Samsung’s Galaxy S9 achieved a 1Gbps download rate on a “4.9G” network from Spanish telecom giant Telefónica as part of a joint experiment that also included Nokia-made hardware, the three companies announced this week. The modem found inside the latest Android-powered flagship from Samsung has already been extensively tested across the world and previously managed to break the 1Gbps threshold in Australia where it was pushed to its limits by local wireless carrier Telstra. American T-Mobile managed to hit 900Mbps download rates with the same smartphone lineup as well following tests conducted this spring.
Telefónica’s “4.9G” infrastructure is called like that solely based on theoretical maximum speeds it can support, though it’s actually a custom implementation of LTE Advanced Pro, meaning it doesn’t offer higher capacities, lower latencies, or improved security, all of which are part of the new 5G standard which is still in the process of being fully defined. The Spanish network operator’s experiment will soon translate to real-world use cases across the European country, though the availability of its 4.9G service remains highly limited. As Telefónica announced this January, Talavera de la Reina and Segovia are the only two cities whose residents are set to benefit from its new wireless solutions in the near future. The service is actually already available in Segovia, whereas it will be going live in Talavera de la Reina over the coming months.
Samsung is expected to be one of the world’s first handset manufacturers to deliver 5G-ready smartphones on a large scale, with some recent rumors suggesting the Galaxy S10 lineup may already be capable of communicating with the next generation of wireless networks. The implications of the technology itself go far beyond smartphones as most industry watchers agree 5G will allow for entirely new use cases and consequently create millions of jobs, hence generating economic growth on a global level. The Galaxy S10 line is said to consist of three models in total and should be announced in the first quarter of 2019, possibly at the next edition of MWC.