Nokia announced a couple of weeks ago that it would help the world transition to 5G by introducing something called 4.5G Pro. It issa technology that uses carrier aggregation to deliver ten times the speed of a standard 4G LTE connection. This translates to a peak speed of 1 Gb/s. This was after Verizon had announced the same technique to deliver something called “Advanced LTE” to 461 cities in the US with peak speeds up to 300 Mb/s. Now Nokia is taking it a step further and trying to introduce Terabit speeds in fiber optic cables outside of laboratory conditions to facilitate the move to 5G.
Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom T-Labs and Technical University of Munich joined forces to pull this off. They used a technique called Probabilistic Constellation Shaping to achieve a very fast transfer rate in fiber optic cables. The technique is basically a form of Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). This involves choosing the optimum constellation points for data transfer. Usually in fiber optic cables, all the networking constellation points are used equally. For QAM, the points with the lowest amplitudes are chosen. These points are the least susceptible to white noise, interference and gaps in transmission.
QAM helped to reach 30% more capacity than standard data transmission in fiber optic cables. It also led to an increase in optical fiber flexibility and greater transmission distances. This theoretical maximum limit of data transfer on a channel is called the Shannon Limit. You won’t see this technology in homes very soon though. The best in fiber optics at the moment is Google Fiber, which gets you Gigabit Ethernet speed. Theoretically you can download a movie in two minutes with that speed. But Nokia’s method will get you a thousand times that speed. Imagine downloading all the television shows and movies you need in a few minutes.
The Terabit Ethernet speed is also essential to Internet Service Providers. The modern networking age that shifts to 5G will require manifold the speed available today and since that tech is scheduled to hit the market five years from now, Nokia’s plan is essential to push it forward.
5G And The Internet Blanket
5G is coming soon. Sprint, Verizon and AT&T are already working on prototypes for this technology and the FCC has already approved higher spectra of frequencies to carry 5G communication. Between Google Fiber, Google Fi, the FASTER undersea Trans Pacific Cable built this year, the MAREA undersea Trans Atlantic Cable being built, Google Loon, Facebook’s Aquila Drone and All these networks working on 5G the world is poised to be surrounded by an Internet blanket.
Private companies are pushing for worldwide connectivity to fully exploit pockets of consumers that weren’t available before. The idea is to seek out these dead zones and cover them completely so that every inch of the planet has access to their services. Google and Facebook and Microsoft and Apple are huge data treasuries. And the more they have, the stronger they get and the better they are at serving up goodies and service that we are likely to enjoy. It’s a self improving system that reinforces the old phrase, “Knowledge is power.”