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United Kingdom Network The Internet

UK and Germany To Collaborate On 5G 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-it-out dept.
First time accepted submitter Niranjan Nallapothula writes in with news of an agreement between the UK and Germany to develop 5G technology, as well as boost momentum for the Internet of Things. "Britain and Germany will team up to work on developing the next super-fast mobile network, 5G, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron told the opening of the world's biggest high-tech fair. Cameron said the initiative is one of three areas that he wants Britain and Germany to collaborate on to "pool ideas, share data, innovate, and to lead on the next big ideas" in what he dubbed as being 'a world on fast forward.'"
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UK and Germany To Collaborate On 5G

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  • 5? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:28AM (#46445185)

    Shouldn't we concentrate on developing 4G first?

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:47AM (#46445377)

    I suppose there is always a place for more bandwidth, but the limiting factor is going to be spectrum space here. 5G is most likely going to increase bandwidth performance, but at what cost? Using 4G you can stream HD video now, what more do we actually need? For mobile devices, I'm not so sure there is much more necessary.

    As always, the issue really is spectrum space. Where will it come from *this* time? Cell spectrum is generally well used (at least in urban areas) so there will be a huge push to find something else. Problem is that all the available spectrum is way up there, where solid state devices start having serious design issues and the power required is huge. You thought your 4G phone battery died quick...

    Research is great, I'm just not thinking there is much practical that will come of this.

  • Mod parent down! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:58AM (#46445471)

    Mod parent down, for he is shortsighted and hates technology. Bigot!

  • by frnic (98517) on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:59AM (#46445479)

    It seems a significant number of the readers here would rather say "64kb is all the memory anyone will ever need", because they are too lazy to try and think rather than just knock any and every innovation mentioned on Slashdot.

    As far as 5G - "why" the answer is use (consumption) will always expand to fill capacity. The question is not WHY the question that needs to be answered is how can we put that additional capacity to use.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday March 10, 2014 @11:02AM (#46445509)

    I suppose there is always a place for more bandwidth, but the limiting factor is going to be spectrum space here. 5G is most likely going to increase bandwidth performance, but at what cost? Using 4G you can stream HD video now, what more do we actually need? For mobile devices, I'm not so sure there is much more necessary.

    As always, the issue really is spectrum space. Where will it come from *this* time? Cell spectrum is generally well used (at least in urban areas) so there will be a huge push to find something else. Problem is that all the available spectrum is way up there, where solid state devices start having serious design issues and the power required is huge. You thought your 4G phone battery died quick...

    Research is great, I'm just not thinking there is much practical that will come of this.

    Well with 4G you can use your monthly data cap in five minutes [pcpro.co.uk]. Many people look forward to the time when it will only take seconds.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday March 10, 2014 @11:09AM (#46445565) Homepage Journal

    Sure there will be some niche applications,

    Feeding the last mile is not a niche application.

    In cities, it's reasonable to wire everyone up. In bumfuck, not so much. I live in bumfuck. I have three ISP options available to me, all of the WISPs. All of them crap. I am now on the one which is least crap. A notable percentage of Americans are in the same boat, or one which is indistinguishable from a distance. Population density is low enough and sectored antennas directional enough for wireless to be a last-mile solution for the USA.

    On the other hand, it'll still require microcells...

  • by ledow (319597) on Monday March 10, 2014 @11:13AM (#46445611) Homepage

    "Why" should we invest in a technology that we don't know "how" to put to use?

    And, believe me, it's us that are investing in it. My mobile service provider keeps telling me about 4G. Says it's wonderful. Say's I'm ready to go. Except I don't have a 4G handset and have no intention of really getting one. Because it costs a lot more and does nothing that mine doesn't already do, just slightly faster (in theory). Coverage isn't there. Cost is too much (still measured in fucking megabytes). No real advantage over 3G at the moment.

    So my question is not "how" at all - I can name a million ways we *could* use 5G. Like I could name a million ways we *could* use 4G. Or 3G. Or EDGE, GPRS or any number of other technologies before it. Fact is, we still don't really do them.

    The problem is not "how". My question is "why". Why would I touch something that's likely to be commercially exploited to the hilt to my disadvantage and which I, honestly, hardly ever use?

    Sure it's cool to check GMail on the go. I've RDP'd in and fixed servers from a smartphone. It's useful. But it's not a killer application of the technology because I've been able to do that (maybe not quite so fast) since the GPRS days.

    And yes, you "can" video-stream etc. now Fact is, it all costs money and not everyone will pay you to watch Gravity in 4K on their 2" mobile screen (especially not if they're already paying £40 a month for 4G, and you want more for 5G to recoup your investment costs).

    Why deploy a technology "just because" it's supposed-progress? Isn't that what left us with all kinds of dead-end hardware and initiatives / technologies that never really took off (3DTV)? Why not use what we've got and get the most out of even 3G as it stands (because, ultimately, we certainly don't do that in the UK)?

    Let's use what we have to its limits, and be clever, and get better value out of those BILLIONS of pounds worth of 3G/4G licenses before we start jumping on the 5G bandwagon "just because". Hell, I'd infinitely rather have 3G everywhere at the max capable speed (which is surprisingly high!) than even a single base station with 5G.

    And if consumption expands to fill capacity, the opposite is true - we will squeeze every byte we can out of technologies if they are the upper limit.

  • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Monday March 10, 2014 @11:34AM (#46445783) Homepage

    For a cabled connection to your desktop, GB ethernet is probably more than you will ever need.

    No, it's just more than you can currently envisage using. What about streaming 3D interactive entertainment? The bandwidth requirements of such things are rather high, beyond what is practical now (and we also don't have all the other hardware required yet) but it's still reasonable to consider how to provide that.

    Expanding capacity has an additional benefit in urban areas: sharing of capacity between multiple users becomes easier. Maybe you live out in the sticks, but lots of people don't, and lots of them want fast internet.

  • Re:5? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carewolf (581105) on Monday March 10, 2014 @12:06PM (#46446061) Homepage

    4G is LTE. What some carriers in the US did was sell HSDPA as 4G, but in Europe that has mostly been advertised as 3.5G.

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