Ultra-fast mobile broadband could soon be with us, thanks to a prototype 5G network currently under development.
The system uses small antennae to send data between two micro signal towers, either based on the ground or in the air, at high speed.
This could overcome one of the key hurdles of 5G technology, by avoiding the need for huge masts to transmit signals above buildings and other obstacles.
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Ultra-fast mobile broadband could soon be with us, thanks to a prototype 5G network currently under development. If successful, it could enable one gigabyte per second data transmissions, compared to the 300 megabyte per second upper 4G limit
The Samsung-US network relies on small multi-directional antennas for line-of-sight connections.
The system uses Samsung's 28GHz mm wave system.
These antennas could be mounted to ground-based equipment or even to drones, making them ideal for military use.
They could also operate in areas without GPS signal, another bonus for battlefield purposes.
The project is the result of a collaboration between the US military and South Korean electronics firm Samsung, according to reports in Defence Systems.
If successful, it could enable one gigabyte per second data transfers, compared to the 350 megabyte per second upper limit of advanced 4G connections.
This would be fast enough to download an HD movie in a matter of seconds.
The network is based on existing commercially available technology, which makes the new 5G network less expensive than alternative options.
Its creators also believe that it would be more secure.
Former US Department of Defence chief information officer Terry Halvorsen, who now works for the Seoul-based firm in the same capacity, told Defense Systems: 'This brings extremely high speed and low latency.
'You have large bandwidth so you can use higher levels of encryption without compromising connection speed.'
New 5G networks are expected to provide speeds at least 10 times and up to maybe 100 times faster than today's 4G networks.
The project would use micro antennae, which could overcome one of the key hurdles to the technology. Experts from British universities say UK government plans to roll out 5G will require at least 400,000 new masts up to 80ft (24 metres) tall (stock image)
5G signals operate on high levels of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Wavelengths in this band can be as small as millimetre, and it is also known as millimetre wave or mmW.
By comparison, current networks range between 700 MHz to 3,500 MHz, while the maximum theoretical speeds for 4G is 42Mbps and latency is between 40 and 60 milliseconds.
Such high-frequency wavebands have previously deemed unsuitable for mobile networks.
They have a limited distance, are easily blocked by buildings and walls, and require