During the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 this week in Barcelona, Spain, South Korean wireless telecommunications company SK Telecom, together with Nokia has been showcasing its latest 5G system. The companies have been giving live demonstrations of the 20.5 Gbps transmission speed to attending delegates.
Last October the companies achieved a 19.1Gbps transmission speed over the air using 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), 8×8 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) transmission and 400 MHz of bandwidth. They were then able to further increase the speed by improving the ‘Channel Coding’ technology – which adds extra data bits to make the transmission of data more robust. But the showcase at MWC 2016 is the first time SK Telecom has brought out the ‘real 5G’ speed from the lab to the public.
So what will this mean for the average user in the future? With the development of a 5G infrastructure and its ultra-fast speed, 5G is capable of transmitting massive amounts of data. This in turn allows companies to explore innovative changes to customers’ experience through realistic/immersive multimedia services. So not only streaming films and videogames, which can already be achieved with the current 4G system, but more data intensive media like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can be sent directly to devices.
Alex Jinsung Choi, the Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom said in a statement: SK Telecom is making all-out efforts to develop 5G technologies that can bring greater convenience, safety and joy to our customers’ lives. Moreover, 5G cannot be achieved through mere advancement of technology. Technologies, services and the ecosystem must all work in concert and develop in lockstep to achieve our vision. Thus, SK Telecom will thoroughly prepare for the 5G era in close cooperation with diverse partners to deliver new and innovative experience to customers.”
It’s unclear when consumers are likely to see 5G appearing in the latest devices, but VRFocus will be following any developments that benefit VR, and reporting them back.