This is the fastest cell phone network ever

5 stunning stats about the mobile industry
5 stunning stats about the mobile industry

Nokia Networks has developed an unthinkably fast 5G cellular technology, 10 times faster than Google Fiber and 40 times faster than 4G.

The company says the network can deliver peak speeds of 10 Gigabits per second, fast enough to download a full-length HD movie to your phone in a matter of seconds. Those speeds would also make it possible to stream "8K" video in 3-D. That's an incredibly detailed picture, which is twice as clear as 4K video and 16 times clearer than full HD video.

Nokia's (NOK) network isn't close to deployment (it likely won't see the light of day until at least 2020), but it is the fastest cellular technology ever tested. It will be demonstrating the new network technology at this week's Brooklyn 5G Summit. Samsung performed a similar 5G test, reaching peak speeds of 7.5 Gbps, or about 75% that of Nokia's 5G tech.

Peak speeds are fun to dream about, but in the real world, speeds are much slower than promised (just ask anyone in New York or San Francisco how fast their 4G network is during rush hour). Nokia believes that its 5G technology will allow for real-world speeds of about 100 Megabits per second when the network is most congested -- that's about four times faster than 4G's top speed.

Speeds like that will enable currently impossible tasks, such as remote-controlling robots with our bodies in perfect synchronization. It could also increase network capacity 10,000-fold, allowing billions of machines and sensors to connect to the Internet simultaneously.

Related: When is 5G coming? And how fast will it be?

Nokia is testing its network at an insanely high frequency of 73,000 MHz. Today's cell phone networks broadcast signal in a range of 700 MHz to 3,500 MHz.

There are a few glaring issues with broadcasting cellular signals at that high a frequency.

New cell phone radios will have to be designed. That's the easy part. Your iPhone can't accept signals close to that high, but that could change one day as radio frequency chips become more inclusive of higher bands.

Way more cell towers will need to be deployed. It's physics: The higher the frequency, the shorter the signal and the more difficult it is to penetrate buildings and walls. That means mini cell towers, or "small cells" will need to be placed on top of every lamp post, every building, inside every home and potentially every room.

The problem with placing new cell towers everywhere is managing the incredible rise in traffic. How can all that 8K video and all that data from robots and machine sensors possibly make its way from millions of small cells to AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint's (S) core network routers?

There are companies, such as Google's recently acquired Alpental, that are working on those "backhaul" issues. But they're not so close to a solution, according to Akshay Sharma, wireless infrastructure analyst at Gartner.

The architecture of the entire cell network will have to change. Since placing new cell towers everywhere isn't practical, networking companies are also looking at new ways of beaming signals to people's mobile devices.

If you're watching 8K video on your phone, you're going to get charged insanely high data rates. To solve that problem, carriers could send signal from phone to phone -- instead of each phone connecting directly to a tower.

So-called "mesh networks" are currently part of the experimental network technology called LTE-D, which would enable direct phone-to-phone communication. Want to send your friend a photo? Just beam it directly -- you don't need a Wi-Fi router or a cell tower.

You won't be getting 10 Gbps 5G speeds on your iPhone 6. But you won't have to wait for the iPhone 30.

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