Samsung promises 5G by 2020

13 May 2013
5G

South Korean firm makes use of millimetre-wave spectrum to hit 1Gbit/sec at longer ranges

Samsung is promising 5G mobile broadband will be in use by consumers by 2020, after tests hit download speeds of more than 1Gbit/sec.

The South Korean firm has developed the core technology that makes data transmission "up to hundred times faster" than current 4G connections.

That will allow users to download films and other large files "practically without limitation". In practice, the firm said, this would mean consumers could watch 3D films and games on their phones or stream HD content in real-time.

Specifically, the firm said it had found a way to make use of millimetre-wave spectrum over long distances. As yet, usage of millimetre-wave bands for wireless internet has been minimal due to their limited range.

But Samsung has developed "adaptive array transceiver technology" which uses 64 antennae to boost signal power and range, resulting in speeds of up to 1.056Gbits/sec at distances of up to 2km. Samsung said this could free up more bands in the millimetre-wave range.

"The millimetre-wave band is the most effective solution to recent surges in wireless internet usage," said the firm’s executive VP Chang Yeong Kim. "Samsung’s recent success in developing the adaptive array transceiver technology has brought us one step closer to the commercialisation of 5G mobile communications in the millimetre-wave bands."

4G is already available in the UK, albeit currently only on EE. But competition is already heating up to develop the next generation of superfast mobile internet networks, with Ofcom kicking off a preliminary industry consultation last month. The UK government and mobile industry have also ploughed £35 million into a 5G research centre at the University of Surrey to test superfast speeds.

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