Last week I revealed that the University of Surrey had carried out tests at its 5G labs that delivered speeds of 1Tbps.
This story travelled far and wide across the web as everyone got excited about the idea of mind-bogglingly fast mobile data services and the possibilities they offer for the future.
In fact, at the moment the question of what you would use a 1Tbps connection for has few answers - we just don’t know.
It doesn’t matter, though. The point is that we will need faster speeds, better capacity and reduced latency as the world becomes ever more mobile and everything from gaming to accessing enterprise services is done on the go.
It is a bugbear of mine that people scoff at the idea of ever faster speeds by rolling their eyes and saying: ‘Why would you need a connection that fast?'
Ten years ago the idea of 4G services at speeds of around 15Mbps to 30Mbps would have been laughed off too. Why would you need such speeds in a world of flip phones with terrible cameras and limited applications?
Now, in 2015, 4G is often better than WiFi and makes loading videos, downloading apps and streaming content easy. But 4G will not sate our ravenous mobile data appetite forever. 5G will have to step up to meet this need until as far in the future as 2040.
The idea that, because faster speeds are not needed now they will not be needed in the future, is backward looking and closed-minded.
Looking to the future is a must and is clearly on the minds of the European Commission, after it underlined a desire to work with rivals/allies in the telecoms sphere in the form of the US, China and Japan.
Europe rather lost its way with 4G, especially the UK, after numerous factors held back development and stalled rollouts, meaning it is only now that the region can start to compare itself with the other nations that led the way.
This must not happen again. While 4G has been an evolution in mobile data services, 5G will be a revolution, offering speeds, capacity and latency far in excess of anything we've known before.
Missing out on this even by just a few years, as other powerhouses such as South Korea or China storm away, will be disastrous for all concerned. Collaboration is a must.
The second important aspect of getting the world to work together on 5G is to create a framework where all devices can use 5G services regardless of location.
“We target a single global 5G standard and global spectrum harmonisation. This will maximise global interoperability and economies of scale," said Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, speaking at MWC.
This is vital. The world of technology is shortening the distances between nations and people like never before, but standards that apply in some regions and not in others hamper this and will be a barrier to innovation.
There is no point in your swish 2020-era smartphone not being able to use 5G services if you're in a region that uses different spectrum bands.
It is likely that by 2020 the need for rapid services with low latency will be even more central to our use of smartphones and other internet-enabled devices. The requirement for everything to work the moment you step off a plane or a train in a new country will be even more vital than it is now. And it is unlikely that free WiFi hotspots will be up to the job.
However, there is another problem: roaming. At present using 4G services abroad - if spectrum components permit - is not cheap. In the US a 200MB deal will cost you £20 on one operator, while another charges £6 per megabyte used.
In the EU, meanwhile, where things are cheaper, the continued cost of having to cover staff's roaming costs will still strain any businesses wallet.
What's more, such charges look set to remain until at least 2018, despite having looked like they would be shown the door by the end of the year. This is a step backwards.
If your phone of the future will have the ability to devour 200MB of data in a millisecond the notion of roaming with such data use becomes impossible.
Mobile body the GSMA has this on its agenda for the years ahead and it's vital that a forward-thinking consensus is reached to ensure that 5G becomes a global standard that drives mobile into brave new areas we can't even fathom right now.
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