Super-fast wifi 100 times faster than today is on the horizon using high-frequency radiation waves.
US researchers have for the first time been able to send video signals using terahertz, rather than traditional microwaves.
Terahertz waves, which are high-frequency radiation, allow data to travel at 50 gigabits a second. That offers streaming speeds about 100 times faster than those possible today, in which wireless networks reach a top speed of 500 megabytes.
Professor Daniel Mittleman, from Brown University in the US, said: ‘We showed that we can transmit separate data streams on terahertz waves at very high speeds and with very low error rates.
‘This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks.’
Current voice and data networks use microwaves to carry signals wirelessly. But the demand for data is quickly becoming more than microwave networks can handle.
Terahertz waves have higher frequencies than microwaves and therefore a much larger capacity to carry data. However, scientists have only just begun experimenting with terahertz frequencies, and many of the basic components necessary for terahertz communication don’t exist yet.
This is the first time that terahertz waves have been used to send multiple signals through a single channel. This is called ‘multiplexing’ and is the same technology that allows one cable to carry multiple TV channels or hundreds of users to access a wireless Wi-Fi network.
But the authors say terahertz technologies are still some time away, until regulators begin allocating frequency bands for their use.