May 13, 2013
5G Networks By 2020? Samsung Looks To The Future
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Samsung is looking some seven years into the future and claims to have built and tested a 5G wireless network capable of delivering one-gigabit-per-second speeds. Though many parts of the world are still scurrying to build out their 4G networks, Samsung says they´ve developed the necessary technology to operate in the millimeter-wave Ka bands and deliver such ultra-fast speeds.
The Korean company claims their “mmWave Mobile Technology” is a proven solution, and by pitching in with others in mobile research, they hope to have this network “commercialized” by 2020.
“The millimeter-wave band is the most effective solution to recent surges in wireless Internet usage,” said Chang Yeong Kim, executive vice president of Samsung and head of their digital media research in a statement.
“Samsung´s recent success in developing the adaptive array transceiver technology has brought us one step closer to the commercialization of 5G mobile communications in the millimeter-wave bands."
Delivering faster wireless broadband speeds requires a larger data pipe. Current “4G” networks operate on the lower end of the frequency spectrum. The mmWave network is said to broadcast signals at higher frequencies and can theoretically deliver speeds up to several hundred times faster than 4G. Though widening the spread of frequencies used seems like a viable way to offer a faster and more full-featured network, previous research has shown that these high-frequency, millimeter-wave bands might not be well suited for transmitting data over long distances.
Enter Samsung´s adaptive array transceiver, a cluster of 64 antennas which has been shown to successfully transmit data in the 28 GHz range (4G networks often operate in the 800 MHz range) at around 1.056 Gbps and across a distance of about 1.2 miles. Samsung claims this array of 64 antennas can mitigate any radio reception lost to operating in these millimeter-waves lengths.
Though Samsung claims that their network will be able to deliver data at one gigabit per second, this isn´t the first time we´ve heard about wireless networks operating at these speeds. LTE-Advanced is the next great wireless advance to be commercialized, and it can transmit data at a theoretical 1Gbps. More realistically, however, it will deliver speeds of 15 megabits per second, or about 25 percent faster than the average 12 megabits per second delivered by today´s 4G networks. In an interview with CNN following this year´s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Tod Sizer, the head of wireless research at Alcatel-Lucent´s Bell labs said 5G has more to offer than speedy data.
"5G won't be about more speed, necessarily. It may be faster, but it will be more about meeting the expectation of service quality,” said Sizer.
Each new iteration of wireless networking has brought about a new feature in addition to fast speeds. For instance, 2G delivered better voice quality, 3G delivered data and 4G has enabled faster video streaming.
5G is expected to be ubiquitous enough to handle millions of connections and deliver wireless connectivity to millions of other connected devices. Samsung specifically mentions using their 5G network to deliver 3D movies and games as well as ultra high-definition content and even remote medical services. The Galaxy maker also said they plan to jump into this increasingly competitive 5G market and further the research with their adaptive array transceiver. For now it seems Samsung sees 2020 as a very real goal for rolling out 5G networks to wireless providers all over the world.