4G is great, if you can receive it, but at the moment 4G smartphones and tablets tend to only work on one network and in one country. That’s all set to change however, thanks to a new chip from Qualcomm, the folk behind the powerful Snapdragon processors that power many smartphones.
The new Qualcomm RF360 chip will mean that any smartphone or tablet with it built in will be compatible with all 40 4G LTE spectrum bands around the world. Right now that’s but a dream!
It’s along similar lines to the way in which 2G phones evolved from being single band all the way through to penta-band, allowing users to make and receive calls and send texts from anywhere in the world.
With 4G at the moment we have networks in different countries using different bands of the wireless spectrum, and so the gadgets sold in each country differ. For example, you couldn’t buy a Galaxy SIII LTE on EE here in the UK and take it to the US to use it on AT&T’s 4G network, or vice versa. With Qualcomm’s new chip, this could be possible.
This will not only make things better for the travelling smartphone user, but also the smartphone manufacturer. Right now companies have to make several versions of the same phone with the only difference being the radio, to suit different networks in different countries. A fine example is the Galaxy SIII, of which there are five or six versions at least.
“Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support” says Alex Katouzian of Qualcomm.
The first smartphones to feature the RF360 chip will start to surface in the second half of this year, although we’re expecting it to be only present in the top-end smartphones to start with. Perhaps the Galaxy S4, or possibly even the iPhone 5S?