm vice president of product management, speaking at a press conference during the Mobile World Congress.

The carrier aggregation feature is a crucial feature for LTE Advanced products, he noted, because the bands being allocated for LTE rarely provide an operator with 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum. Therefore, operators will be unable to fully exploit LTE and Category 4 data rates unless they engage in carrier aggregation to combine spectrum assets, Willenegger said.

The MDM9225 and MDM9625 chipsets represent Qualcomm's third generation of LTE modem chipsets. In addition to supporting both Release 10 LTE-Advanced and HSPA+ Release 10 (including 84 Mbps dual-carrier HSDPA), they are backward compatible with other standards including EV-DO Advanced, TD-SCDMA and GSM. The chipsets integrate seven different radio access modes on a single baseband chip: cdma2000 1X and EV-DO, GSM/EDGE, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD.

Qualcomm has also put together a fifth-generation Gobi embedded data connectivity reference platform, which it says is the first to support multiple LTE bands on a single device. The company is offering different reference configurations based on region due to the clusters of spectrum bands in each and is also expanding its support for major operating systems, including Windows 8.  

Prior to the show, Qualcomm announced it was expanding its well-received Gobi modem brand for notebooks and e-readers to cover the company's complete modem product portfolio, including modems for consumer, enterprise and M2M applications. "There are LTE modems, and there are Gobi LTE modems," said Willenegger.

In other LTE news, Qualcomm joined with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) at MWC to demonstrate LTE Broadcast, the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) platform. Designed as scalable solution for delivery of high-bandwidth, high-demand, live, premium and software content LTE Broadcast enables mobile operators to adjust coverage and capacity dynamically as needed, allowing for more efficient spectrum and network use. That platform is slated for commercialization in 2013, said Willenegger.

For more:
- see this Qualcomm release
- see this Slashgear post

Related articles:
Qualcomm moves Gobi into LTE market
Report: AT&T searching for spectrum from Dish, Leap, MetroPCS
What's so great about LTE Advanced? (Lots, actually)

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