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5G Researchers Manage Record Connection Speed

5G Researchers Manage Record Connection Speed

5G Researchers Manage Record Connection Speed

Record-breaking speeds have been achieved during tests of 5G data connections, scientists have said.

Researchers at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) managed one terabit per second (Tbps) – many thousands of times faster than current data connections.

The head of the 5GIC said he hoped to demonstrate the technology to the public in 2018.

Ofcom has said 5G could be available in Britain by 2020.

At 1Tbps, it would be theoretically possible to download a file 100 times the size of a feature film in about three seconds. The speed is more than 65,000 times faster than average 4G download speeds.

It is also far in excess of the previous best achieved in tests: Samsung’s 7.5 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is less than 1% of the Surrey team’s speed.

According to news website V3, 5GIC director Prof Rahim Tafazolli said: “We have developed 10 more breakthrough technologies and one of them means we can exceed 1Tbps wirelessly. This is the same capacity as fibreoptics but we are doing it wirelessly.”

His research team built its own kit and carried out the tests in lab conditions over a distance of 100m.

‘Step change’

It remains to be seen whether it will be possible to replicate the speeds in real-world conditions. Prof Tafazolli said he wanted to carry out more tests around the university’s campus before going public.

“We want to be the first in the world to show such high speeds,” he said.

The regulator Ofcom has been supportive of efforts to get 5G to the public and, last month, it called for input from the industry on how to go about it.

It has said that 5G would be able to use very high-frequency spectrum – above 6 GHz – to run a range of services – from holographic projections to financial trading.

The regulator said it expected 5G mobile to be capable of delivering between 10 and 50Gbps, compared with the 4G average download speed of 15Megabits per second (Mbps).

Speaking as Ofcom launched its consultation in January this year, its acting chief executive Steve Unger said: “5G must deliver a further step change in the capacity of wireless networks, over and above that currently being delivered by 4G.”

The breakthrough by the 5GIC team brings that one step closer. But Prof Tafazolli said there were hurdles to overcome before 5G would be ready

“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.

“We need to bring end-to-end latency down to below one millisecond so that it can enable new technologies and applications that would just not be possible with 4G,” he told V3.

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Tablets Boost ‘Silver Surfer’ Web Use

Tablets Boost ‘Silver Surfer’ Web Use

Tablets Boost ‘Silver Surfer’ Web Use. An Ofcom study also finds that most people make use of around only half of the apps they download to their devices.

The number of older people going online has soared, driven by the uptake of tablet devices and smartphones, according to Ofcom.

Among those over 65, internet use rose by 25% in just a year, mainly because of the popularity of tablet devices among that age group.

The Ofcom report provides a comprehensive overview of the UK population’s media use.

It says young people are spending more than 24 hours a week online.

But 16-24 year olds are also better informed about privacy and security than typical UK adults, who spend an average of nearly 17 hours online per week.

Although laptop and desktop computers remain the most popular way of accessing the internet, two-thirds of adults now use other devices like smartphones and tablets.

Tablets

The age of people who play games on a smartphone is also getting older

Twice as many people now use tablets as they did in 2012.

Smartphones are also getting greyer. Six in 10 adults now use one, mainly driven by increased ownership among 45-54 year olds.

As a result, gamers are getting older: Playing games on a smartphone has more than doubled among 45 to 54-year-olds and 55 to 64-year-olds.

On tablets, the number of gamers in those age groups has tripled since last year. Those older than 45 now spend more than four hours per week playing games.

But on smartphones, more than half the apps installed are never used.

Ofcom found that most people only use 10 apps regularly, out of an average of 23 installed.

Facebook was the most popular social network, followed by Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp.

The average person has 228 friends online – a number that is unchanged since 2012.

Women are slightly more likely to have a Facebook profile than men, but men are significantly more likely to use Twitter, YouTube and MySpace.
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