Just about everybody knows that Samsung makes a ton of phones every year, ranging from the super premium ones like the Galaxy S6 Edge all the way to budget ones like the Galaxy Grand. It’s this range of phones that makes it difficult for the South Korean giant to support every single one the same way, so the focus is normally on the higher-end phones to get support for longer. Software updates can sometimes be minimal, with bug fixes and slight enhancements, or they may be huge upgrades that could even change the way the phone looks and feels as a whole. Samsung’s upcoming update for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in South Korea lies somewhere inbetween those two types of updates, not changing the way the phone looks or feels but rather adding a new feature for South Koreans that could drastically change the way the phone performs.
We’re not talking unlocking some hidden processor or other software wizardry, rather enabling a feature that wasn’t quite ready for the launch period and has now passed certification. LTE-X is an interesting technology that uses signal aggregation technology, much like we saw from Qualcomm at MWC. This means instead of just using a single source like a WiFi connection or an LTE cell data connection, the phone uses a bunch of different types at once, balancing the traffic between sources and essentially combining data into what you see on screen. It’s a difficult technology to develop but it’s being pushed as the spectrum wars slow down around the world, with most of the spectrum already being gobbled up and used.
Real world speeds of current generation LTE networks usually cap out around 100Mbps as we’ve seen from Verizon Wireless here in the US in some places, as well as carriers in countries like Russia and South Korea. LTE-X, with the help of a speedy WiFi connection, is said to cap out around a real-world 400Mbps. This represents an obvious massive increase in speed over current networks and has us wondering exactly what’s going to be next in the world of mobile data connections. As always the theoretical throughput is 1.17Gbps, but those speeds are almost never attainable outside of a test environment due to the many factors that affect wireless signals. The update could be rolling out soon but there’s no official word on when.