Researchers are investigating how software-defined cellular networking might be used to give smartphone users the next generation of super-superfast broadband 5G.
Currently, the fourth generation of mobile phone connection technology, 4G, in as far as it has been adopted provides broadband-type connectivity for enabled devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and other gadgets through two standards: the Mobile WiMAX standard and the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard.
Peak speeds were set in the standards at 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for mobile users and ten times that for static, domestic 5G users, 1 gigabit per second.
100 Mbits/s is three times faster than the earlier 3G system but users commonly do not see data transfer at such high rates, downloads are usually at best 10 Mbits/s.
As yet there is no single standard for 5G although various systems are being touted based on rebuilding the cellular networks to be super-efficient and exploiting different frequencies with their capacity for greater data rates.