Good news for consumers and device manufacturers alike. Qualcomm came up with a 4G LTE chip that will support a larger spectrum of frequencies. The chip will be available in devices in the second half of this year. Why is this good news?
Well, if you did some traveling around the world, you might have had problems with your phone connecting to a network. Consider this new technology the quad-band for the 3G networks.
The LTE frequency spectrum is fragmented. Very fragmented. In the US, AT&T and Verizon use the same 700MHz (band but different blocks of spectrum) T-Mobile uses the 17000 MHz band and the 1900MHz band. In Europe there are the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz and besides this some operators use the 3G spectrum to bring LTE to their networks, so 900 MHz and 2100 MHz are added to the list. In Asia, the main frequency used for LTE is the 1800 MHz band, while China uses the 2500 MHz and Japan the 2100 MHz band. A study conducted by the GSMA (GSM Association is an international committee that has the main goal of standardizing GSM communications) states that LTE adoption will accelerate by 2015 and along with this will come some 38 different frequencies for LTE world-wide.
That, in a nutshell is why a phone is sold with LTE capabilities on one network and only with 3G on other networks.
Coming back to our story, Qualcomm's solution, dubbed RF360 will address this exact issue. The chip will make possible for a phone to support about 40 different 4G frequencies, all this and use less battery and taking up less space in the phone (and the song Harder Better Faster by Daft Punk comes to mind).
This chip will not only benefit the user with a better battery life and not having to hassle when traveling, but also it will come as a huge benefit for device manufacturers. Now, manufacturers have to make different LTE-enabled variants of the same phone for each market it is supposed to be sold.
The new technology will speed up the time it takes for a 4G variant of your favorite smart phone to come to your country or network, so there will be less waiting around to buy that much awaited phone.
You can get all the details about the chip from Qualcomm's announcement.