German researchers smash wireless speed record

Anyone will tell you that if you really want great internet speeds, you have to hardwire in. But German researchers have shattered the world record for fastest wireless speeds, according to Nature, which opens the up potential to bring speedy connections to rural areas.

A team of researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) successfully completed a 100Gbps data transmission over a wireless radio network in the ultra-high frequency  237.5 GHz spectrum. The speed was clocked under laboratory-perfect circumstances that harnessed the latest optical transmission technologies over just 20 meters (66 feet), but researchers — part of the Millilink Project that has worked to speed connections over large swaths of land — say that they’ve clocked outdoor tests that push speeds to 40Gbps over 1km (0.6 miles) of distance.

The wireless signals were generated by a photon mixer, which creates two separate optical laser signals that are then imposed on a photodiode. Acting like super-charged microwave links, the setup is thus far not ideal for individual homes as 237.5 GHz wireless can have trouble penetrating walls. But it does have possibilities for extending the reach of fiber optics networks into rural or outdoor areas, and it certainly serves as an important foundation to continue making strides in wireless speed.

The researchers at the Millilink Project have certainly make significant breakthroughs in the wireless connection world, only passing 40Gbps in May of this year. This could mean that the group is on the precipice of pushing even more exciting connection speeds. The next goal? 1Tpbs.