100 megabits per second – while on the move

From New Scientist via slashdot, some concete numbers to anchor estimates of impending bitrates in wireless connectivity:

Cellphones capable of transmitting data at blistering speeds have been demonstrated by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

In experiments, prototype phones were used to view 32 high definition video streams, while travelling in an automobile at 20 kilometres per hour. Officials from NTT DoCoMo say the phones could receive data at 100 megabits per second on the move and at up to a gigabit per second while static.

At this rate, an entire DVD could be downloaded within a minute. DoCoMo's current 3G (third generation) phone network offers download speeds of 384 kilobits per second and upload speeds of 129 kilobits per second.

The technology behind NTT DoCoMo's high-speed phone network remains experimental, but the 4G tests used a method called Variable-Spreading-Factor Spread Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (VSF-Spread OFDM), which increases downlink speeds by using multiple radio frequencies to send the same data stream.

The article goes on to say:

Some countries have already begun cooperating on [such 4G] standards. Japan and China signed a memorandum on 24 August to work together on 4G. NTT DoCoMo hopes to launch a commercial 4G network by 2010.

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Kim Cameron

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