When most people think about Qualcomm, they think about their CPUs and GPUs that get put into chips for smartphones. Qualcomm actually produces a number of additional features for these chips and they use this technology in products that are not smartphones. We’ve seen Qualcomm build some chips that are to be used specifically in automobiles and this is only the start. Qualcomm’s cellular modems are used in lots of devices (even ones without their SoCs) just like we saw with the release of the Netgear Nighthawk M1.
Qualcomm first announced the X16 LTE modem back in October of last year. At the time it wasn’t available in any of their products, but we were told it would be included in the company’s 2017 flagship chips (which will be the upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC). At the time, we were told that the X16 LTE modem would be used in a future Netgear mobile router too, and that’s what we’re seeing demonstrated today. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 mobile router is a collaborative product that was created with the help of Qualcomm, Telstra, NETGEAR, and Ericsson.
Not only does the Netgear Nighthawk M1 have the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, but it’s also using Qualcomm’s 11ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO. This enables the mobile router to connect up to 20 devices at the same time. The companies claim this device has a big enough battery that it can transmit data constantly for “nearly 24 hours.” They recently held a launch event for the product in Australia and they were able to reach peak download speeds of 930.45 Mbps, and peak upload speeds of 127.54 Mbps.
While these peak speeds were impressive and it allowed us to see how fast the technology is, the event then shifted its focus to demonstrating some use cases of this type of LTE connection. They passed around 5 different Pixel XL devices and gave each of these people a Daydream View headset too. Each of these were connected to the same Netgear Nighthawk M1 and each of them used a single LTE connection. They loaded up some live video content and were all able to watch 360-degree 4K video from Sydney Harbour.