In August of 2012, Piper Jaffray published a study, which calculated that 47 percent of U.S. consumers didn’t feel like they needed 4G LTE networks. Those figures may have changed already, but there is good news for that other 53 percent: we’re already moving toward 5G networks.
Samsung has announced that it’s developed a core component for its 5G network, achieving upload and download speeds in excess of 10 gigbits per second (Gbps). Right now, 4G LTE networks can only reach a measly 75 megabits per second (Mbps), and usually only around a fourth or third of that. To put those specs in perspective, with a 10Gbps connection you would be able to download every Nicolas Cage movie to your phone in full HD in under a minute.
The technicals? Samsung’s new network runs off of the 28GHz waveband. Samsung reportedly used 64 antenna elements to pull off the high-speed data transfer, and believes they can commercialize and implement their 5G network by 2020. The European Commission expects to have its own 5G wireless tech in effect within the same year, as does China. Samsung’s network isn’t even the fastest successfully tested 5G network so far – last February, NTT DoCoMo announced that it achieved 10Gbps wireless transmissions from a 11GHz band.
Samsung has been a recognized innovator in wireless transmission technologies for a long time, and even have a number of their own patents in the field. Most of them are considered standard essential, requiring Samsung to grant licenses fairly, reasonably, and without any degree of discrimination among its competitors.
By 2020, we’ll have dozens of new new superhero movies, another five or six Star Wars movies, and we’ll be able to snag them all onto our phones over a bathroom break. We’re cool with that. Let’s all just hope we occasionally use this monumental human achievement for a handful of practical purposes.