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5G: A Lot of "Noise"?

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 22/05/2013

It wont be here til 2020, at any (speed) rate.

Despite Samsung's publicised 5G breakthrough last week don't expect it to hit anytime soon. 

By 2020 or thereabouts, most analysts reckon. 

Mobile giant Samsung stirred up the pot last week with the lightening speed "5G" technology, announcing a cellular breakthrough that will allow users to transmit massive data including movies in seconds, and "practically without limitation."

It developed the world's "first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands ... technology [that] sits at the core of 5G mobile communications" in the 28Ghz band.

Samsung said 5G provides data transmission "up to several hundred times faster than current 4G" or even 4G LTE Advanced, due for launch soon by Telstra to deal with heavy web traffic over a greater distance. 

4G LTE-A uses the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands. 

Telsyte analyst Chris Coughlan, dismissed Samsung's apparent  'breakthrough' as a lot of "noise". 

"We're just starting on the 4G curve," he said. 28GHZ won't penetrate buildings and can be prone to interface by rain and other conditions. 

There are no set parameters for 5G yet - it doesn't even have an official name. 

Local telco AAPT have spectrum in this 28Ghz band and may soon be for up auction - and could be potentially snapped up by either Telstra or Optus. 

NBN Co also has some spectrum on this band and  may also use it for servicing remote areas, The Australian's David Frith points out. 

But even though it's the bones of 10 years away, global telcos are busy preparing for the the next generation network technologies - the European Commission also plans to invest 50 million euros this year to introduce 5G services by 2020 and China are also busy researching. 

The average Aussie now spends 12 hours every week surfing the net on a smartphone or tablet - so we're sure by 2020 super dooper 5G service will be more than welcome as even more devices (think washing machines, fridges) become connected to the web. 

The country's biggest telco, Telstra, is also testing LTE-B (broadcast) a technology which allows multicast broadcasts so if a lot of people want to watch the same thing at the same time whether it's the AFL final or another event, the 4G network wont keel over.

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