The specifications for new mobile technology that will be "100 times faster than 3G" have been agreed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva this week.
Dubbed IMT-Advanced, the new superfast mobile technology will provide access to a range of packet-based telecommunication services that are supported by mobile and fixed networks and are an improvement on the capabilities offered by IMT-2000, otherwise known as 3G.
François Rancy, director of ITU's Radio Communication Bureau, said that IMT-Advanced would be "like putting a fibre-optic broadband connection on your mobile phone, making a phone at least 100 times faster than today's 3G smartphones".
He emphasised that efficiency is just as important as speed, and explained that IMT-Advanced will use radio-frequency spectrum "more efficiently" making higher data transfers possible on reduced bandwidth. He said this will help mobile networks to cope with the increase in data traffic expected in the next few years.
ITU secretary general Hamadoun Touré added that the new technology will make current smartphone connections seem like a dial-up internet connection.
"Access to the internet, streaming videos and data transfers anytime, anywhere will be better than most desktop connections today," he said.