Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Road to 5G: 4G/4.9G/5G Modems

I am seperating the 5G modem story from the original blog post - Gigabit LTE - Global Progress and India's approach to 5G
Early Gigabit-LTE supported modems
Qualcomm has X16 LTE modem which supports Gigabit LTE. At present Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset has this modem. A lot of present day flagships like Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Sony XZ Premium, HTC U11, Motorola Z2 Force Edition, Xiaomi Mix 2, Xiaomi Mi 6, Essential’s One, OnePlus 5, OPPO Find 9 are capable of 1Gbps LTE speed. 
Qualcomm has another modem - X20 LTE modem which is technically advanced in few ways - support for 5x carrier aggregation (5x20MHz), increased number of usable spatial streams from 10 to 12, 10nm LPE processing. X20 will show its power in Snapdragon 845 chipsets which will be used by many flagships of 2018
Samsung Exynos 9 series 8895 modem - is another commercially available device that can support Gigabit LTE. It is being used on Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8. 

Intel also has a similar portfolio Intel® XMM™ 7560 Modem, which has no taker as of now. May it will be included in next generation of Intel Inside laptops or laptops. 
In November 2017, Intel announced the wireless roadmap which includes three more modems - Intel XMM 8000 series, Intel XMM 8060 (expected to go commercial by 2019) and Intel XMM 7660.
*** However Qualcomm believes that 1Gbps can be reached only on lab environment and in real time the downlink speed could be reached 100-300Mbps. 
*** But handset vendors also rate-limited the chipset. Pixel 2 is found to be capped to 800 Mbit/s, Apple iPhone 8/X is at 600Mbit/s. 

Future of 5G modems : 
Apart from these arsenals Qualcomm has a recent addition. In the middle of October 2017 Qualcomm just has announced the latest 5G modem - X50 5G modem as 'this is the world’s first 5G data connection over a 5G mobile chipset made for mobile devices'. The Snapdragon X50 5G modem includes SDR051 mmWave transceiver—the next-gen RF companion to the modem, supporting 28 GHz mmWave and advanced features such as adaptive beamforming and antenna switch diversity. It can connect using up to 800 MHz of bandwidth via 8x100 MHz carrier aggregation. 
In February 2018 Qualcomm announced that a group of leading global telecom major including AT&T, British Telecom, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, TIM, Verizon and Vodafone Group will conduct the trials with X50 modem, which will be based on the 3GPP Release 15 5G NR (New Radio) standard.
A lot of OEMs also partnered with Qualcomm for X50 modem - the list includes ASUS, Fujitsu, HMD (Nokia), HTC, inseego, LG, NetComm, Netgear, OPPO, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Sony, Telit, Vivo, WNC, Wingtec, Xiaomi and ZTE

In Feb 2018 Qualcomm also announced another LTE modem - Snapdragon X24 which promises to offer peak downlink to 2Gbps. As per Qualcomm X24 is the first cat 20 LTE modem, and first 7nm process chip in the market. It supports 7 carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO on upto 5 aggregated LTE carriers (which allows a maximum 20 concurrent LTE streams)

Ahead of MWC 2018 on Feb 25, 2018, Huawei announced the world's first commercial 5G modem - Huawei Balong 5G01 with peak speed of 2.3Gbps across sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum bands. It has been informed that Huawei is collaborating with 30 operators across the globe including Vodafone. Huawei also unveiled world's first 5G CPE (consumer premise equipment) based on Balong 5G01.

Samsung who already announced its upcoming flagships - Galaxy S9 and family, has put Exynos 9810/Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in those flagships. Exynos 9810 has the following features : supports 4x4 MIMO, a higher-order 256 QAM scheme and enhanced Licensed-Assisted Access (eLAA) technology; support upto 1.2Gbps downlink and upto 200Mbps uplink, and supports category 18 LTE with 6CA (carrier aggregation).

Samsung - Qualcomm Shaking Hands

Qualcomm's 5G chipsets will be manufactured by Samsung, using the South Korean tech giant's 7nm fabrication process, which is a big step in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV). 

Thanks to advancements in the generation and use of EUV, the lithographic technique offers a 40 per cent hike in area efficiency, a 10 per cent rise in performance and up to a 35 per cent reduction in power consumption when compared to the technique used to make 10nm FinFET chips.

Story is not complete - scope for further update 

[Press Release] Alstom Completes first all-electric “Make-In-India” locomotive from Madhepura; Won Contracts worth €75 million

10 March 2018 - Alstom announced the completion of its first all-electric locomotive from its state-of-the-art locomotive facility at Madhepura in the State of Bihar [1], on schedule. In line with the Government’s and Indian Railways’ target towards 100% electrification and towards sustainable mobility, these new locomotives will not only bring down operating costs for the Railways but will significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions as well.

This first locomotive is part of a €3.5 billion order comprising 800 electric double-section locomotives signed in 2015 which contributes to the Ministry of Railways’ public-private partnership programme to modernise the country’s rail infrastructure. This agreement remains the largest Foreign Direct Investment in the railways sector to date and has a strategic role in creating a multiplier effect on the economy. This contract is also one of the biggest contracts in the history of Alstom.

“Our operations in India are paramount to our business globally and we continue to stay committed todeveloping India’s infrastructure needs, improving the quality of services to citizens and investing in the nation’s economy,” said Henri-Poupart Lafarge, Chairman and CEO, Alstom.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

JetScreen Offers in-Flight Entertainment on Jet Airways

India is yet to allow in-flight internet, but that does not stop you to enjoy contents while you're on board.

While you are at 30000 feet of height on Jet Airways, you can can access to Jet Screen facilities. What is Jet Screen? It is an web based approach to serve Jet customers with contents which they can watch onboard during the flight.

JetScreen does not offer internet, or it can not be accessed over an app (may be in future). Web based UI helps the passengers to access JetScreen on their mobile phone very easily.

Jet Screen signal beams via 2.4G and 5G spectrum.

Bata Shoe Stores Offer Free WiFi to its Customers

Offering wifi to the customers is not new to attract more crowd. But earlier it was done mostly by restaurants and cafes.

On my recent visit to Bangalore, I found every a Bata store (sells shoes mainly) is offering free Wifi to its customers.

I found this one, near Forum Mall. I didn't use it, so can't review it.

Videocon Telecom's Facebook Page Turned into Videocon Wallcam

Do you ever wonder what happens to the telecom company's facebook when they shut down the store?

I had an idea. And that was found today, though screenshot was taken long back in 30-11-2017. 

Dhoot Group backed Videocon Telecom, a subsidiary of Quadrant Televentures stopped its mobile services in the last telecom circle - Punjab w.e.f. February 15th, 2017. However till this day their website is still running at   

Back in July 2017 Videocon Telecom ventured into one of the fastest growing Security and Surveillance market by launching a new brand - Videocon Wallcam (website:

After the launch Videocon did not create a new facebook page of Wallcam, instead they revised the page of previous Videocon Telecom - as you can see in the screenshot. 

Wallcam fb page:

At the launch event Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon Telecom says,

The current video surveillance market of approx Rs 3650 Cr is 55% of the overall Rs 6600 Cr security & surveillance market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 26% and reach Rs 9150 Cr by 2021, which is 2.5 times the current market size. The growth will be driven by households,including small commercial establishment(Shops& offices) segments and the key success factor for market expansion will be affordability, ease of use (plug n play), and quality.This is where Videocon as a brand has its expertise in.We are all set to enter this market in a big way and capitalize on brand acceptability, manufacturing capabilities, R&D, distribution strength and reach.

Why ‘WallCam’, there is a very interesting background behind this. The term CCTV is a technical lingo and stands for Closed circuit television, while what we are selling is surveillance cameras. There is no product name to identify the category with, and this is where our marketing team came up with this interesting thought of a brand name which could represent the product category, something similar to Handycam for mini-camcorders, and Walkman for mini music players. Our objective is to make our brand ‘Wallcam’ a synonymous to CCTV cameras.”

I am not going deep on the security and video surveillance market, because that's beyond discussion here. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

[Redmi Note 4] Contacts and Dialer Hangs up Frequently [Resolved]

Recently my Redmi Note 4 got upgraded to MIUI Global 9.2 | Stable (NCFMIEK) automatically via the home WiFi, and after the upgrade I found the Contacts and Calling apps are behaving weirdly. They are hanging while I want to make calls. And this is pathetic because phones are meant for making calls primarily.

Defunc. Telecom Blogs & Websites

Once the telecom boom hits India during 2007 and stayed til 2012 there were too many blogs active to deliver telecom updates.

List of the some the almost inactive/completely inactive/down websites/blogs which I used to follow: