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Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 first Android Things-enabled chip to support LTE

Why it matters to you

The Internet of Things is set to explode over the next few years, and chips like this could help facilitate that.

Android Things launched last year as a new operating system for the growing internet of things segment — and when it launched Google mentioned a few hardware partners, including Qualcomm. At the time, however, we didn’t really know what Qualcomm would bring to the table.

Well, the company has now shed some light on exactly what it can offer — in the form of a recycling of the Snapdragon 210. But, what would now be considered a pretty lackluster chip in a smartphone could be huge for IoT. Qualcomm has announced that the Snapdragon 210 will now support Android Things — making it the first company to offer an LTE-capable chip that supports Android Things.

More: Google’s Android Things is a new OS for the Internet of Things

So why do IoT devices need LTE? Well, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices are limited to a certain range, and for some devices that can pose a problem. Now, however, that range issue won’t be such an issue, as devices will be able to connect as long as they’re in range of LTE — devices like electronics signs, video cameras, and so on.

“We are very pleased to add support for Android Things OS on Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon 210 processor and bring these exciting new development options to our IoT customers,” said Jeffery Torrance, vice president of business development for Qualcomm Technologies.

While for now this will mostly be helpful for companies and organizations, Qualcomm is looking to consumer-friendly solutions as well. For example, Android Things supports Google Cast, as well as connected home products. Of course, for now, those connected home devices are better off connecting to Wi-Fi.

Qualcomm is also be demonstrating its LTE chip at Mobile World Congress later next week. However, the Snapdragon 210 with Android Things support won’t officially launch until “later this year.” No specific date was given by Qualcomm.