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Samsung and Qualcomm Achieve Innovative Industry-First Milestone With Advanced Modulation Technology

Samsung Media Release | April 17, 2024

Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced that the companies successfully completed 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) tests for both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum bands, marking an industry-first for FDD. This innovative milestone and collaboration demonstrate the companies’ dedication to supporting operators increase 5G throughput and boost spectral efficiency of their networks.

QAM is an advanced modulation technology to transmit data or information more efficiently. This directly relates to how many bits of data can be delivered in each transmission. While 256 QAM is widely used in commercial networks, Samsung and Qualcomm Technologies recently accomplished the latest 1024 QAM defined in 3GPP Release 17 specifications. This enhanced QAM technology helps operators maximize their use of spectrum resources and allows mobile users to seamlessly enjoy various mobile services such as live video streaming and online multi-player gaming, which require higher download speeds.

▲ The 1024 QAM test, conducted in Samsung’s R&D lab, resulted in over 20% gain in downlink speeds

The test was conducted in Samsung’s R&D lab in Korea leveraging Samsung’s 5G vRAN software and radios — each supporting 2.1GHz (FDD) and 3.5GHz (TDD) bands — and Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile phone form-factor test device equipped with its latest Snapdragon® X75 5G Modem-RF System.

This is a significant milestone as it is the first time the industry has accomplished 1024 QAM for FDD band. By using 20MHz bandwidth, the companies reached 485Mbps, achieving near-theoretical gain. This downlink speed is more than 20% higher than what is possible with the current 256 QAM.

In addition, Samsung plans to complete its ongoing tests of 1024 QAM in traditional RAN as well, and the technology is expected to be commercially available within this year.

“We believe enhancing spectral efficiency is essential in developing next-generation solutions. This achievement underscores Samsung’s ongoing commitment to push forward the frontiers of mobile technology,” said Ji-Yun Seol, Vice President, Head of Product Strategy, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our collaborative efforts with Qualcomm Technologies have once again yielded impressive results, and we look forward to harnessing our combined expertise to drive network innovation.”

“We are honored to have collaborated with Samsung on this industry first achievement,” said Sunil Patil, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This accomplishment showcases our unwavering commitment to supporting operators in their efforts to enhance 5G throughput and boost spectral efficiency. By leveraging advanced QAM technology, we are empowering operators to maximize spectrum resources and deliver seamless, high-speed mobile services to 5G users.”

Late last year, Samsung and Qualcomm Technologies accomplished the world’s first simultaneous 5G 2x uplink and 4x downlink carrier aggregation for FDD spectrum. The companies are continuing the collaboration to push the boundaries of mobile 5G technology.

Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions, including chipsets, radios and cores. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio, from vRAN 3.0, Open RAN, core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company currently provides innovative network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

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