Rice Says They Can Painlessly Double Your Phone's Capacity

Categories: Education, Tech

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Rice
Rice's Melissa Duarte with test model of the magical device.
If there is one problem in this world that needs to be fixed right now, it is the crisis of how freaking long it takes to get video on your phone. (Note: Your "top problem" may vary according to Third World-ishness.)

Fret no more, or at least for only a short period more. Rice University researchers have announced a breakthrough "that could allow wireless phone companies to double throughput on their networks without adding a single cell tower."

Right now, cell towers use two frequencies to communicate with wireless devices -- one to "listen," one to "talk."

By "employing an extra antenna and some computing tricks," researchers have developed a way to use just one frequency.

"Our solution requires minimal new hardware, both for mobile devices and for networks, which is why we've attracted the attention of just about every wireless company in the world," said Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice. "The bigger change will be developing new wireless standards for full-duplex. I expect people may start seeing this when carriers upgrade to 4.5G or 5G networks in just a few years.

WE WANT IT NOW. Get on the ball, Rice!

And here's some gibberish for all you tech nerds:

"We repurposed antenna technology called MIMO, which are common in today's devices," Sabharwal said. "MIMO stands for 'multiple-input multiple-output' and it uses several antennas to improve overall performance. We took advantage of the multiple antennas for our full-duplex scheme, which is the main reason why all wireless carriers are very comfortable with our technology."

Who wouldn't be?

Rice's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Roberto Rocca Education Program and Xilinx Incorporated.


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