Looking ahead to availability of mobile super-networks

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Businessweek is tracking a story this week about new mobile super-networks currently being tested in Queensland, Australia. "Australia's Telstra and its mobile network supplier Ericsson have completed a live network trial of a new LTE technology that essentially splices two entirely different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum together, creating a kind of super-connection to the mobile network," says Kevin Fitchard.

Telstra is trying very hard to reach the 300 Mbps mark ahead of the public launch of its service. For context, that's about four times faster than any networks in the United States currently. Apparently, Verizon and T-Mobile plan to change that soon, however. Both carriers are working on what is commonly referred to as 5G LTE technology to also meet that elusive speed of 300 Mbps. Of course, there's also been plenty of speculation that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is testing a super-network of its own.

One direct and immediate advantage of mobile super-networks is the impact they will have on the spectrum shortage we discussed earlier this week. The International Telecommunication Union helps set mobile industry standards and one of its recommendations for next-generation LTE standards is that they allow more users per cell.

Although super-networks sound (and no doubt will be) delightful, the biggest challenge facing consumers will be the need to purchase devices capable of accessing 5G speeds. Since wireless providers had little trouble convincing customers to fork over cash for new devices when 4G launched, it's a safe bet history will repeat itself when 5G is ready for its close-up.

For more:
- see the Businessweek article

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