Millimeter Waves May Be the Future of 5G Phones



Clothes, cars, trains, tractors, body sensors, and tracking tags. By the end of this decade, analysts say, 50 billion things such as these will connect to mobile networks. They’ll consume 1000 times as much data as today’s mobile gadgets, at rates 10 to 100 times as fast as existing networks can support. So as carriers rush to roll out 4G equipment, engineers are already beginning to define a fifth generation of wireless standards.

What will these “5G” technologies look like? It’s too early to know for sure, but engineers at Samsung and at New York University say they’re onto a promising solution. The South Korea–based electronics giant generated some buzz when it announced a new 5G beam-forming antenna that could send and receive mobile data faster than 1 gigabit per second over distances as great as 2 kilometers. Although the 5G label is premature, the technology could help pave the road to more-advanced mobile applications and faster data transfers. [See More]