UN Sets Stage For Blazing Fast New Mobile Devices

Published January 19, 2012 11:36AM (EST)

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations telecom meeting has approved the next generation of mobile technology that experts say will make devices 500 times faster than 3G smartphones — instantly pulling up Web pages.

International Telecommunication Union spokesman Sanjay Acharya said Thursday that the technology will be used immediately, but "it could take up to two years" to show up in smartphones, tablets and other devices.

ITU officials say the differences between present technology and the new standards for IMT-Advanced are like comparing dial-up Internet to fiber-optic cables.

Francois Rancy, head of ITU's radiocommunication bureau, says the technology needs less bandwidth to access the Internet, stream videos and transfer data because it uses radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently.

By Salon Staff

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