While most of the world is still adopting 4G LTE networks, Ericsson is busy testing next-generation cellular connectivity in their labs. Recently, the company successfully managed to send data at a whopping five gigabits per second over test 5G networks.
Current LTE networks operate at maximum download speeds of around 100 Mbps, but most users typically achieve speeds below 30 Mbps. With Ericsson's 5G test network operating at 5,000 Mbps, the company has achieved speeds 50 times what you can get over LTE in the best conditions.
Ericsson's demo 5G network used a 15 GHz frequency band, which is much higher and shorter than current cellular networks that top out at around 2.6 GHz (2600 MHz LTE Band 7). As such, the test network's range is much shorter than current LTE networks.
The short-range nature of Ericsson's network is by design, as it's meant for densely-populated cities such as Tokyo, where many base stations could be deployed to offer super-fast speeds over a small area. Representatives of Japan's NTT DoCoMo and South Korea's SK Telecom were present for Ericsson's demonstration to see how the technology would fare in their own networks.
There's still a long way to go before 5G networks start being deployed. Japan is hoping to have a demonstration network available in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which are still six years away.