By Brian Kingston
THIS month I fully intended to write this article in advance. When that failed to happen, I assured myself that it would at least be on the due date. However, I had forgotten my wedding anniversary fell on that day. And so, a luxury hotel stay, some fine dining, two bottles of Bollinger (the wife's favourite) got in the way, and here I am Monday morning, late again. Having had the obligatory phone reminder from Judith, wondering how long before Julie gets something in a twist, and what to say if I don't get it done soon. Here goes.
In September 2018, Apple, unsurprisingly, launched new models. But while the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR had some new features, 5G connectivity, surprisingly, was not one of them. But Apple were still boasting of significantly faster performance from its new phones. Not the XR but both the XS and XS Max have support for Cat 16 Gigabit LTE which is a very fast form of 4G capable of attaining download speeds of 1Gbps, or 1000 Mbps. In reality this will equate to two or three times increase in 4G speeds. But Apple are not the first by any means. The first Gigabit LTE smartphone was launched in April 2016 by Samsung (Galaxy S8) and to date Sony, LG, HTC, Motorola and others have followed.
The technology is being adapted. Reports say that as of August 2018 295 operators in 125 countries were investing in at least one of three key Gigabit LTE technologies, while 93 operators in 55 countries were in all three. Of those, 44 in 31 countries had deployed all three and 16 had announced Gigabit or near Gigabit speeds on their networks. In the UK, operators have deployed or are offering commercial services with all three key Gigabit LTE features but so far EE have achieved the fastest commercial download speed of 750Mbps. This advancement will, apparently, pave the way for the introduction of 5G, but Cat 18 Gigabit LTE is already on the horizon if not by now available.
Where will all this advancement in technology take us eventually. Is Star Wars and Star Trek (my favourite) so futuristic, totally science fiction and not possibly achievable? I think not!
Maybe it can get so fast that my article can reach editorial on time and even before I've written it!