Samsung reckons it can make your broadband speed 600 times faster
Do you struggle to get decent broadband speeds in your home? If you do, you’re not alone. A recent study found that the average broadband speed across Britain is a measly 16Mbps.
And as more of our home appliances become reliant on the internet (not to mentioned watching movies or listening to music on streaming services) the load is only going to increase. But tech giant Samsung reckons that the next generation of mobile internet may solve our sluggish speeds. The South Korean company has ambitions to hit whopping speeds of 20Gbps – which would download a full 4K film in a fraction of a second.
Samsung’s plan for piping 5G into your home (Image: Samsung)
What’s more, these internet hubs could improve the web connection in public places like train stations as well. Samsung is partnering with telecommunications company Arqiva to bring the tech to the UK and says it has already managed to send a signal across a test network at 1Gbps – which is 600 times faster than the average UK connection. “5G will be a crucial pillar of the UK’s economy in the 2020s,” said Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Arqiva
“The smarter network infrastructure and an enhanced ability to support exponential scale for connectivity will open the doors to further applications across a variety of markets such as IoT, industrial applications and the full promise of autonomous vehicles. “Our trial with Samsung will demonstrate the enormous potential of 5G FWA as an alternative to fibre for delivering ultra-high speed connectivity to homes and businesses.”
What is 5G?
There’s currently no official definition as to what makes a wireless connection “5G”. Network operators are all working on slightly different variations of the technology, making it difficult to give clear-cut answers.
The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) has specified that 5G needs to have higher speeds and capacity at far lower latency than 4G.
To put it simply, 5G will be able to carry more data, at higher speeds and will also be able to move around obstacles, giving you greater coverage. The likes of BT, Nokia and Ericsson are all pumping money into researching and developing this technology so it won’t be long before they land upon a standardised industry definition
Will 5G be noticeably faster than 4G?
The short answer is yes, but precisely how fast depends on which wireless carrier you are speaking to. NGMN are aiming to get 5G to 20Gbps speeds and 1 millisecond latency.
If it reaches this, download speeds will be 40 times faster than today’s 4G network. In the 5G era you will you be able to download files, play online games and pay for things, in the blink-of-an-eye. Uploading something to the cloud will be as fast as storing files locally.
The new network will also be particularly vital when it comes to the success of the smart homes and self driving cars.
Will it bring any other benefits?
A 5G network is set to provide up to a million connections per square kilometer. This will be fundamental when it comes to creating “Smart Cities”, as it will connect up millions of small, low-power devices, from traffic lights to wearables. Our homes will also become more connected.
A 5G network will be able to transfer TV shows seamlessly from one device to the next. The reduced latency in a 5G network will ensure that self-driving cars will respond instantaneously to commands, such as braking. Virtual reality will also become more accessible.
Currently, the throughput to run virtual reality is almost 100 times higher than playing an HD video.
How does it work?
(Image: Getty Images)
5G technologies will require advanced ICT infrastructure. Using a type of encoding called OFDM, the network will use new frequencies that will be able to hold a lot more data at a time. These frequencies will travel through a network of smaller cells, like Wi-Fi routers, instead of being projected out of big towers.
In turn this will make the whole network more robust.
When is 5G happening?
The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance have outlined that 5G should be rolled out by 2020.
As the upgrade to a new 5G network will require an entire reworking of existing networks – on top of the fact that hasn’t yet even been defined – we’re still a couple of years away from seeing anything meaningful happen.
However, despite not knowing exactly when or what form 5G will arrive in, one thing we can say for sure is that the next generation of network will create a better interconnected and smarter world.