4G LTE is fast enough for some people, but most people are dreaming of a future with no load times.
That elusive future may never happen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Countries and research institutes around the world are investing in 5G communications research. 5G – if it fulfills its promise – will allow us to download games and movies in “a second”.
That information was revealed by David Cameron of all people, who was speaking at a European technology show after being invited by Angela Merkel. Why would Merkel and Cameron be involved in technology in any way? The prime minister was announcing a partnership between German and British universities.
That “download a movie in a second” promise wasn’t just a hyperbolic statement. Cameron, according to his data, claims that 5th generation mobile communications technology will be able to download an 800MB movie in exactly one second.
Speeds like that would be inconceivable on today’s networks. The closest you could get to that download time is Google Fiber, which offers 1000Mbit download speeds, which means you could conceivably download a movie in about 7 to 10 seconds.
Of course, that’s only if your hard drive can keep up. Eventually, you’ll run into a limit with transfer speeds and possibly even heat. But if your internet is fast enough to worry about that, then that’s a fun problem to solve.
I personally download a lot of games from Steam. File sizes can range from 10GB to 20GB or more – even on a relatively fast internet connection, that’s a lot of time spent downloading.
You know how we look back at the 1800s and think: “Wow, I can’t believe it took them 3 weeks to travel from Europe to America?” In a decade, we might be looking back at our download speeds and thinking a similar thing.