Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Communications Hardware

Experimental 4G Phone Service Faster Than Cable 231

JymBrittain writes "NewScientist reports that Japanese researchers have achieved blistering rates of transmission for cell phones that allowed for viewing of 32 high definition video streams, while traveling in an automobile at 20 kilometers per hour. From the article: "Officials from NTT DoCoMo say the phones could receive data at 100 megabits per second on the move and at up to a gigabit per second while static. At this rate, an entire DVD could be downloaded within a minute." These transmission rates were achieved using new experimental methods of multiplexing."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Experimental 4G Phone Service Faster Than Cable

Comments Filter:
  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Daxster ( 854610 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:34PM (#13473547) Homepage
    32 simultaneous porn streams?! Oh my! I don't need to be going at 20mph for that..
  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tidal Flame ( 658452 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:34PM (#13473551) Homepage
    Wow. But if you think the data rates are amazing, imagine what the cost is going to be!
    • With wireless providers here charging $0.05/kB (not on a plan) when GPRS (56k) came out. They still charge the same rate now with EDGE (384k).

      It just means they can rake up your bill much faster.
  • This won't help out when surfing Slashdotted sites...
  • by Beatlebum ( 213957 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:34PM (#13473553)
    20 kilometers per hour!

    OMG, that's incredible.
  • Home Usage? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:34PM (#13473554) Homepage
    One wonders if it's even feasable to take this sort of technology at some point and use it within the home or for local ISPs. I'd certainly pay extra per month for gigabit wireless.
    • Yeah, but how are you going to make your home move at 20km/h?
    • I don't see any reason it wouldn't be feasible from an engineering standpoint unless there is something odd about the building, or the surrounding environs, at your location. If anything, mobility is more of a hazard for these devices than a fixed location where you can adjust the transceiving device location, in my not so humble opinion.

      Just for reference I am looking at various wireless solutions here simply due to the fact that the landlord is unwilling to allow me to add cable service and DSL is out

    • Is that even worth it?? The number of servers that can send that much down the pipe at speed to you are few and far between. That would be a lot of lost potential (and money).
  • 20 kmph? (Score:3, Informative)

    by FeriteCore ( 25122 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:36PM (#13473561)
    What happens when you leave the parking lot?

    For the metric challenged 20 kmph is about 12 mph.

    Somebody else can supply the furlongs per fortnight.
  • A minute? Sure... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dasOp ( 781405 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:38PM (#13473572)
    if your device has enough memory to hold it and is fast enough cpu-wise to sustain a decent gbit pipe.

    Regular consumer pc having drives fast enough to get a dvd in a minute? Good thing we nerds get to the good stuff before anyone else. :)
    • Re:A minute? Sure... (Score:5, Informative)

      by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:53PM (#13473637)
      if your device has enough memory to hold it and is fast enough cpu-wise to sustain a decent gbit pipe. Regular consumer pc having drives fast enough to get a dvd in a minute?

      It's not about a device having enough memory to hold the download - it is about having a pipe that can push large amounts of data. Streaming video/audio, which will come to a handset or other mobile device thru the air.

      I think the DVD comparison is more about size than content.

      There is no need for movies to be gb's when viewed on a handset - As an example, my phone (Motorola E680i) plays .3gp video and the file size for an entire DVD is less than 50mb. I converted the Terminator DVD for use on my PSP (MP4) and it comes down to 287 mb, with stereo and wonderful clarity. No need to download 5+gb's just to watch a movie.

      If you talk about a 7" widescreen LCD for use in a car, then you would see files larger, but again, nothing along the lines of 5+gb.

      The content won't be targeted for download and storage, just streaming. Of course, some of us will find an excuse to archive it, but that's another story...
    • Streaming! Forget the hard drive. (If bandwith gets to be cheap enough .. ha!) I'll be able to finally stream music from my home pc to my car while I'm on the road..
  • by Fhqwhgadss ( 905393 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:38PM (#13473573)
    At this rate, an entire DVD could be downloaded within a minute.

    At this rate the technology will never reach the USA. Thanks for pointing that out right away jerks.

    • Don't worry, it'll never reach North America, regardless of what it's being used for.

      It would break the cardinal rule of mobile technology over here, mainly "give them the least service for the most money to maximize profits".

      • Ain't that the gods' honest truth! Elsewhere it seems to be a consumer push model whereby they (whoever they are) provide new and novel services to see where consumer demand may occur in the hopes of deriving a new source of income. Here, in the US, it seems to be a consumer pull model whereby consumers must pony up large amounts of money before capital investment occurs to provide a new service and then only when the large enterprises demand such service. The piddly little single consumer is left to suc
        • Maybe it's because some of the companies started to roll out new tech, or more often the hot air promise of new tech, too soon during the .com bubble. Now, after it's exploded, the companies that remain are too scared to stick their neck out by putting forth novel technology. Or maybe not. *shrug*
          • You are probably on the mark here. What most people don't realize is that business is fundamentally risk adverse except in a bubble where the bandwagon effect seems to overcome that risk adversion. Or at least that is what I've observed over a rather lengthy lifetime. In some ways this resembles the prisoners dilemma in games theory, a fundamental part of current microeconomics.
  • by sockonafish ( 228678 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:39PM (#13473576)
    If I left the phone in my pocket while torrenting an ISO to my Powerbook with an 802.11g link, would I be rendered sterile?
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:40PM (#13473591) Journal
    Hollywood surrenders. Film at 11.
  • by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <.moc.cam. .ta. .20402lad.> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:42PM (#13473598) Journal
    ...a render farm made up of cellphones.
  • by LothDaddy ( 169765 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:43PM (#13473600)
    A man with a 4G cell phone receiving data at 100mbs leaves Dallas on a train traveling to Amarilo at 20kps. A second man leaves Amarillo riding on a train headed to Dallas at 10kph. His 3G cell phone is receiving data at 500kbs. Which one will download more porn first?

    Neither, there's no f'ing cell receiption between Amarillo and Dallas. Thought that was a math problem huh?!

  • FAQ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vidnet ( 580068 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:43PM (#13473601) Homepage
    1. Why do they keep adding all these new features? I just want a plain phone.

    Get a Vodafone Simply and go read People magazine instead of slashdot.

    2. Yeah, that's great and all, but when do we get this for our laptops?

    The same time we get it for our phones. While irda and bluetooth can't handle these kinds of rates, usb, wireless usb or the next generation connection interface will. (4G is still years and years away)

    • by dindi ( 78034 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @10:39PM (#13474016)
      hey i consider my wife a geek/nerd as she is a conservation/sustainable whatever biologist ... and she would buy peopl emagazin and she is wathcing channel E .......

      my God .... I am embarassed when she buys people magazine in the supermarket ..... it is just soooooo not geeky .... and she does not read slashdot or willing to watch anime with me ...... nor play wideo games .... and i was happy that i married someone with a super geeky carrier ........

      nah i go back to watching whatever boring movie she just rented ...... isn't there a way to geekify your wife ?

      hmm returning to phones .... here in Costa Rica GPRS is experimental for te last 2 years so it is cheap ... but being experimental it is sometimes down or unacceptable slooooooooow ...... and no MMS ......
      well i just look at my all-featured EDGE/GPRS/whatever cameraphone and wonder if it is fun to send pictures each other and stuff ... her maybe in 2099 you will be able to watch wideo streams on a phone .. evenmy cable si too slow for streams .... well at least i have good weather unless it is the rainy season ...
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:43PM (#13473604) Homepage
    Somehow, I don't think the phones could acheive the same bandwidth if there was 1 million of them withing an area the size of a normal city. There's limited bandwidth on the airwaves. Might be good for broadcasting video streams, but if everyone wants different data, it won't work. Besides, we already had technology to transmit 30 channels of video to handheld viewers 20 years ago.
    • by cnettel ( 836611 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:53PM (#13473635)
      I can promise you that the analog receivers of 1985 didn't reconstruct a signal that was on par with normal definition of today and far below a HD stream.

      Also, I seem to remember that one part of the multiplexing ideas for 4G was too use differently oriented antennas, dynamically adapting a signal mixing scheme to filter out the signal minus most interferences and echos, as those shouldn't be uniform for different polarizations. Therefore, saying that there simply can't be enough available bandwidth in the air isn't that relevant. We are still far from the theoretical maximums, and this kind of approach also opens the possibility of nearby transmitters sharing the same frequency with less jamming. Sure, these numbers might be optimistic, but if proper multiplexing gets into the standard, 4G will be far more interesting from a technological standpoint than 3G. Did I mention lower transmission power? (at least when not maxing the connection)

    • Now, I don't know about this particular technology, but, speaking long term:

      There will be lots and lots of high-speed short-range wireless relays. The relays will service a limited number of communicators within a finite range, as well as other relays (which will carry the signal further on.)

      There will be gradiations in range, if I understand right. Some wireless devices will go only a few feet, like bluetooth. Others will extend further, further, and still further. My suspicion is that the larger, more far
      • That's my vision of where we are going and the promise of MIMO technology over multiple bandwidths. Whether my vision or the potential matches reality is something we will have to find out as time marches on. I do know that the military isn't sitting around on this stuff.
    • Somehow, I don't think the phones could acheive the same bandwidth if there was 1 million of them withing an area the size of a normal city. There's limited bandwidth on the airwaves. Might be good for broadcasting video streams, but if everyone wants different data, it won't work.

      But that's precisely what it would be used for. Verizon has their new V-Cast service (I'm not sure of the tech specifics on that, I'm a Cingular guy), and that's used to push corporate-created media out to the phones of people wh
    • 2 things to keep in mind.

      A base station is designed for a small area (maybe a radius of 1-2km; depending on how crowded the area is).

      However, the data rate mentioned in the article was likely just a single user.

      I guess you'd multiply the data rate by the number of available channels, then divide by the number of people using the service on a particular base station.
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:48PM (#13473624)
    backwater.. the USA. where you too can get a mere 3 mbit/s monodirectional while people in scandanavia and japan get 20 megabits minimum, and will soon have gigabit service to their phones. I would like to personally thank the FCC for fostering the competition necessary to get us here.
    • I just got word from my ISP that my DSL connection will "soon" be upgraded from 0.5 Mbit/s to 8. And, no, there was no reasonable way for me to get more than 0.5 for that place before. And, yes, it's located within the borders of the 4th city in size in the country, not in the real countryside or something.

      Fast connections are not uncommon and I could certainly have found a place to live with one if that was my only priority. If you're just trying to get a decent place to live, weighing all things, you MAY

      • 1 up? You mean, one MBit? Hell, over here in Germany you usually have to pay a small fortune in order to convince your ISP to give you 0.3. If you can buy the additional upstream at all. Serving slightly big files is a real pain when the other side receives them at a rate only slightly faster than ISDN. And the only SDSL offering I have ever heard of is only interesting to small companies.
    • I think you mean 30 Mbit/s minimum. Here in Tokyo, I have FTTH and get 100Mbit, but YahooBB's cheap plan is 30Mbit/s.
  • But the cost... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guard952 ( 768434 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @08:49PM (#13473626)
    So, with telcos providing data at 2c per kB, downloading that DVD in less than a minute will cost you $98,000.

    Surely it's gotta be cheaper to just buy a helicopter and fly to the video store.
  • Ohh Japan! (Score:2, Funny)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 )
    Oh those Japanese! This is yet another innovation from the Japanese. Shall we ever catch up?
  • Sigh.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quixote ( 154172 ) * on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:00PM (#13473664) Homepage Journal
    I am sick of these optimistic figures (to put it mildly).
    It is fine for 1 cellphone to receive 100Mbps.
    But how does it scale? Remember, there will be about 10000 users within range of a base. Can the base pump out 1Tbps of data? (Remember, the users could be watching live HD video at the same time).
    • Re:Sigh.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Decker-Mage ( 782424 )
      It's quite obvious you have no idea of what is possible in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering. Why do you ass-u-me that one antenna is pumping out the signal to 10,000 users. Why do you ass-u-me that there are not overlapping delivery systems. Why do you ass-u-me that multiple users seeing the same feed can't be service by the same signal? What do you know about how MIMO actually works?

      Now true, I have no assumptions about how it is going to work in the field when there are multiple u

  • I would imagine that this could make raiding a warez operation even harder.

    High speed connectivity on the go would be a dream come true for big time movie, music and software pirates.

  • 4G 4HowMany? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:10PM (#13473708) Homepage Journal
    The problem with lots of digital radio nets is sharing the bandwidth. WiMAX, for example, promises 155Mbps over several kilometers footprint. But in Manhattan, a 2Km radius includes maybe 1M people most afternoons. That's 155bps, 20 bytes per second, per person. <n>G tech usually has fairly widely spaced towers. Even at 100Mbps, they're going to have to put towers only a few meters apart to blanket public spaces with any traffic at all.

    Real mobile broadband isn't going to be addressed until perhaps phased array antennas let us share the same frequency with many physically separated transponders. Then we'll be multiply info capacity in the same radiation bandwidth. There might be some interim solutions with bittorrent-style swarms, which increase available network capacity directly proportionally to the number of nodes crowded into a space. But latency and the possiblity of high simultaneous demand for nonredundant objects make that protocol unsuitable for people's personal phones. 4G research will have juicy fruits. But these research results aren't bringing mobile wrist-TV phones to the masses anytime soon.
  • Hi,

    As a 3G user that rarely achieves 200kbps out of the originally-hyped 2Mbps, even in the the best-served parts of London, I think at least a 10-fold scaling of expectation-to-promise is in order here.

    As pointed out, data prices will have to scale too!



    • 10x times the speed per megabyte == 10x times the price per megabyte.

      Oh that wasn't what you were hoping for? Though. The mobile phone companies had a cash cow fluke with SMS and have since been trying to emulate it. They gave us WAP wich was like the internet except without the content, cheapness, user content, freedom, speed, images, a keyboard, a screen. GPRS was the next thing, so it was still like WAP but more expensive. UMTS, yet more expensive.

      Oh prices should come down as more people use it. But n

  • by sidney ( 95068 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:25PM (#13473780) Homepage
    NTT DoCoMo's 4G Tests Hit 300Mbps [slashdot.org]

    Posted by CmdrTaco on 06:55 AM June 2nd, 2004
    from the and-i-still-can't-get-cable dept.

    haunebu writes "'Your brand-spankin'-new 3G phone is nearing obsolesence: NTT DoCoMo reveals the results from a new 4G test system.' says TheFeature. While in a car moving at 30kph, DoCoMo engineers managed a peak throughput of 300Mbps and a sustained transfer rate of 135Mbps with their new variable spreading factor orthogonal frequency code division multiplexing (WSF-OFCDM) downstream technology. Who comes up with these names, and how does Japan manage to stay lightyears ahead of everyone else in wireless?"

  • 4g phone? (Score:3, Funny)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:31PM (#13473800)
    How on earth would you pick it up?
  • 1) 4G is far far away (especially from the US, also from Europe, which still struggles to implement 3G)

    2) It heavily depends on the protocol on top of the multiplexing: 3G allows high bandwidth, because a single phone can be served by multiple base stations (=masts). However, as we already saw with GPRS [wikipedia.org] and WAP [wikipedia.org], if the protocol is bad (voice had more priority than data packets; hand overs between base stations could not treat data connections very well too), the whole service will die (=no more WAP).


  • by papasui ( 567265 ) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @09:55PM (#13473875) Homepage
    DOCSIS 3 will use a channel bonding technique to achieve similiar speeds through coaxial. Essentially by reclaiming analog channel space by converting to all digital systems (I'm beta testing this right now) in the next 3 years that same analog space can be phased out giving back all the waste channel space without needing upgrade the cable system itself to support higher frequencies. What this basically does in layman terms is instead of sending all the data across the same frequency it breaks the data up across multiple frequencies in parallel.

    Something to the effect of:

    699Mhz 11111111
    699Mhz 1
    689Mhz 1
    679Mhz 1
    669Mhz 1
    659Mhz 1
    649Mhz 1
    639Mhz 1
    629Mhz 1

    It probably will take 6mhz, not 10mhz but by allowing some space between the carriers it avoids some noise between them.
  • I set up a bunch of laptops at work once and used a Linux live CD to create a mesh network. Why can't cell phones be used for something similar. Maybe 10% of a phones wireless bandwidth could be dedicated to anonymous routing. It'd be encrypted of course.
  • If more cell phones went to Iridium satellite roaming when no ground station was available, communications out of New Orleans would have stayed up.

    We need to get Iridium capability into lower-priced handsets. Yes, airtime costs $1.49 per minute [roadpost.com], but sometimes you need to get through. This is more useful than 4G, or even 3G. What we have now goes out as soon as you get five miles off the Interstate in hilly rural terrain.

    • That sounds great in theory, but would the Iridium network be able to handle the load when everybody has an Iridium phone? I would imagine that there are hundreds of cell phone towers in the coverage area of a single iridium satellite. In rural areas this system works, but in densely populated areas, Iridium service will jam up pretty quickly, making it useless in case of major disasters. Even ubiquitous land based networks jam up at New Years Eve, now imagine half a million people needing to get through w
  • These transmission rates were achieved using new experimental methods of multiplexing.

    This is referring to spatial multiplexing, which is one of the possible ways to exploit the potential of MIMO systems. True, MIMO wireless communication systems aren't very established yet, but they are anything but new or experimental. IEEE 802.11n will be based on MIMO, so the technology has left the "experimental" stage already a few years ago.
    Sure, there's still a lot of research in MIMO wireless communication, it's

  • by S3D ( 745318 )
    That is well and good, but what about latency ? 3G have abysmall latency, one of the reason customers not very fond of it. Hope 4G would do better...
  • for cell phones that allowed for viewing of 32 high definition video streams, while traveling in an automobile at 20 kilometers per hour.

    Hey I can't watch 32 channels on my 32 inch tv, let along my 3.2 inch mobile/pda, and that is sat still!

    Still, wow... *tingle* looks like this is AWEEESSSSOOOME!!!!


  • Was the transmission aerial/basestation moving to follow the car? Why is it relevant?

    (I know a few years ago I had a lecture from a telecoms guy who mentioned moving aerials for 3G etc, but I didn't realise they were ready to be used)

  • Ouch... (Score:3, Funny)

    by pjcreath ( 513472 ) on Sunday September 04, 2005 @03:25PM (#13478487)
    NewScientist reports that Japanese researchers have achieved blistering rates of transmission for cell phones
    "Blistering"? A rather poor choice of words given how anxious many people are about getting cancer from their cell phones...

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz