Samsung unveils 5G mmWave tech for ‘tens of gigabits per second’ wireless downloads


When you just can’t wait a minute to download that huge video, Samsung comes to the rescue. Sort of. Eventually. Reports Monday indicate Apple’s rival has found the key to delivering gigabit download speeds through a new fifth-generation cellular radio technology, dubbed 5G mmWave. It’s unclear whether the new tech can gain acceptance to eventually overtake 4G networks still rolling out.

For the iPhone maker, however, Samsung breaking today’s wireless speed barrier may mean more court wrangling as the two companies seek any advantage in the lucrative smartphone market…

Samsung announced the 5G breakthrough Sunday, claiming it enabled downloads and uploads of “tens of gigabits per second,” reported Yonhap News.

According to Samsung’s official blog post, 5G will be “capable of providing a ubiquitous Gbps experience to subscribers anywhere and offers data transmission speeds of up to several tens of Gbps per base station.”

The technology would theoretically allow you to download a full-feature 1080p flick on future iDevices in under a minute.

Until now, 4G LTE – with transmission speeds that reached 75 megabits per second – led the wireless drag race. The Korean firm achieved the faster speed by using the 28GHz wireless band and 64 antenna elements.

Samsung explains:

Once commercialized, 5G mobile communications technology will be capable of ultra-high-speed data transmission up to several hundred times faster than even the 4G LTE-Advanced technology due for launch later this year.

Samsung’s new technology will allow users to transmit massive data files including high quality digital movies practically without limitation.

As a result, subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition (UHD) content, and remote medical services.

In the races between Apple and Samsung, the weekend announcement is interesting for a couple reasons.

Samsung 5G teaser 001

Firstly, until Apple released an iPhone supporting 4G, transmission speed was a selling point for Android handsets, such as those sold by Samsung. Introducing a wireless 5G could regain that lead.

Secondly, 5G technology could be another arrow in Samsung’s quiver in the long-running patent dispute with Apple. A dispute over 3G patents has gone back and forth, with Apple winning a lawsuit in the UK while losing a similar wireless case in Germany.

As AppleInsider notes, Samsung’s wireless patents “are typically standard essential,” where the patent holder must grant other companies licenses on what courts have variously defined as ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ terms.

Just what those three words mean is often in dispute, as Samsung found in late 2012. Beyond the patent, Samsung’s 5G news faces other roadblocks. Foremost is the technology won’t even be ready to sell until 2020.

That could give the company and carriers time to convince half of the U.S. consumers there is even a need for 4G speeds, let alone 5G. Then there are all the carriers who haven’t built 4G networks, waiting for consumers to get the memo that faster is better.

Even if Samsung can sell the idea of 5G, they must argue that their version is better than Japan’s NTT DoCoMo’s. That version uses the 11GHz band and has been around since February.

Kinda disappointing to build a wireless hotrod and discover the tires won’t be ready for more than a half decade, there are no eager drivers and most roads were built for the family station wagon.