KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung has trialed fifth generation (5G) wireless connectivity boasting bandwidths of 1Gbit/s using the 28GHz frequency band.
With the UK having finally auctioned off spectrum for the use of fourth generation (4G) networks a few months ago, work on making 5G networks possible has gathered pace. Samsung has trialed a 5G wireless connection with 1Gbit/s bandwidth on the 28GHz frequency band over a distance of two kilometres and predicted it will have a productised version in the hands of consumers by 2020.
Samsung used 64 antenna elements to achieve its test transmission, and this is seen as a significant development in 5G network connectivity. Previously firms like Samsung were stumped by propagation loss, however the firm said the adaptive 64 antenna setup it used overcame the problem.
At present handset manufacturers including Samsung are producing 4G handsets, with 4G theoretically topping out at 300Mbit/s downstream bandwidth with upstream bandwidth limited to 75Mbit/s.
While Samsung is ploughing on ahead with 5G development, users are still far from hitting the technical limitations posed by 4G. And given the muted consumer response to EE's 4G plans, the problems with 4G connectivity are more likely to be related to pricing rather than technological barriers.
Samsung's forecast that it will have 5G handsets in punters' hands by 2020 sounds great in theory, however given the 13 year wait to transition from spotty 3G service to 4G in the UK, it seems unlikely that 5G will become available for UK consumers within the next decade. µ
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