5G ISN'T HERE YET, but Telefonica is bringing a nearly-there equivalent in the form of 4.9G LTE which it's bringing to Samsung phones with a little help from Nokia.
Both phone makers have put their noggins together and jointly announced the testing of 4.9G by Telefonica, which will be able to deliver mobile broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps.
These speeds will are pretty similar to fibre broadband but get piped through the air thanks to the aggregation of three bands of licensed radio spectrum, basically nipping on the heels of 5G.
"The deployment of 4.9, which extends the capabilities of the current 4G network, is a necessary step to prepare the deployment of 5G," said Javier Gutiérrez, director of strategy and development of Network and IT Infrastructures at Telefónica.
"Carrying it out in the commercial network of Segovia will allow us to evaluate the behaviour of both the network and the traffic generated by the users as well as to test new cases of use linked with high speed."
However, you'll need to shell out a pretty penny to get 4.9G as only the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ will support, thanks to Qualcomm chips that support the LTE tech. Oh, you'll also need to be in Segovia in Spain where 4.9G is being tested.
No Nokia phones currently support 4.9G, as the company is instead using its AirScale base stations to pip 4.9G connectivity around, but we'd expect to see more phones with access to Telefonica's LTE variant pop up before too long.
So while access to 4.9G is pretty limited, it could provide the panacea to the painful wait for 5G to properly get out of the testing phase and into the commercial world.
For what seems like years upon years, telecoms and tech firms have been bleating on about 5G, but the availability of a proper 5G service hasn't popped up.
We reckon there's going to be another couple of years wait before 5G really kicks up a gear, but at least there're other connectivity options to allow us to post pics of our lunch to Instagram and moan about politics in the echo chamber of Twitter while on the train. µ
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