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Broadcom Announces new M320 and M340 SoC Designs That Could Bring LTE to Budget Phones

February 10, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

One of the main things about budget smartphones that we all gripe about is the fact that it has no LTE connectivity. Just look at the Moto G, or any of the BLU smartphones. All of them support HSPA+ 42mbps, but none of them support LTE connectivity. Which is a shame, but we can understand why. The LTE modems are much more expensive, and when they are trying to keep costs down, that’s one of the first things to go.

On Monday, Broadcom announced two new System-on-Chips, the M320 and M340. These new chips have dual and quad core processors, respectively, and have radios capable of 150mbps LTE speeds. Which makes it much easier for those building budget devices to add LTE onto their spec sheet. Broadcom is expecting these chips to be put into sub-$300 phones like the Moto G. Broadcom has already integrated these chips with Android 4.4 KitKat, so OEMs don’t have to worry about support and drivers for these chips when putting them into their devices. According to Broadcom, they are already delivering sample units to “leading” manufacturers. So we could see some budget phones with these chips inside later this year. Although Broadcom hasn’t said exactly when they are coming.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see BLU announce a new phone, maybe the Life Pure 2 with LTE in addition to HSPA+ 42mbps? Right Now I feel as if the Life Pure is the perfect $350 phone, aside from the Nexus 5. But it doesn’t have LTE support. To me, that’s the only issue here. Hopefully that does change thanks to Broadcom, as I know they’d sell a lot more phones if they had LTE support. Imagine if the Moto G 2 had LTE support and still sold for $179-199? That would be pretty amazing too, right? How many of you are excited to see these new chips make it into budget smartphones? Let us know in the comments below.