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Vodafone, Qualcomm, and Xiaomi drive faster 5G speeds in latest European tests

11 Jul 2024Technology news
3 minute read

Vodafone, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Xiaomi continued their innovative streak with the successful test in Germany and Spain of a new 5G technology capable of download speeds close to 1.8 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) using a new smartphone.

Specifically, they tested enhanced technology which improves the way data and video is transmitted from the radio network over 5G to a customer’s mobile device. Called 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), it is a step up from today’s system (256 QAM) since it packs together more data into each transmission, leading to faster download speeds.

This increase in speed and data throughout will ultimately lead to greater network capacity, freeing up additional bandwidth at mobile sites to improve the overall experience for customers.

1.8 Gbps Peak Speed

Using Xiaomi’s smartphone, the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, equipped with its latest Snapdragon® X75 5G Modem-RF System, Vodafone engineers recorded excellent results. In Germany, the team measured a throughput improvement on the commercial network of around 20% over a distance of up to 600 meters, and at its 5G test centre in Ciudad Real, Spain, they achieved peak 5G download speed of nearly 1.8 Gbps. Theoretically, 1.8 Gbps could provide a capacity gain of up to 25% in ideal conditions.

The technology, which Vodafone expects to become more widely available during 2025, is suited to supporting multiple customers close to a mobile site in busy areas such as a shopping centre or high street.

Wave of Innovation

Alberto Ripepi, Chief Network Officer of Vodafone, said: “Vodafone is at the forefront of the next wave of innovation in 5G. Our customers will benefit from a head start when the next generation smartphones become more widely available, and we can offer our technical expertise to partners and other providers through our new commercial model.”

Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology of Qualcomm Europe, Inc. added: “The successful trials conducted in Germany and Spain with Vodafone and Xiaomi are proof that we are continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible with 5G technology.”

Guoquan Zhang, General Manager of Xiaomi Software Department, said: “We are honored to have collaborated with Vodafone and Qualcomm on this achievement. It demonstrates how Xiaomi is actively driving and showing innovation in the 5G space.”

This latest technological breakthrough follows news earlier this year that the same three companies achieved upload speeds of up to 273 megabits-per-second (Mbps) using another innovative technology. This is more than double the average uplink speed of today’s smartphones and home broadband services.

Efficiency Gains

Industry body 3GPP has defined the 1024 QAM technology, helping operators make further efficiency gains using existing spectrum whilst providing greater speeds for customers even among bandwidth-hungry digital services.

For the test, Vodafone engineers used 1024 QAM with a Time Division Duplexing (TDD) spectrum band – a way to send and receive data within pre-determined time slots on the same frequency (3.5 GHz in this instance). 3.5 GHz spectrum can benefit from 1024 GAM because it has been widely assigned for 5G and associated mobile broadband applications. Vodafone will continue to test drive 1024 QAM-compatible networking equipment and devices ahead of their commercial deployment later.

Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

  • 5G
  • Connectivity
  • Consumers
  • Europe
  • Future of Connectivity
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Networks
  • Partnerships
  • Technology

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