5G Is Coming

March 5, 2015 • Telecoms & Mobile

…and It Will Make Your Current Phone Seem Sluggish

Researchers at the University of Surrey in England have tested a record-breaking wireless data connection that blows away your smartphone’s 4G LTE speeds.

According to the folks at the British technology site, the new connection, which the researchers refer to as 5G, is capable of reaching speeds as high as 1 terabit per second, thousands of times faster than your average LTE connection.

4G LTE speeds are typically measured in megabits per second. Last year, Samsung tested a connection that reached speeds as high as 7.5 gigabits. A gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits.

But a terabit, the unit of measurement that the University of Surrey team reached, is equal to 1,000 gigabits.

To put all this in perspective, speeds like Samsung’s 7.5 gigabits per second would allow you to download an HD movie in a little more than one second. That’s all.

But this latest test is beyond even that. We’re talking about speeds that would let you download the entire collection of the Lord of the Rings special edition trilogy in the blink of an eye.

So when can you expect to see speeds like this for your smartphone? Well, the university’s test was just that: a test. The team managed to reach 1Tbps in a controlled laboratory environment over a distance of 100 meters.

In the real world, though, the connection would have to contend with buildings, trees, multiple devices on the network, and a litany of other things that would inhibit its speeds.

In reality, we’ll likely never see speeds as fast as 1Tbps, but the fact that the researchers managed to get a connection to go that fast means that when the technology behind it becomes available, it will still be thousands of times faster than what we use today.

The researchers are hoping to make their technology available to the public by 2020.

I guess you could say the future can’t get here fast enough. Get it? Yeah, you get it.


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