V3 Enterprise Mobility Summit: 5G speeds of 1Tbps have been achieved during tests at the University of Surrey, far in excess of anything before.
Professor Rahim Tafazolli (pictured below), director of the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the university, told V3 that it was the first time in the world that such speeds had been achieved, far faster than any other tests such as Samsung's 7.5Gbps results.
He explained that the 5GIC has been working on new technologies to support 5G services, which have been instrumental in producing the 1Tbps results.
“We have developed 10 more breakthrough technologies and one of them means we can exceed 1Tbps wirelessly. This is the same capacity as fibre optics but we are doing it wirelessly,” he said.
Tafazolli said that the tests were carried out in lab conditions over a distance of 100 metres using transmitters and receivers built at the university.
The plan is to take the technology outside the lab and onto the campus at the university during 2016 or 2017 before demonstrating it to the public in early 2018, ahead of rivals from South Korea, Russia and Japan.
“We want to be the first in the world to show such high speeds,” he said.
Whether such speeds are achievable in real-world environments, and particularly in commercial deployments down the line, remains unclear. Ofcom has said in the past that it believes speeds of 50Gbps could be expected from 5G.
Furthermore, despite the astounding speeds being achieved at the 5GIC, Tafazolli said that the key drivers of 5G are actually latency and reliability, given that the 5G standard will have to serve for at least 20 years.
“An important aspect of 5G is how it will support applications in the future. We don’t know what applications will be in use by 2020, or 2030 or 2040 for that matter, but we know they will be highly sensitive to latency,” he said.
“We need to bring end-to-end latency down to below one millisecond so that it can enable new technologies and applications that would just not be possible with 4G.”
Tafazolli cited everything from 3D holographic games of chess being played between smartphones to controlling connected cars over 5G as evidence of some of the applications that may require such rapid latency.
Despite the huge potential of 5G commercial deployments, networks running at these ultra-high speeds are unlikely to arrive until 2020.
The UK government has already given its backing to 5G technology, believing that it will underpin the growth of connected devices as part of the Internet of Things market.
For more details on 5G and mobility make sure to register for the V3 Enterprise Mobility Summit.
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