NTT DoCoMo in Japan, one the world's leading mobile providers, recently announced a prototype wireless network that could send data packets at 2.5 gigabits per second -- fast enough to download a DVD movie in two seconds -- to a mobile device traveling at 20 kilometers per hour.
If their prototype wireless technology can produce even a fraction of that 2.5-gigabit transfer rate in real-world applications, it would vastly enhance mobile functions -- allowing video telephony, robust Internet connectivity, and streaming media services, while at the same time extending the range of traditional voice calls.
These high-speed data networks, along with increasingly powerful mobile handsets, have the potential to supplant the use of desktop computers -- a trend that's already occurring in some Asian countries. This potential market has DoCoMo, along with almost every other major wireless player, including Motorola, Samsung, and Qualcomm, scrambling to develop their own technology for the next generation of wireless networks, often labeled "4G."
DoCoMo's demonstration gives a glimpse into the two types of technology that will most likely be adopted to increase bandwidth and range: MIMO, which is applied to network base stations and mobile devices, and QAM, which loads more data onto radio waves.
Read more at Technology Review 6/19/06
Posted by P. Kaufman at June 19, 2006 8:21 AM