4G? So passé — Japan’s already starting 5G trials


Ready for next-generation cellular data speeds? It won’t be anytime soon, but Japanese carrier NTT DOCOMO has recruited international phone makers to begin 5G trials.

DOCOMO today announced plans to kick off experimental trials in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, and it’ll do so in tandem with six worldwide device manufacturers: Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, and Alcatel-Lucent.

Just upgraded to a 4G LTE device? Don’t worry, 5G speeds aren’t expected to be commercially available until 2020—the same target we heard from Huawei recently. 5G is projected to deliver 10Gbps+ data transmissions, which DOCOMO says offers 1000 times what LTE can deliver today.

Trials will first begin indoors at DOCOMO’s R&D Center, with outdoor field trials following in 2015. DOCOMO aims to begin sharing its data in 2016 as carriers work to standardize 5G in advance of its eventual launch.

We’re excited for the day that we can download an entire movie to our myriad devices in a half-second, although it’s a sobering reminder that someone’s always working to make the tech we love severely obsolete. Oh well. Bring on the future.



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