Steve Perlman's pCell: The Next-Generation Wireless Tech That'll Make Internet 1K Faster Than 4G

By @judithaparri on
Cast member Kristen Bell (R) poses with the Kickstarter crowd that helped fund "Veronica Mars" at the premiere of the film at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California March 12, 2014. The film opens on March 14. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

The wireless networks which power our mobile devices seems to be the fastest technology we can have for now, as we cannot think of anything better than them yet. Wireless networks could never be fast enough because they are loaded and used by many. For example, in a crowded area like San Francisco or New York, or when attending a sports event, one can still lose signal despite the technology's advancement efforts.

Individual towers cannot just handle thousands of data movement, uploads and downloads requested by thousands of people at the same time. However, a major engineering talent, hopes to change that. The new technology is called pCell and the startup which works on it is Artemis, a firm founded in 2011. There is a big reason why pCell could jump 4G big time.

Just like the other new and disruptive technology, pCell has tons of hypes and vagueness around it. Cell towers are like huge umbrella tops. When deployed, they broadcast reception that gets weaker as the distance from them increases. Cell towers should be far enough from each other in order not to cause interference, but close enough for the users to move between areas of coverage and still get cell service.


The Artemis tech moves in a different direction. It does not space out towers but rather deploy many boxes the size of routers called "pWaves". pWaves makes use of radio waves collision, not interference. It combines incoming signals from pWave stations, and give a "personal cell" to each pCell user. That means getting a good signal equal to LTE full bars while good signal strength is 1,000 times faster. Also, pWaves are tiny to deploy a number of unobtrusive locations.   

pCell and 4g or LTE

pWave radios use less power but gives strong speed and signal strengths. It only uses 1-milliwatt to bring out requested data compared to 250 milliwatts used by Wi-Fi radios, and even larger amount for cellular towers.

pCell requires less infrastructure to build, unlike towers that need massive fiber infrastructure to give enough bandwidth to users. pWaves can be deployed close to each other so they can bounce data around.

Artemis CEO Steve Perlman demonstrated the technology pCell transmitting an HD video to eight smartphones at the same time but the speed was still superb.

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