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New Qualcomm Gobi modem chipsets are first to support LTE-Advanced, carrier aggregation

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Qualcomm has announced the MDM9225 and MDM9625 modem chipsets for release towards the end of 2012, becoming the first LTE modem vendor to commit to a hard shipping timeframe.

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LTE-Advanced should be rolling out in the US next year, and Qualcomm's already making its preparations. It just announced that it'll have samples of the Gobi MDM9225 and MDM9625 modem chipsets ready for the last quarter of 2012, becoming the first modem vendor to commit to a solid timeframe for LTE-Advanced hardware. The chipsets offer support for seven radio modes, including LTE in both FDD and TDD flavors, and are backwards-compatible with older standards such as GSM.

All this means you'll theoretically be getting up to 150Mbps downloads, or 84Mbps on HSPA+ Release 10, via a 28nm chip that Qualcomm says has been optimized for low power performance. The chipsets also support LTE carrier aggregation, which allows for increased data rates and decreased latency by combining radio channels, even if the operators don't have 20MHz of continuous spectrum available. While it's likely going to be a while before we have LTE-Advanced networks fully deployed from the likes of AT&T, the announcement of concrete hardware plans this far ahead of time is a welcome development.