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5G mobile networks will provide users with speeds of 100Mbps

Monday, February 27th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

5G mobile users can expect download speeds of around 100Mbps, according to draft technical specifications for the technology.

Draft specifications were published last week by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and will be put forward for final approval in November.

The expected minimum peak data rate for a single 5G cell is 20Gbps for downloads and 10Gbps for uploads.

This would give individual users 100Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds.

5G networks will also be supported at speeds up to 500km/h – so will work on high-speed trains.

ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao said the IMT-2020 standard, which sets the key performance requirements for 5G, will be “the global cornerstone for all activities related to broadband communications and the Internet of Things for the future”.

The use of 5G to support Virtual Reality technologies is to be explored by BT and Nokia after the two firms announced they would be collaborating on a new stream of research.

BT and Nokia are showcasing how 5G-type technologies can be used to transmit high quality VR footage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Visitors to the Nokia stand will be able to use VR headsets to watch a replay of the Europa League match between Spurs and CSKA Moscow, which was broadcast by BT Sport in December.

The game was filmed using the Nokia OZO, the world’s first professional-grade virtual reality camera.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT technology, service and operations, said: “5G and VR are both technologies with enormous potential.

“This exciting joint research with Nokia is allowing us to explore how they can work together to provide a transformative experience for our customers in the future.

“Drawing on the high bandwidths and low latencies of 5G will allow us to go beyond the already compelling VR experiences that are possible over 4G, and cater for more interactive future VR content which will place people right at the heart of the action.”

Harold Graham, head of the 5G Business Line in Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Virtual Reality has enormous potential, both for entertainment as well as other applications, so our demo with BT in Barcelona is a compelling way to create both excitement and understanding of that potential.”

Image courtesy of Kārlis Dambrāns.

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