US startup Artemis is working on a new wireless technology, known as pCell, which could offer mobile internet speeds up to 1000 times faster than 4G.
The exciting new technology uses the 2,000-2,020MHz and 2180-2,200MHz end of the radio wave spectrum and is due to be deployed to parts of San Francisco by the end of this year. It’s thought that Artemis , which was founded in 2011, has teamed up with US telecoms company Dish Network . The latter has been quietly buying large blocks of the spectrum all across the country and is reported to have spent billions of dollars doing so.
It’s thought that Dish Network now owns enough of the rights for the high end spectrum to be able to potentially deliver the service to a large proportion of the States.
Artemis has carried out demonstrations of pCell in the US, showing that it’s capable of streaming HD quality video to eight devices at once without any glitching or buffering, using just a small proportion of its actual capabilities.
As well as being significantly faster than standard 4G or DSL, pCell is also much cheaper to deploy than standard cellular towers as it doesn’t require fibre cabling. pCell works in conjunction with unobtrusive boxes known as pWave installations. These use line of sight technology and beam data to each other when installed nearby and can be thought of as mobile towers which are the size of a router and use less power.
pWaves take advantage of colliding radio waves and in theory, due to the size of the boxes, it’s possible to "blanket an entire city” with them. Software is used to combine radio waves coming at you from nearby pWave boxes and this gives what is essentially equivalent to a personal cellular tower on your phone.
This is where the name pCell comes from, as it should produce enough signal to ensure that people effectively have "what feels likes a maximum capacity tower all to yourself,” according to Business Insider .
No doubt the technology will have plenty of US telecoms and cable companies worried, so it will be interesting to see how pCell does in trials when it’s deployed in San Francisco at the end of this year.
For more information on what pCell can do, check out the Colombia University demonstration video here .