Real World Performance and Conclusion
Specifications and theoretical performance numbers are all well and good, but the true "proof in the pudding" comes from testing the devices under real-world conditions. During the launch event, Qualcomm, Netgear, and Telstra allows us to witness real-time use statistics of devices attached to the Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router to demonstrate its capabilities and prove the claims of its 1 Gbps download and 150 Mbps upload capabilities (enabled via the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and X16 modem).
Speed Test Demo
Using the standard network speed measuring utility SpeedTest, the event runners were able to demonstrate how well a laptop connected to a 4GX cellular network could perform when connected to a Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router. They were able to reliably achieve download speeds greater than 900 Mbps and upload speeds of 127 Mbps while connected to the Telstra 4GX celluar network. Further, notice that the SpeedTest was conducted using non-Telstra servers. They chose to use Exetel-hosted servers to better demonstrate the capabilities of the 4GX network in combination with the Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router.
File transfer from cloud drive
More telling of true real-world performance is an actual file transfer between a locally connected system and a cloud-base file storage account. In this test, two different systems were connected to cellular networks. One was connected to a 4G LTE network, while the other was connected to the Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile router which in turn connected to the Telstra 4GX cellular network. The speed differences shown speak volumes, with the transfer speeds achieved over the 4GX network almost doubling that of the 4G network. The most telling is the side by side picture where the transfer has completed for the system connected to the 4GX network while the other system is still transferring files.
As of February 1, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router is expected to be available for purchase in the Australian launch markets at an MSRP of $360 (AUD). Widespread availability is expected in the second half of 2017 as more carriers adopt the 4GX Gigabit LTE cellular standard.
The newly introduced Gigabit LTE standard implemented by Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Telstra, as well as the Gigabit LTE device embodied in Netgear's Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router, offer a glimpse into the performance we can expect from future cellular networks. All four companies are dedicated to this standard and expect wide-spread adoption of Gigabit LTE by the end of 2017 and into 2018. As the infrastructure grows, Qualcomm has an impressive opportunity with 4GX-capable devices based on its Snapdragon 835 SoC chipset as well as its Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem chipset.