Qualcomm has revealed that it is developing a new LTE chip that can support seven frequency bands, which would mean that future LTE devices equipped with the chip can be used on Verizon, AT&T, and Clearwire 4G. This eliminates the need for manufacturing different versions of a mobile device and solves the interoperability problem of LTE carriers in the US.
Even though AT&T and Verizon both have a 700MHz LTE network, they each use a different block of that spectrum, making a device for one network not compatible with the other. This may soon change with the launch of Qualcomm’s new LTE radio chip, which supports three frequencies below 1GHz, three above, and one in the high range, which would cover Clearwire’s upcoming 2.5 GHz 4G network.
The new chip will be built on a 28nm process, which ensures lower power consumption. They are expected to ship to manufacturers in July with the phones sporting the new LTE chips shipping by the end of the year. The revelation was part of a larger FCC filing by Qualcomm that was surprisingly in opposition of a mandate for interoperability in the lower 700MHz band.