Samsung’s new modem could make the Galaxy S9 the fastest smartphone yet

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Samsung’s next smartphones could get even faster. The company announced that the next version of its LTE modem for its Exynos chipsets now supports up to six carrier aggregation (6CA), allowing it to hypothetically reach download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps.

For a brief recap, carrier aggregation is a method where LTE speeds are increased by using multiple LTE bands across the spectrum at the same time, resulting in increased bandwidth speeds. The more bands supported — in Samsung’s case, that’s up from the modem built into the S8’s Exynos 9 processor, which offers 5CA — the higher the theoretical data rate. In other words: while the Galaxy S8 might have been the first gigabit smartphone, its successor could offer up to 20 percent faster data speeds due to the new tech.

Of course, supporting 6CA on Samsung’s side of things is only half of the solution — carriers will need to switch on support for 6CA on their end, too. As of earlier this year, carriers like Sprint had just added support for three-carrier aggregation, so there’s still a long way to go before Samsung’s new modem has its potential fully realized. Samsung is planning on producing processors with the new modem by the end of this year, making it a pretty likely bet that we’ll be seeing this tech appear on next year’s Galaxy S9 phones.

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