It’s looking more and more like within 10 years we’ll all be using gigabit Internet, however not just through fiber, but also through the wireless network, if Samsung has something to say about it with their plan to launch 1 Gbps 5G technology by 2020.
According to Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Samsung has successfully tested its 5G technology by using 64 antennas to achieve the 1 Gbps speed. Samsung says that this technology will be used to transfer massive data files, including “4k” videos and remote medical services, “practically without limitation”.
Of course, we all know that won’t necessarily be true, considering that even today carriers are offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps (at least in theory, since it depends on how many people are using the network at a time, too), but you can’t really take advantage of them if the data cap is 2 GB per month, for a “reasonable” cost.
To be truly “without limit”, we’d have to get unlimited bandwidth, too. But I’m not so sure we’ll get to see that by 2020, seeing how the carriers are worried that once their Voice and SMS “cash cows” are gone because of VOIP and Internet-based chat apps, they won’t have a profitable business anymore. Therefore, they feel that they need to monetize and squeeze as much money as possible out of every GB of data being used.
One thing that might help with that is the carriers’ own content services. If people can’t watch their HD and 4k content because they are too limited by the data cap, then they might consider at least expanding that data cap, but only if the net neutrality law is applicable in some way to them. Otherwise, they’ll just say “if you watch our services, the data consumed, won’t be counted towards the data spent”. But that would be very anti-competitive, and hopefully they won’t be able to do that.
All it takes is for another “Google Fiber” to happen in the wireless world, and that might quickly solve this issue, but it remains to be seen whether it will be Google itself, or Dish, or Softbank-Sprint. And then we’ll be able to fully utilize the 5G connections, as promised.