We are using the internet more than ever before, and that means there’s a demand for ever-faster connection and download speeds. The advances in technology are drawing an increasing number of people to popular websites where faster speeds will almost certainly result in a more enjoyable and seamless experience. To that end, governments, public bodies, and private companies around the world are tirelessly researching emerging technologies that they hope will deliver the fastest possible internet speeds for tomorrow’s digitally connected world.
Currently being rolled out in most advanced countries, 5G represents the next generation of telecommunications technology. It will facilitate faster and more reliable connections allowing greater use of mobile devices, allowing keen gamers, in particular, to be able to play wherever they happen to be. The same will apply to those that enjoy online gambling. They will be able to take advantage of a BetMGM casino bonus code offer with a more stable connection from their smartphone than was previously available.
5G is the next step beyond the current standard of 4G/LTE and should allow for download speeds of 20 gigabytes per second, with uploads of 10 GBPS. The end to end latency for applications should be between 1-4 milliseconds and possibly better, meaning that there will be no perceptible delay at all. That will prove essential for advanced online technology, and also for enabling the much-vaunted Internet of Things (IoT).
With 5G, devices and apps will automatically choose the network that best suits their requirements, within user-set parameters. For the first time, 5G will incorporate multiple existing radio technologies, all using the same infrastructure but all optimized for a specific purpose. It will include critical communications for the emergency services and others, as well as for connecting household appliances to mobile devices and energy / centralized information infrastructures, as per the previously mentioned IoT.
Although most existing services don’t require 5G, the high-speed data transmission will enable a host of other technologies that are currently on the launch pad. Potentially this could include smart home technology, driverless cars, and much more.
LEO and MEO satellites
Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation is among those looking into the use of low earth orbit (LEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites as a way of providing better, more reliable, and cheaper internet coverage, especially in the more remote areas of the planet. A large number of affordable, disposable satellites would be launched into orbit at differing heights. Space X’s Project Starlink envisages three “shell orbits” at 340, 550, and 1100 km. They would enable lower latency and faster internet worldwide.
An alternative and theoretically lower-cost alternative could be internet balloons, which hover at about 20km. They can be moved up and down using AI algorithms to find and exploit the air currents (wind) that can move them into their desired position. These balloons then beam an internet connection directly to a receiving station, home, institution, or personal handheld device on the ground.
It sounds like a brilliantly simple idea, but there are some significant challenges that Google’s Project Loon is currently trying to overcome. The balloons are difficult to control and maneuver and are incredibly vulnerable to atmospheric and environmental conditions, which include ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, and dramatic changes in pressure. It is also bitterly cold at 20km up, making the balloon fabric brittle and causing lubricants to harden. Nevertheless, experts remain confident that internet balloons could be an affordable enabler of faster and more widespread connection speeds.
A very exciting prospect when it comes to much faster internet speeds is the prospect of using light rather than radio waves as the medium for internet data transmission. Research into light fidelity, or Li-Fi, uses infra-red and near-ultraviolet light from LEDs for bidirectional high-speed wireless communication. It is potentially 100 times faster than conventional Wi-Fi, at up to 224 gigabytes per second. It’s also approximately ten times cheaper and can be used in situations where electromagnetic signals would cause disruption, such as hospitals, airplanes, and power stations. The main downside is that it only works over short distances.
All internet Protocol Network
All of these methods could be incorporated into the overall vision of an all-internet protocol network (AIPN), where a range of network technologies converge using the same underlying Internet protocol infrastructure. That would include internet telephony or voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP). IP-based transmission of discreet data packets would allow for the development of innovative services and apps, and complementary all-optical networks would allow for the routing and switching of content and apps.
As the world speeds up and becomes increasingly complex, faster internet becomes a necessity. These technologies not only promise speeds far above what is currently available but also full coverage in even the most remote areas of the planet. That, in turn, will enable a wide range of other technologies, resulting in hopefully in a safer, more sustainable, and better connected global society.