MediaTek and LTE: First Results

    As you know, chipsets with integrated LTE modems until recently were available only in the Qualcomm line. That is why the vast majority of Android-smartphones sold in the West are based on the platforms of this manufacturer: local operators who invested in the development of fourth-generation networks need to beat off funds, and they “order” smartphone developers to implement LTE in their models. That is why Samsung Galaxy S5 modifications for the USA, Europe, South Korea and, by the way, Russia use Qualcomm chipsets, and in the version for the same Ukraine - Exynos, where LTE support is not provided.

    Collage from the Internet

    The Taiwanese company MediaTek, the eternal rival of Qualcomm, has been ordered to the developed markets until recently: there were no solutions with LTE in its lineup. However, at the beginning of 2014, things got off the ground: at CES 2014, the Taiwanese showed a MediaTek MT6290 modem, which also supports LTE, made as a separate module (yes, this is not an integrated solution, but better than nothing). Then, the top-end MT6595 and MT6732 chipsets were announced, which also have support for fourth-generation networks, however, devices based on them will appear on sale closer to the end of the year. That is, not "here" and not "now."

    But MT6290 is available to smartphone developers today, and the first devices with it on board did not take long. The very first was the Vodafone Smart Power 4 - an operator model designed primarily for the British market. In it, the MT6290 is adjacent to the MT6582 chipset, which are well known for their inexpensive smartphones, which are also sold in the domestic market.

    Vodafone Smart Power 4

    By the way, about the latter: MegaFon recently started selling Alcatel One Touch POP S7 LTE-smartphone, which uses exactly such a bunch of components from MediaTek. So far, the device looks slightly overrated: for 9 thousand rubles a smartphone with a qHD-screen (540 x 960 pixels), a 5-megapixel camera and so on is offered. But the trouble began: knowing how close the ties of MediaTek with local Russian brands and Chinese factories serving them are, by the end of the year a whole galaxy of inexpensive smartphones “for fast Internet” may appear in Russia.

    In conclusion, I’ll add that earlier Russian brands treated LTE coolly, largely because the creation of such a device involved cooperation with Qualcomm, which, according to some “behind the scenes” data, usually develops somewhat less simply than with MediaTek. Therefore, only one Russian brand has a device with LTE and Qualcomm chipset so far - it's about the Highscreen Spider smartphone (HD720p format screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, an 8 megapixel camera, etc.), now estimated at about 10 thousand rubles.

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