5G – From the sky & 40 times faster than 4G!

Project Skybender is something you will most likely hear quite a bit about coming up. Google has a new aim – to deliver 5G internet from drones powered by Solar. Solar Powered drones that is – which will use millimeter-waves to beam internet access.

What are millimeter-waves?

Millimeter waves are believed to be capable of transmitting data 40 times faster than 4G and could be the technology behind 5G internet. Telstra 4G averages 12.5Mbps (from a sample of 2,188 test), which based on this number means 5G could be up to 500Mbps. This would mean a film could be downloaded in approximately 2 seconds.

Aereo founder Chet Kanojia’s new startup Starry announced earlier this week it would use millimeter wave tech to bring gigabit internet speeds to people’s homes via Wi-Fi. DARPA began working on an internet connection based on millimeter-waves for remote military bases in 2012.

University of Washington professor Jacques Rudell told The Guardian that “the huge advantage of millimeter wave is access to new spectrum because the existing cellphone spectrum is overcrowded. It’s packed and there’s nowhere else to go.”

What are the problems with millimeter waves?

The problem with millimeter wave transmissions, is that they have much shorter range than current smartphone signals and are easily disrupted by weather conditions like rain, fog, and snow. That’s likely one of the issue’s Google is trying to solve if it aims to beam internet from the sky. Using what’s called a phased array, however, Google and others could potentially focus the transmissions over greater distances.

How will it work?

Google is currently testing the technique with a new solar-powered drone called Centaur and other units made by a division known as Google Titan, which the company formed after it acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace in 2014. The company has a deal with the FCC to continue testing until July, according to The Guardian. It’s also paying Virgin Galactic about $1,000 a day to use its hanger, as well as an additional $300,000 to Spaceport America to construct installations with servers, millimeter wave transceivers, and other tech onsite.

What are the benefits of 5G?

5G will allow a mass of connected devices to all communicate with each other allowing a virtually connected world. The following infographic shows this well. 5G will help a lot with Internet of Things devices which you can read more about on our website here: Internet of Things blog post.