Some parts of the world, such as China, have yet to launch 4G networks, but already Samsung is promising to deliver high speed 5G wireless data connections to consumers by 2020. The claim comes as the firm announced it had developed its first core technology for fifth-generation networks.
The Korean tech giant says its 5G wireless technology will be capable of providing users with data speeds of “up to several tens of Gbps per base station”. That, it says, is “several hundred times faster” than even yet-to-be-released 4G LTE technology.
In practical terms, Samsung’s estimated speeds would allow a movie to be downloaded in under one second, and it could enable a host of new services that feed off the ability to transfer large files quickly.
Samsung says it has found a way to harness millimeter-wave bands which have proved to be a sticking point for the mobile industry to date. The company uses 64 antenna elements, which it says overcome the issue of “unfavorable propagation characteristics” that have prevented data travelling across long distances using the bands.
In tests conducted at a 28 GHz frequency, the company saw data speeds of more than 1Gbps over a range of up to 2 kilometers. Following the breakthrough, Samsung is planning ramp up its R&D efforts with the target of commercial availability in 2020.
“[The] new technology will allow users to transmit massive data files including high quality digital movies practically without limitation. As a result, subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition (UHD) content, and remote medical services,” the company said.
Seven years is a long time in the fast-changing technology world, but the potential for high-quality multimedia to download in seconds will have a huge bearing on the future of mobile devices.
In many countries, physical plug connections remain faster and more reliable than wireless, and that places limitations on the multimedia capabilities of mobile devices.
As well as speeding up first market data, 5G has huge potential for emerging markets, and in particular countries with limited cable infrastructure. In such places, wireless technology is the most promising option for providing widespread mobile and Internet access which, in turn, can bring new Internet users online, giving them access to information and new opportunities.
Headline image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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