In a recent filing at the FCC, it seems Qualcomm has been busy lately working on a new radio chipset. According to the FCC, it looks like we could be looking at a chip that would support up to 7 different bands, with three of those bands being below 1 GHz. LTE spectrum fragmentation is no joke, and it looks like this chipset could be the answer to said problem, which has plagued manufacturers for a long time.
the bands range from below 1 GHz, all the way up to “a very high band”, possibly around 2.5 GHz. The filing with the FCC shows that the chip has “accelerated development” by Qualcomm, and is currently labeled WTR1605L. The timing of the transition to this chip sits snugly with the company’s transition to 28 nanometer chips, and they expect to be shipping to manufacturers in July – even though they are experiencing “supply constraints”, according to the FCC filing.
While the chipset has the capacity to be very exciting, Qualcomm attempted to impress on the FCC that they don’t want to mandate the use of these 28 nanometer chips, since the transition to these chips (as well as the specific set listed, WTR1605L) is still in its infancy. They also mention that a band 12/17 combination should not be used, saying it is merely a single option for carriers “to meet their customer’s interoperability needs, both within the 700MHz band and between any of the long list of other 4G bands.”
This chipset could prove to be the end, or at least the beginning to an end, of band fragmentation. It would also cut down on hardware fragmentation and the sometimes outrageous amount of hardware itself in the Android scope, as issues with banding on devices would no longer have a solution of releasing yet more variants of the same device.
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