September 29, 2016 —
Nokia and Deutsche Telekom just announced a working 5G demonstration of the low end of high data rates. They successfully conducted a series of demonstrations at the International Stadium Festival, a one-day athletics event held at the Berlin Olympia stadium recently. They claim they hit data rates just over 2 Gbps.
Now, while that is good, it is really just a proof of concept. To be in the ball park (no pun intended) data rates have to get into the 10s if not 100s of Gbps and support several hundred thousand users simultaneously. That is still quite a ways off. But I did recently see a demo at CTIA where Ericsson had a 5G data link showing 100+ Gbps data rates. Now this was just a test rig without any loading, but that is impressive.
The end game for this Nokia/DT demo was to show how 5G will be the platform to bring virtual and augmented reality, and other future digital entertainment services to the masses. So no matter where you are sitting at a sports event, it will be possible to see the game from many different angles and views. Wow – imagine being able to tailor the game to your preferences. So who cares if you have nosebleed seats if you can bring the video to you from the sidelines.
This is just one application. But sport is big money so the players are all eyeing this with great intensity. And it is a great use case for promising to significantly improve user experience by delivering fast, real-time high quality video and virtual reality content. I can’t wait until this come to gaming.