A glimpse of the future: 5G wireless technology in the labs now
Over the past few years, 4G LTE wireless networks that can handle download and upload speeds of up to 75 megabits per second (Mbps) have become increasingly more commonplace. Still, it takes a long time to download movies, and streaming video can be a challenge on today's handsets. Yonhap News reported yesterday that Apple's arch-rival Samsung has achieved success in the lab with 5G speeds in the range of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), and expects that the technology could eventually provide speeds in the tens of gigabits per second.
With wireless data speeds in that range, a full HD movie could be downloaded in seconds. Samsung used 64 antenna elements and operated in the 28 GHz frequency band to accomplish the fast feat, and the technology could be commercially viable by 2020 -- a scant seven years away.
Both China and the European Commission want to have 5G technology in place by 2020, so the research being done today points to a very speedy future. Samsung isn't the only company that has played with 5G technology. In February, Japan's NTT DoCoMo announced that it had successfully tested 10 Gbps cellular data speeds last year using an 11 GHz frequency band.
The technological advances show that the higher data rates are entirely achievable; now it's up to consumers to help carriers pay for the 4G networks that are still rolling out to make the 5G networks viable in the future.
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