What if the Netflix video you just clicked on was received at your device the exact moment the servers overseas sent you the packet. That is essentially what Quantum technology is. The capability for one byte of information to be sent and received instantaneously. As our high speed internet gets faster, we inch closer and closer to light speed, AKA the speed of information itself. Where there is no light, there is no information. This is the conundrum of Schrodinger's box.
With all of that being said, what are we realistically chasing within high speed internet?
Playing computer games online or sending emails uses very few 'megabites'. The most demanding function online is to stream high quality videos or downloading any large file. To the average Joe, if we wanted to get a large file on our computer, eg; Photoshop, or the first season of Game of Thrones, we can go and buy it at the shop and get it on a disc, or purchase it on the website and download it on the internet... Or maybe you're a Kim Dotcom type and have lots of large files you wish to share online to your peers, like gigabytes of wedding photos and videos.
When you download a file from the internet, be it a meme or Freddie Gibbs’ new album, it will be generally downloaded at the rate so long as the supplier of that file can maintain their upload speed to you, and so long as your middle man, your ISP, can bridge that connection from their storage space in Hollywood or next door, to your computer or phone.
That bridge between lets say, Netflix servers and your television, must maintain a certain bandwidth. If Spark or Vodafone cannot transfer that much information that fast, or if Netflix is having server issues (probably not the issue) you will get a buffering video which means you’ll have to wait a while before continuing the video stream such as to let the next few seconds load.
With ADSL, we have added a new cable such as to no longer depend on using our telephone wire to ‘dial-up’ into the internet and as such, have radically improved bandwidth speeds. The same can be said with fibre optic.
As our televisions project images at 1080, 4K and 8K resolution, we will need to appropriately increase the rate at which our bridge can maintain that high speed. This bridge analogy can be also used to explain wireless technology like 3G,4G,5G.
The difference between the G’s and Telephone wire is that one is an advancement in technology, and the other is an overhaul in the foundation. One is wireless, and the other is wired. One is Cellular, and the other is physical.
Google have announced their new take on the gaming market, named Stadia. This device does not have a disc which you place into it like a conventional device, but instead wirelessly connects to servers online and then the servers project that video game to whatever screen the Stadia device is connected to.
The issue with technology like this is that if i press the A button to jump, that byte of information must be sent overseas and then the response is sent back to me, leaving me with a lag of ~.5 of a second between me pressing the prompt, and the screen promptly reacting. On my PC, the game is within the pc itself so there is 1 millisecond between my push of a button and Spyro the Dragon jumping as Spyro should when i press A.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud is another example of this. At E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft showcased mobile phones connected to Xbox controllers. These phones were connected to xCloud servers, and were displaying high quality video games at smooth frame rates that no phone can possibly do on its own.
In the future, people may not desire consoles or hardware at all, and rather depend on a subscription service that lets people pay monthly for Microsoft or Google servers to maintain the hardware, and then project to the user a complete console gaming experience anywhere on any phone, tablet or computer.
It goes without saying that this massive streaming task requires a very strong and stable ‘bridge’ in order to stream all of that information consistently. In video games, if the subject doesn’t respond in fluid motions and instead buffers, or ‘lags’, gamers will not pay for whatever you’re selling. This is just as how people may seek a new ISP when their Netflix stream buffers.
Video gaming has always been a critical driving factor for many of the advancements in CGI, microprocessing, cross-platforming and streaming. Hell, even Auckland Airport has Microsoft Xbox Kinect cameras at their bag check-in conveyors. If anything is going to drive a desire for high speed wireless, it will be the people on the bus who want to play some fortnite 2 on their iPhone xD’s in 2030.