FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Cell Phones Could Reach Gigabit Speed by 2010

Japan's NTT DoCoMo is developing a fourth generation (4G) cell phone network that can transmt data at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second -- allowing cell phones to download feature-length movies in about a minute. This kind of speed is crucial if cell phones are going to be, as many predict, the literal key to personal information technology going forward.

The experimental technology used to achieve such speed is called Variable-Spreading-Factor Spread Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (VSF-Spread OFDM). In English, that means that the network uses multiple radio bands to transmit data simultaneously. The 4G phones can also receive data from multiple base stations.

Although the major phone carriers would need to buy into this technology to make it viable, NTT DoCoMo hopes to launch a commercial 4G network by 2010, most likely either in China or Japan.

Source: New Scientist