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Mind-melting 1Tbps broadband speeds achieved in 5G trial

Researchers at the University of Surrey have notched up speeds of 1Tbps – that’s a million megabits per second – using experimental 5G technology. 

The 5G Innovation Centre, led by Professor Rahim Tafazolli, achieved the speeds under lab conditions over a distance of 100 metres with the help of custom-made transmitters and receivers. 

Previously, Tafazolli stated that he thought speeds of around 800Gbps with no latency would be achievable, but 1Tbps surpasses that prediction by some distance; 1Tbps is equivalent to 1,000Gbps. 1Tbps is also light years ahead of the 5Gbps speeds predicted by Huawei’s Ryan Ding. 

Speaking to V3, Tafazolli also raised the issue of expanding supplementary technologies, so that they can keep up with the face-meltingly fast broadband speeds: “An important aspect of 5G is how it will support applications in the future. We don’t know what applications will be in use by 2020, or 2030 or 2040 for that matter, but we know they will be highly sensitive to latency.”

High latency can affect things like videocalling and gaming. Latency of less than a millisecond means that any lag in video streams are barely noticed by the human eye. 

While no-one knows for sure what 5G will be used for, it’s thought that it could allow cars talk to things like street lights and other smart city services. Latency issues could therefore have a knock on effect on systems monitoring congestion. 

Tafazolli’s team now intend to take their technology out of the lab and on to the University of Surrey’s campus, to put it through its paces in a much more real-world environment. 

Similarly, fellow 5GIC partners Samsung demonstrated gigabit speeds in the lab back in 2013, before taking it out on the road a year later. As well as reaching a then-industry-beating speed of 7.5Gbps, Samsung also successfully beamed 1.2Gbps to a car travelling over 60mph. 

Although you won’t be able to get 1Tbps speeds just yet, you can check your home broadband speed with our speed testing tool.

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