Qualcomm and Samsung claim carrier aggregation milestone

5G signal Communication Mast Concept

Chip firm Qualcomm and tech giant Samsung claim to have achieved the ‘world’s first’ simultaneous 5G 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation for FDD spectrum.

The trial was done using a ‘mobile phone form-factor test device’ – which is presumably not dissimilar from a phone – running on a Snapdragon X75 5G Modem-RF System and Samsung’s 5G dual-band and tri-band radios, using carrier aggregation technology.

The trial achieved 200 Mbps uplink peak speeds using 35 MHz of 5G spectrum (FDD bands n71 and n70), and 1.3 Gbps downlink speeds with 75 MHz of 5G spectrum (FDD bands n71, n70 and n66).

The point of this endeavour? Qualcomm claims doing so can increase flexibility for operators with fragmented FDD spectrum assets, providing faster upload speeds to customers. The distinction apparently being that previously uplink CA has been accomplished with combining FDD+TDD or TDD+TDD configurations.

“Our sixth generation modem-to-antenna solution was designed to future-ready 5G launches globally and bring numerous world’s first connectivity features to support the wide range of consumer and enterprise use cases,” said Sunil Patil, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “We are pleased to further solidify our collaboration with Samsung to continue to set the pace for innovation and enable new experiences for users.”

Ji-Yun Seol, Vice President, Head of Product Strategy, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics added: “This achievement represents Samsung and Qualcomm Technologies’ ongoing efforts in pushing the boundaries of what is possible with mobile technology. Samsung has been leading the way in unleashing the full power of 5G technology to meet increasing customer demands. We will continue to advance network capabilities at the highest level.”

The general point of this trial appears to be another positioning the 5G Advanced modem as a mechanism for speeding up 5G connections using CA.

Snapdragon X75 was announced in February this year, and was pitched as having new architecture, a new software suite and features to provide better coverage, latency, power efficiency and mobility compared to previous versions. Commercial devices are expected to launch in the second half of 2023.

Last month Qualcomm claimed a sub-6 GHz speed record, in which it aggregated four carriers of sub 6-GHz spectrum giving it a total of 300 MHz. Added to that was 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), and the result was a peak downlink speed of 7.5 Gbps.


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