Qualcomm’s Next 5G Modem, X55, Supports T-Mobile’s 5G Network

Posted by at 9:15 am on February 19, 2019

Qualcomm’s new X55 standalone modem chip supports 5G in all major frequency bands as well as FDD and TDD modes.

Support for FDD makes it the first chip to support T-Mobile’s planned 5G network in the 600 MHz band. Qualcomm’s first 5G modem chip, the X50, only supported TDD in the 28 GHz mmWave band. The 5G version of the Snapdragon 855 SoC supports more 5G frequency bands, but only in TDD mode.

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have TDD (unpaired) spectrum they will use for some or all of their initial 5G deployment. T-Mobile is focused on its existing FDD bands for 5G. The X55 also includes both 5G and 4G, and is the first chip to support Cat. 22 LTE, offering up to 2.5 Gbps speed. Furthermore, it supports dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G, for carriers planning to use existing cellular bands for both 4G and 5G simultaneously.

The X55 also supports both SA (standalone) and NSA (non-standalone) 5G networks. The X55 can deliver speeds up to 7 Gbps down (and 3 Gbps up) on 5G networks. Qualcomm also introduced a new front-end 5G solution designed to work with the X55, providing the other components needed for 5G. These include a new mmWave antenna that supports band 258 (26 GHz), and is thinner than the current model, allowing 5G phones as thin as 8mm.

The X55 and companion parts will appear in commercial devices by “late 2019”.

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