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Samsung delivers gigabit broadband to car passenger in ‘5G’ mobile test

Samsung latest ‘5G’ test has seen it deliver gigabit broadband speeds over a wireless broadband connection to a moving vehicle. 

The latest trials have seen Samsung try to simulate what a next-gen mobile experience could be like for passengers in cars. The test saw an uninterrupted 1.2Gbps connection delivered to a vehicle travelling at at 100kph (62mph) on a professional race track. 

This gives us some idea what it’ll be like for kids in the back seat trying to stream video in the future. 

Driving 5G innovation forwards - literally. Samsung demos gigabit mobile broadband in a moving car.
Driving 5G innovation forwards – literally. Samsung demos gigabit mobile broadband in a moving car.

This is Samsung’s first outdoor 5G experiment – previous tests have all taken place indoors, in controlled lab environments.  The tests also saw Samsung successfully beam what it’s calling an industry-best result, 7.5Gbps at a stationary target. 

While a 5G standard has yet to emerge – meaning it’s technically too soon to call this ‘5G’ technology – Samsung is one of the many companies that’s involved in tests that are helping to define one. 

Chang Yeong Kim, head of Samsung’s Digital Media City R&D Centre said: “We will continue to build upon these milestones and develop advanced technologies that contribute to the 5G standard.

“In addition to leveraging our own global R&D capabilities, we will also continue to cooperate with other industry leaders and research centres across the world.” 

Samsung is one of the partners working with University of Surrey, which has set up a research centre dedicated to developing and defining 5G. 

The EU and Korea hope that that as well as allowing for incredibly fast mobile broadband speeds 5G will help connect smart cities, smart home appliances and all manner of things communicate.  

Chang Yeong added: “Whether you are talking about mobile devices, the cloud, or the Internet of Things, the demand for 5G telecommunications standard and its supporting technologies will continue to grow.”

As with Samsung’s previous tests, the would-be 5G service was delivered over the 28GHz frequency. 

Here in the UK, Ofcom wants to use the lower 700MHz radio band for future mobile services, so it’s unclear if Samsung will be able to pull off the same trick on a different frequency. 

Lower frequencies are desirable for mobile services as they’re better able to penetrate walls and travel greater distances. Vodafone recently announced that it’s started rolling out 4G services on the 800MHz spectrum band while EE is experimenting with 4G voice calls on 800MHz, which amongst other things will improve patchy call quality in rural areas. 

Samsung says that its own Hybrid Adaptive Array technology uses millimetre wave frequency bands to enable the use of higher frequencies over greater distances, which is how it was able to deliver a 1.2Gbps connection to a car zipping round a 4.35 kilometre race track. 

Ofcom wants to hold a 5G spectrum auction in 2018, by which time companies including Samsung, ZTE, Ericsson, Huawei and other trialists should have a better idea of how 5G is going to work in the UK and across the rest of the world. 

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