LTE Category 6 offers twice as much bandwidth as LTE Category 4 and will be commercially available later this year.
Samsung and Qualcomm conducted the first live demonstrations of LTE Category 6 connectivity at the Mobile World Congress yesterday. The device used to showcase the new connectivity medium was a modified Galaxy Note 3 that featured Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 SoC and a Gobi 9×35 LTE modem.
The Galaxy Note 3 was able to achieve and sustain download speeds of 300Mbps. In contrast, current devices with LTE Category 4 modems can achieve downloads of 150 Mbps. Qualcomm was able to attain much faster bandwidth thanks to its fourth-generation Gobi 9×35 modem that will be used as standard in Qualcomm’s upcoming high-end hardware. The modem works by using a carrier aggregation technique in which it combines two 20 Mhz bands to double the available bandwidth. The modem is a successor to the Gobi 9×25 series that was widely used in Qualcomm’s LTE-enabled offerings last year.
The modem is also the first to be made on a 20 nm manufacturing process. It is designed to work on both LTE TDD and FDD standards. In addition, the modem is also backwards compatible with legacy cellular networks like WCDMA /MC-HSPA, CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev. B, GSM/EDGE and TD-SCDMA.
Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 805 at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The SoC features a new Adreno 420 GPU that is said to be 40 percent faster to the Adreno 330 featured in the Snapdragon 800. It is likely that Samsung will launch a Snapdragon 805 version of the Galaxy Note 3 on South Korea’s SK Telecom network later this year.