The Future of Broadband: Where It's Headed and The Changes That Are About to Come

Numerous studies have already been conducted to confirm the obvious: the future of mobile Internet lies with 4G and users will continue to sign up for the service in the years to come, which will push mobile data demand higher than it has ever been. The future of broadband is certainly promising; 4G roll-outs are being conducted in over 65 countries and more are expected to follow suit.

Getting Up to Speed with 4G 

We considered where 4G was headed a few months back and considered the more technical aspects of the technology. Now we look at specific real-world events that will serve as an indication of the future of 4G and what we can expect to come from it.


The Future of 4G is 5G 

The first 4G network in the UK was set up just this year. More are expected to launch next year when Ofcom holds their much-awaited 4G LTE auction. Their launch was considered late by many, but it looks like the regulator is striving to make sure that doesn't happen again. Already, they are looking into 5G, the fifth generation wireless systems that is currently only talked about and discussed in research papers.

Ofcom has pushed a plan that sets aside the 700-MHz frequency band for 5G in order to meet the growing demand for mobile data and to support the next-generation mobile services. Ofcom CEO Ed Richards had stated: "Our plans are designed to avoid a 'capacity crunch', ensuring that the U.K.'s mobile infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer demand and economic growth more generally."


Fibre Optics are Our 'Inarguable Future'

How these systems will be set up has not yet been specified. However, Visiongain has an idea what these networks will be utilizing: fibre optics. Visiongain expressed that fibre optics are the 'inarguable future' of broadband, especially with the growing demand for high-bandwidth and high-speed broadband services. The business information provider explained that the popularity of online video streaming and Internet protocol television will contribute to the demand. In fact, these figures have already convinced governments and firms to invest and upgrade their infrastructure.

Visiongain had stated: "The changing nature of online media has forced telecoms operators into a corner. They must adapt or perish."

North Carolina 'Thinks Big' for Broadband

The private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), MCNC, held their Community Day last November 16th, where over 200 researchers, officials, entrepreneurs, and teachers gathered to 'think big' about the future of broadband, alternative applications of the technology, and networking. Statewide achievements are recognized every year during the Community Day with different themes of focus with each event. This year happened to put the spotlight on broadband, as well as on the future of big data and expanding fibre services.

MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso stated: "North Carolina continues to set a national benchmark by leveraging NCREN to provide high-performance broadband connectivity in the public sector. This new infrastructure effectively removes bandwidth restraints from how we conduct public service, education, health care, and economic development in North Carolina. So, now it is time to 'think big' on how we use it."


Project Vows to Increase Broadband Capacity by 2000 Percent 

With all the emphasis on speed and increased broadband capacity, it was only a matter of time before a study like the one conducted by scientists from Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering emerged. The students claim that they have developed a 'future-proof' broadband technology that might be able to allow users to access speeds that are up to 100 Gb/s. To give you a measure of the speed, this will allow you to download 20 movies in one second.

Professor Jianming Tang, lead scientist of the study, stated: "The technology is expected to provide end users with both downloading and uploading speeds up to 2000 times faster than current speeds and with a guaranteed quality of services at a price that subscribers are currently paying for their current 20 Mb/s services, regardless of subscriber’s home location."

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