14 June 2015

Researchers Achieve Breakthrough 1 Tbps Wireless Internet Speeds

They've done it! Researchers from the England’s University of Surrey finally achieved 5G internet speeds of 1 Terabits per second (1Tbps). This is by far the fastest wireless connection available. 

With this powerful speed, you can download a hundred feature films and stream multiple TV shows simultaneously, all in one second!

The speed test was conducted in 2015 over a 100-meter stretch inside the institution’s 5G Innovation Center (5GIC). The research is part of a global endeavor among technology companies and organizations to develop the next level of internet connectivity, which will eventually sustain our increasing interaction with wireless devices, from our smartphones, to smart home devices and the cars that we drive. Before the test, drawing board estimates for 5G connectivity were pegged at just 10Gbps, but the Surrey speed test remarkably outperformed the industry’s initial expectations.

 1 Tbps Wireless Internet Speeds
Image: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/
Why Would We Want 5G?

5G means more than just getting faster connections than the current services we are getting from 3G and 4G networks. 5G refers to the fifth generation of wireless networks anticipated to power the highly connected lifestyle of the future, such as broadcast-like services, more efficient lifeline communications for disaster risk reduction, inter-vehicular communications, and operation of smart home devices.

Image courtesy: https://www.broadcom.com
 For instance, Nokia is making headway in the smart automobile market. It envisions a future scenario of internet-based driverless cars that are capable of relaying accurate and real-time information on relevant road and travel conditions.

Nokia’s contemporary, Ericsson, is eyeing digital development in large equipment industries. At MWC, Ericsson demonstrated the feasibility of controlling heavy machinery from remote locations. In the future, machine operators will be capable of controlling equipment from the safe distance of another room or another country.

Aside from that, 5G networks are also expected to increase individual and corporate productivity. 
Ericsson 5G radio test bed has topped 5 Gbps throughput
An Ericsson 5G radio test bed has topped 5 Gbps throughput.Image: www.convergedigest.com
Faster connections will enable uninterrupted video conferencing, rapid video downloads and file sharing, more immersive gaming and entertainment, and high-speed wireless connectivity in any location under any condition.

So when are we going to get 5G on our devices?
Experts believe this new technology will be fully ready for public consumption by 2020. In many countries, 4G connections are just getting rolled out. And there is much ground to cover before we can finally enjoy ultra-fast and reliable 1Tbps or 1Gbps speeds as commodities.

The fastest available internet connection at present is up to 100Mbps through fiber-optic cables. This technology is available in Japan and other advanced countries including the United States. While these speeds are not yet available to the public, some companies like Google have already managed to reach 1Gbps connectivity using fiber-optic cables. In fact, the University of Surrey was not the first institution to achieve 1Tbps speed tests.

In January of 2014, BBC announced a similar feat by Alcatel-Lucent and BT, whose speed tests reached an amazing 1.4 terabits per second. The test was run on a 255-mile stretch from the BT Central London Tower to another BT Tower in Ipswich using existing fiber-optics infrastructure. This research by Alcatel-Lucent and BT raised the hope of more efficient data transfer through existing channels, eliminating the need for costly upgrades.

 Alcatel-Lucent, have set a new record for data transfer speeds over fibre cables
BT's tech boffins, joined by experts from French company Alcatel-Lucent, have set a new record for data transfer speeds over fiber cables. Image: TechnoRadar
The downside to this prior improvement is the higher risk of interference and errors when fiber-optic cables are packed with data to their maximum capacity. In terms of accessibility and traffic capacity, wireless connections remain the most promising venue for future innovations in internet-based technologies.

How far are we right now from 1Tbps speeds?
To put things in better perspectives, the highest national average internet speed is 22.2Mbps according to Business Insider’s May 17, 2015, report. 

How far ?  Image: TrustedReviews
This average national speed is available in South Korea. The following countries have the top 10 fastest speeds:

Ave. Speed
South Korea
22.2 Mbps
Hong Kong
The Netherlands
The Czech Republic

On the contrary, the 10 countries with the lowest internet speeds were also recorded for 2014:


Making the most of your current internet speeds

We all could use some speed upgrades for a much better online experience. But while we are waiting for faster 4G and 5G connections to become available and affordable, we could instead use some tips on optimizing our internet speeds.

Internet Connectivity Speed. Image: Mashable
To maximize your connectivity speeds, consider the following tips from Blog Tyrant:
  • 1.       Test a different modem/router
  • 2.       Scan your unit for viruses
  • 3.       Check for on-system interference
  • 4.       Check your filters
  • 5.       Plug-in directly to the modem instead of going wireless
  • 6.       Clear your modem space of other devices (such as cellphones and iPads) that may cause electromagnetic interference
  • 7.       Shorten your cables
  • 8.       Upgrade your router’s firmware and software regularly.

For a more detailed discussion of these steps, check out these tips from Blog Tyrant:10 Ways to Increase Internet Download Speed  and WikiHow’s IllustratedGude to Increasing Internet Speed.

Comprehensive guest post entry of Ryza Bolanio

Aune, S. (2010). What would we do with 1Gbps of Bandwidth? TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved from: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2010/01/04/what-would-we-do-with-1gbps-of-bandwidth/
Cha, B. (2015). What is 5G, and what does it mean to consumers? Retrieved from: http://recode.net/2015/03/13/what-is-5g-and-what-does-it-mean-for-consumers/
Lee, D. (2014). ‘Fastest ever’ broadband passes speed test. BBC News – Technology. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-25840502 
Garcia, D. (n.d.) Inter-vehicular communications. Retrieved from: http://www.mi.fu-berlin.de/inf/groups/ag-tech/teaching/2011_SS/S_19510b_Proseminar_Technische_Informatik/daniel-lopez-report.pdf [June 14, 2015].
Global Joys. (n.d.)  Top 10 fastest and slowest internet speeds 2014. Global Joys. Retrieved from: http://globaljoys.com/top-10-fastest-and-slowest-internet-speed-2014/ [June 14, 2015].
Manjoo, F. (2013). What do you do with the world’s fastest internet service? Slate – Technology. Retrieved from: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/03/google_fiber_review_nobody_knows_what_to_do_with_the_world_s_fastest_internet.html
McDonald, F. (2015). Researchers have achieved wireless speeds of 1 Tb per second. Science Alert. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-have-achieved-wireless-speeds-of-1-tb-per-second
Pullen, J. (2015). You asked: What is 5G wireless data and why do I want it? Time. Retrieved from: http://time.com/3736663/5g-wireless-data/
Setarzewski, M. (n.d.). What do you do with a 50Mbps internet connection at home? Michael Sitarzewski Blog. Retrieved from: http://www.zerologic.com/Blog/What-do-you-do-with-a-50Mbps-internet-connection-at-home.html [June 14, 2015].  
Speiser, M. (2015). The 10 countries with the world’s fastest internet speed. Business Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/fastest-internet-connection-speeds-2015-5
Edited: June 8, 2016 11:32am

Featured Offers: