Samsung says it has successfully tested super-fast 5G wireless technology which would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second.
Despite the fact that major countries including Australia, Britain and China have yet to complete their 4G mobile phone network roll-out, the South Korean electronics maker claims its new technology could offer ”ubiquitous” access to ultra high-speed networks operating at 100 times present speeds and offering regular gigabit access.
5G networks could allow ”a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition content, and remote medical services,” Samsung claimed in a blog post.
Tests of the new technology had witnessed data transmission of more than one gigabit per second over a distance of two kilometres.
Independent telecommunications analyst Chris Coughlan said that at such an early stage, the 5G wireless technology could not be compared with the national broadband network. He said there would be questions on how costly the 5G technology would be and how much spectrum it would need to use.
The federal government’s national broadband network will also deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps in some areas by the end of this year, but mobile networks and Labor’s fibre optic broadband network have differing strengths.
Mobile data becomes more congested the more people are using it at the same time, and is at present much more expensive than fixed broadband.
”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 content, and remote medical services,” it said.
Samsung said it had found a way to harness millimetre-wave bands, which have proved to be a sticking point for the mobile industry.
The test used 64 antenna elements, which the company said overcame the issue of ”unfavourable propagation characteristics” that have prevented data travelling across long distances using the bands.
South Korea, one of the most wired countries on Earth, already has about 20 million 4G users.
The ”mmWave Mobile Technology” is the first system that claims to be fully fledged, though research into 5G has been going on in laboratories around the world for some time. Last year, Britain’s University of Surrey announced £35 million ($54 million) funding for a research centre back by Huawei, Samsung, Fujitsu, Telefonica and others.
Until now, however, scientists have believed that high-frequency wavebands were typically not suitable for the long-range communications required by mobile networks.
”The implementation of a high-speed 5G cellular network requires a broad band of frequencies, much like an increased water flow requires a wider pipe,” Samsung said. ”While it was a recognised option, it has been long believed that the millimetre-wave bands had limitations in transmitting data over long distances due to its unfavorable propagation characteristics.”
Samsung’s new research has concentrated at much higher frequencies and the company claims it has worked over distances up to two kilometres. ”Samsung’s new adaptive array transceiver technology has proved itself as a successful solution,” the company claims. ”It transmits data in the millimetre-wave band at a frequency of 28GHz at a speed of up to 1.056Gbps to a distance of up to two kilometres. The adaptive array transceiver technology, using 64 antenna elements, can be a viable solution for overcoming the radio propagation loss at millimetre-wave bands, much higher than the conventional frequency bands ranging from several hundred MHz to several GHz.”