January 19, 2012
UN Gives Go-Ahead for Next Generation of Wireless Technology
Representatives at a United Nations telecommunications meeting have given the green light for the next generation of smart phone technology, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Industry experts claim that the new telecom technology will make mobile devices some 500 times faster than 3G smartphones, making the wait time between the tap of the touch screen and the appearance of a website a thing of the past.
While networks are expected to begin updating their equipment immediately, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) spokesman Sanjay Acharya says it will likely be another two years or so before smart phone hardware can catch up and allow consumers to take advantage of the super-fast connectivity.
But insiders say it will be well worth the wait. One U.N. official explained that the difference in speed between the old system and the new will be similar to the difference between old-school dial-up access and fiber-optic cables.
“This means absolutely no time to get a page open,” Francois Rancy, chief of the UN´s radio-communications branch told AP's John Heilprin.
While the technology has been existence for some time, it´s only now being implemented because the UN hadn´t been able to agree on a set of international standards for use.
Experts say that the new IMT-Advanced system utilizes the existing radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently than earlier systems. Thus, all IP-based devices built to use it (e.g. smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) will require less bandwidth to get online and transfer data, allowing for lightning-fast web access, multimedia message exchanges and even HD-TV.
The 2G, 3G and 4G standards were set by the International Telecommunication Union in order to clearly define the services and download speed provided by various networks.
According to Rancy, the new IMT-Advanced systems–also known as ℠true 4g´–will provide wireless customers with appreciably higher quality and a much faster bit rate. In fact, with an average bit rate of somewhere in the 100 megabits per second range, people will, for example, be able to download entire episodes of their favorite TV show in less than 20 seconds or an album in under a minute.
Rancy says that this is just “what people are really asking for now,” and it will constitute a “huge leap” in the evolution of wireless services.
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