Do you think your 802.11ac router is pretty fast? Well, I’m afraid it isn’t. In fact, it has got nothing on a new system created by the Fraunhofer Institute and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, which has recently completed a 100Gbps data transmission.


That’s approximately fourteen times faster than the most robust 802.11ac equipment can muster up. But, there is a catch. The research team’s success was conducted, as you may guess, in a laboratory environment and took place over a distance of just 20 meters.   Did I mention that there were no obstructions?  That doesn’t change the fact that the team sent and received the data equivalent of a full Blu-ray disc in just two seconds.  That is impressive in anyone’s book.

It’s great to see that the teams at Fraunhofer and KIT have accomplished such speed. They have the potential to vastly improve rural Internet access.  It could, theoretically, dramatically increase the speed in our home Wi-Fi networks in the not so distant future.

Unfortunately, the reality will be much different.  For starters, the implementation of the design is better suited as a replacement for commercial WANs, specifically remote office links that use microwave transmitters. The 237.5GHz signal wouldn’t be good at penetrating walls, but it is well suited to line-of-sight networking.

Furthermore, proof of concept setups, like this one, never make it to the consumer market in their pure forms. Trade-offs have to be made in order to get the tech out into the field and present ISPs are seldom eager to spend revenue on new technologies without making absolutely sure they have squeezed every last penny out of the old ones first. Take, for instance, how long it took for DSL to go from being a concept in the lab to being marketed globally for the average consumer.

So maybe in the future, your router will be capable of sending and receiving data at incredible speeds!  We will have to see.

[Image via: socialcloud]