Sneak Peek At Cellphone Future

DoCoMo demonstrates wireless transmission at 2.5 gigabits per second

2 min read

The launch of third-generation cellphone systems nearly five years ago promised to transform the speech-and-message handset into an exciting multimedia tool. It is a promise largely unfulfilled, mainly because bandwidths have been limited to between 384 kilobits per second and 2 megabits per second at best. But network operators are looking ahead—admittedly rather far ahead—to get things right with next-generation (4G) technology: it will be an all-packet service that integrates voice and data transmitted at high speeds and capacities [see photo, ” ”].

With an eye to 4G, Japan’s largest mobile phone company, NTT DoCoMo Inc., announced in February that it had successfully transmitted 2.5 Gb/s of packet data in a downlink to a vehicle moving at 20 kilometers per hour. The field test more than doubled the transmission rates of a similar test performed the previous summer.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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