Yesterday, global telecommunications giant Telstra conducted its first field trial of its new 5G mobile technology. Basically, the high-tech test beds showed that the up-and-coming network will not just be a step forward, but an astronomical leap ahead when it comes to the world of mobile tech.
In a nutshell, the stats showed that 5G technology reached speeds of 20 gigabits per second. To give a more tangible view of what this means from a user’s perspective, that kind of data theoretically translates to the following:
- The network has the potential to reach speeds up to 100 times faster than the NBN
- Users will be able to download an entire high-definition 100 Gb film onto a mobile device in 40 seconds
- ‘Buffering’ while streaming will be a thing of the past
- Gigabit speeds may be available to mobile devices up to 100 kilometres away from the nearest tower
How reliable is this data?
It all sounds pretty promising, and the good news is that these conjectures are based on solid evidence. Telstra conducted the trials on Australian soil in outdoor settings to achieve the most realistic results, while the signals projected by the technology were tested using a frequency spectrum usually reserved for space research. Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer Philip Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald that “the test has provided a true sense of what 5G will be able to offer customers once it is launched commercially”.
What is new in the design?
For those tech gurus interested in exactly what the 5G equipment offers, the key ingredient is the implementation of hundreds of small antennae which function to send direct beams that are far more powerful than the current signals dispersed. These kind of capacities are critical for future advancement as the Internet of Things continues to gallop furiously towards us, encouraging more and more everyday machines to hook up to the mobile network.
When will the technology roll out?
Telstra has commented that it will aim to conduct full trials of the revolutionary 5G network at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by the Gold Coast. While the carrier is still in the process of garnering international agreements on equipment standards and spectrums in order to ensure 5G works worldwide, we can tentatively expect the technology and handsets to officially roll out in 2020.
Image source: Titan Vine