Qualcomm cracks the LTE code, phones that could work on Verizon, AT&T and Clearwire 4G coming by year-end
The almighty Qualcomm revealed it is working on an LTE radio chip that will support three frequencies below 1GHz, three above, and one in the high range, like Clearwire's upcoming 2.5GHz 4G network.
This will eventually solve the interoperability problem of the US LTE operators, but the worldwide carriers are using a lot more and different spectrum bands for LTE, so the new radio won't be a global 4G cure-all.
The chip that can support 7 LTE frequencies in total is with the MSM8960 design and will be done with the 28nm process, of course, ensuring lower power consumption. Qualcomm said these radios will be shipping to customers in July, and phones with them are likely to appear by year-end.
Surprisingly, the chip maker also said it is against an FCC mandate for LTE interoperability, and that the government should let the free market decide which bands to pair, now that there is a chip that can cover so many different network scenarios:
Furthermore, as shown above, carriers holding Lower A Block or other 700 MHz spectrum have many different band combinations to choose from to meet their customers' interoperability needs, both within the 700 MHz band and between any of the long list of other 4G bands. A Band 12/17 combination is merely one such combination, and it would be inappropriate for the FCC to mandate that carriers must make this one combination available on every consumer device.
Because of the difficult interference challenges described herein, the fact that existing technology does not offer a solution to these challenges, and Qualcomm's ongoing innovation and collaboration with all carriers and manufacturers, the commission should not require mobile equipment to be capable of operating over all paired commercial spectrum blocks in the Lower 700 MHz band.