Qualcomm is looking to defend its position in the modem market with what it described as “the first commercially announced Gigabit-class LTE chipset designed to deliver fibre-like LTE Category 16 download speeds of up to 1Gb/s”.

“Not only does the Snapdragon X16 blur the lines between wired and wireless broadband, but marks an important step toward 5G as we enable deeper unlicensed spectrum integration with LTE and more advanced MIMO techniques to support growing data consumption and deliver an even faster and smoother user experience,” Cristiano Amon, EVP of Qualcomm Technologies, said.

The chip supports 4x20MHz downlink carrier aggregation across FDD and TDD spectrum with 256-QAM to deliver the high speeds. It also offers 2x20MHz uplink carrier aggregation plus 64-QAM for uplink speeds up to 150Mb/s.

Qualcomm said Snapdragon X16 is the first use of its new modem architecture, which uses modular components and common software, enabling the company to “rapidly evolve its modem product line to address a wide range of connected applications, ranging from ultra-fast mobile broadband to power-efficient connectivity for IoT”.

The modem also supports Licensed Assisted Access, enabling operators to use unlicensed spectrum alongside licensed LTE frequencies.

Also on the spec sheet is support for a wide range of technologies, including LTE TDD, LTE FDD, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, GSM/EDGE,  dual SIM, LTE Broadcast and VoLTE.

Samples are available now, with commercial products expected in the first half of 2016.