Scientists in Pisa, Italy claim to have set a new world record for the fastest wireless data transmission. They report that during an uninterrupted 12-hour experiment, they were able to achieve throughput speeds above 1.2 Terabits per second; which they say beats the previous wireless data transmission speed record of 160 Gigabits per second by Korean scientists. The researchers claim that speeds of this magnitude can typically only be achieved using fiber optics.
The technology that the Pisa scientists utilized to achieve such high bandwidth, actually shares a significant similarity with fiber optics: Both technologies use optical communications. Unlike Wi-Fi or microwave communications, which use radio-based transmissions, the Pisa scientists used a Technology called free-space optical communications, which transmits data using light.
"Free space optical communications is a line-of-sight (LOS) technology that transmits a modulated beam of visible or infrared light through the atmosphere for broadband communications. In a manner similar to fiber optical communications, free space optics uses a light emitting diode (LED) or laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) point source for data transmission. However, in free space optics, an energy beam is collimated and transmitted through space rather than being guided through an optical cable. These beams of light, operating in the TeraHertz portion of the spectrum, are focused on a receiving lens connected to a high sensitivity receiver through an optical fiber."