5G is still a few years away for most of us, but networks and tech companies are laying the groundwork for it right now. One year ago, Qualcomm announced it was developing its first 5G-capable mobile modem, the X50. If you're not familiar with mobile SoCs, the modem is the component of a phone that connects to a cellular network. Qualcomm promised speeds of up to 5Gbps, with an expected ship date of 2018. Read More
We learned a few months ago that T-Mobile spent big in the FCC's recent 600MHz spectrum auction. The carrier dropped $7.99 billion on the spectrum licenses, which it has now officially been granted. It's wasting no time putting them to use. T-Mobile says it will begin rolling 600MHz coverage out to select markets over the summer. Read More
This is Sprint's Magic Box, the world's first all-wireless small cell, which promises to improve LTE data coverage and download speeds indoors. The plug-and-play unit is aimed at both small businesses and regular customers and offered at no extra cost, with availability subject to qualifying locations. Read More
Everyone's favorite performance-artist-CEO has put up another amazing video about his company's plans for 5G. We announced T-Mobile's recent purchase of whole swaths of the 600MHz spectrum, and today CEO John Legere announced in one of his regular videos exactly how it plans on using it. Some of it will be going to expand current 4G LTE capacity and penetration, but a portion is to be set aside for their future 5G implementation. Read More
I didn't think it would be AT&T, but I knew we could count on one of America's lovely carriers to open the door to the complete and utter ruination of any agreed-upon definition of "5G." Today, AT&T announced a bunch of new 4G LTE features (which is what they are) were being rolled out to its network, and it's given these features a name: 5G Evolution.
Now, the reason 5G has a qualifier is simple: because this isn't 5G. It'd be like taking the inline 4-cylinder engine out of your car, replacing it with a V6, but saying that you're now running a V8 Evolution, because hey, you're closer to a V8 than you were before. Read More
AT&T announced today that they're going to acquire Straight Path Communications, a holder of a number of millimeter wave spectrum licenses in the US for $1.6 billion. This brings them one step closer to realizing their AirGig plans for last-mile data infrastructure. Read More
The next standard for wireless connectivity has been in development by the 3GPP cellular standards group for some time now, and won't be ready for a while yet - at least not until 2018. But now the group has officially adopted "5G" as the name going forward, and created the above logo for it. Read More
Together with Australian network Telstra, Ericsson, and Netgear, Qualcomm announced today at the 4G/5G summit in Hong Kong that it has developed the first device that can reach gigabit LTE speeds. The resulting product, the NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100, is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16, the first modem with gigabit LTE class speeds, which was announced back in February. As a bonus, Qualcomm has also announced the first modem that can reach 5G speeds, the X50.
The network which will use the device, Telstra, will now conduct "comprehensive device, network and user testing," preparing for a commercial launch in the coming months on its gigabit network, which is developed by Ericsson. Read More
Today, AT&T issued a press release regarding an upcoming network technology initiative. Normally, this would be about as exciting as chewing on wood pulp while watching CSPAN. Certainly, network technology is very important, but it's not generally all that exciting to anyone but a relatively specific subset of people. Even for technology enthusiasts like us, that stuff is more than a little dry.
Today's press release was different, though. Today, AT&T announced what it believes to be the very future of its network infrastructure - both wired and wireless - and it is insane. AT&T calls this initiative Project AirGig, and claims it's the result of 10 years of research and over 100 patent applications. Read More
Over at the on-going CEATEC show at the Makuhari Messe in Japan, visitors have been treated to a display by Samsung of the next generation in WiMax. While you may be excited about getting HSPA+ (<56 Mb) on your G2, or the forthcoming LTE (<100 Mb) network promised by Verizon late this year, the 330 Mbit connection of WiMax 2 (up from <30 Mb) rather puts those in the shade. Showing off speeds that most would trade limbs for even on their home network, the new 802.16m implementation is capable of streaming full HD 3D video with ease.
The WiMax 2 standard is set to be finalized within the next month or so, and a commercial application is expected by the end of 2011. Read More