4G prototypes reach blistering speeds

4G prototypes reach blistering speeds

Cellphones capable of transmitting data at blistering speeds have been demonstrated by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

In experiments, prototype phones were used to view 32 high definition video streams, while travelling in an automobile at 20 kilometres per hour. Officials from NTT DoCoMo say the phones could receive data at 100 megabits per second on the move and at up to a gigabit per second while static. At this rate, an entire DVD could be downloaded within a minute. DoCoMo's current 3G (third generation) phone network offers download speeds of 384 kilobits per second and upload speeds of 129 kilobits per second.

The activities "are technically impressive," says Lajos Hanzo, a communications expert at Southampton University in the UK. But Hanzo told New Scientist NTT DoCoMo will need assistance from other phone companies if it is to kick-start 4G uptake. "In today's world nobody can go it alone," he says. "And hence any standard proposal must be internationally ratified, which has not as yet taken place."

Faster and faster, the cellular networks grow. All to deliver content to what kind of device? A flip phone with a tiny LCD screen? What is the point? All the investment in infrastructure and standards design, everything leading up to the new 4G standard with blistering wireless speed is totally moot if there's no improvement on the device side.

The output from these new networks is physically constrained by the 2" LCD, which means time to recoup investments in network infrastructure is much longer. Value-added service adoption is much less. People will say, 'what is the point?' Just like they do today with mobile phone TV. No one's buying it, because it doesn't add value. Just like blistering data rates may not add much value to cell phone users without a radical rethinking of the data output methodology from such devices.


  1. BellSouth just lost hundreds of million dollar in LA/MS. New Orlean's central offices are almost wiped out by the hurricane. It's a new playing field for the company. This could be interesting what would the company do, and New Orlean canbe the first city to be complete wireless.


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