The world may still be getting used to the idea of having high-speed 4G wireless data at its collective fingertips, and many are still stuck with good-ol’ 3G, but that doesn’t mean that companies and governments the world over aren’t clamoring to try and get ahead of the game. 5G is where it’s going to be at in the next five or so years, and South Korea hopes to lead the way.
South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) announced this past Wednesday that it was working on a 5G technology that would blow the current 4G spectrum out of the water. By investing 1.6 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in the initiative, MEST hopes to produce a 5G network that is capable of speeds that are 1000 times faster than 4G, allowing an 800MB movie file to be downloaded via the airwaves in just one second. The expected timescale for such a thing? In just six years – 2020.
NEST may be hard at work on making the whole thing viable, but it says it is also looking into potential uses for the network, with Ultra-HD and holographic streaming high on the agenda. If you’ve ever tried to watch an HD YouTube video on a spotty 3G connection, then the idea of 4K video coming across that network will make your eyes water. Most home broadband connections won’t manage it either, but if South Korea’s MEST has its way, its people will be doing such things on smartphones and wireless dongles. Jealous much?
Of course, MEST isn’t the only one working on 5G technology. Samsung has already demonstrated its own 1Gbps 5G connection, but that took some 64 antennas to make it work, and even then there has been doubt cast about the technology by publications such as Forbes, who says Samsung’s claims are nothing more than ‘hyperbole.’ That’s got to sting!
At the moment we’re sure most of us would prefer to get reliable and affordable 4G services where we live, but the thought of 5G being actively worked on fills us with hope that, one day at least, we’ll all be downloading and streaming content through the magic of cellular networks.
Just don’t expect it to be cheap.