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It’s a Long Way to 5G

Critics have piled on to Samsung’s recent announcement about its 5G technology test. I say, 5G? How about better 3G coverage first?

Back in mid-May, Samsung announced it had successfully tested fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology that would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second. Sceptics have been piling on ever since.

I’m not going to join the fray and speculate about whether the tests were valid or not. Especially since 5G won’t be ready for prime time until 2020 at the earliest. But, I do have two responses.

Firstly, when I was on Oxford Street a few weeks back (often hailed as London’s busiest shopping street), my phone was showing an 'O' symbol, meaning I only had GPRS at best. In fact, I seemed to have nothing at all.

Forget 5G. I'd be delighted if 3G worked in London. Heck even EDGE/2.5G would be enough most of the time. And it looks like I’m not the only one with bandwidth issues on UK networks.

Secondly, downloading a entire movie in one second sounds cool. It could be useful. But as my Sky+ planner demonstrates, download times are not a challenge for me. Sky (Satellite TV) has a personal video recorder (PVR) a bit like TiVo called the Sky+ box. They also have Sky+ on the go for your phone. I have mine set to record 30 shows a week. Add that to my favourite podcasts, radio 4 comedy shows, magazines, and music library, plus work and sleep requirements, and the sum is far more time than I’ll ever actually have.

What I really need is something that lets me watch an entire movie in one second. Anyone developing that?