BARCELONA, Spain — Intel has been moving quickly during the past year to develop a first class LTE modem chip to compete with those from Qualcomm and Samsung.

Here at Mobile World Congress, Intel announced its fastest and most power-efficient LTE modem to date, the XMM 7360.

The 7360 is designed to fit the bill for premium phones in the $600 range, as well as top of the line phablets and tablets.

The new modem can do download speeds of 450 megabits per second (mbps) in the lab, and offers 3X carrier aggregation (combinations of wireless spectrum bands to increase capacity and throughput speeds).

Intel says the new modem will become available in the second half of 2015.

It’s likely that Intel will sell the modems to OEMs of mid-market and affordable phones for now. But don’t be surprised if Intel pushes hard to get this modem in to high profile devices like future iPhones.

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