5G Home Internet Gets a Boost From Qualcomm’s Latest FWA Platform

Qualcomm is showing off a new platform that may improve the reliability and availability of 5G home internet service. The platform, called 5G Fixed Wireless Access Ultra Gen 3, uses a mix of AI, enhanced carrier aggregation, and other tricks to increase the capabilities of immobile 5G modems.

Last year, Qualcomm debuted the Snapdragon X75 Modem-RF system, which provides enhanced 5G performance for mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24. The Ultra Gen 3 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) platform is based on Snapdragon X75. But, as the name implies, Ultra Gen 3 FWA is intended for 5G access points that may be used in homes, commercial settings, or industrial settings.

All the benefits of Snapdragon X75 are included in Ultra Gen 3 FWA. Of these benefits, enhanced carrier aggregation may be the biggest—Ultra Gen 3 FWA supports 10-carrier aggregation on mmWave and 5x downlink aggregation for the more common sub-6 GHz spectrum. Aggregating or “combining” multiple signals greatly improves network efficiency, which translates to a more reliable (and sometimes faster) connection.

Artificial intelligence is also at the core of the Ultra Gen 3 FWA platform. A 360-degree motorized reflector assembly, which helps Ultra Gen 3 FWA maintain a consistent mmWave 5G connection, is controlled by AI. This may be useful in tightly-packed cities where mmWave 5G is more common, as ultra-fast mmWave signal is prone to interference and has a hard time getting through walls.

Interestingly, Ultra Gen 3 FWA supports both 10GbE and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity by default. It also uses a simpler design than the previous, non-ultra Gen 3 FWA platform. The new design consumes less power, takes up less space, and costs less money to manufacture, according to Qualcomm.

The Qualcomm Ultra Gen 3 FWA platform should have a substantial impact on wireless communications. However, for the average person, the biggest benefits are increased reliability, 10GbE connectivity, and Wi-Fi 7 compliance. Other improvements, such as reduced cost, size, and power consumption, will mainly benefit businesses that require dozens of 5G access points, such as farms.

Yes, the Snapdragon X75’s enhanced carrier aggregation capabilities may provide a small boost in speed. But substantial improvements in 5G speed will always be limited by carriers and their infrastructure. Most people in the United States experience 5G download speeds of less than 200Mbps, and things will probably stay that way for another year or two.

Carriers should begin offering Ultra Gen 3 FWA-powered 5G modems by late 2024. The underlying Snapdragon X75 platform is already used by some smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S24.

Source: Qualcomm


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