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Spinning Radio Signals Will Boost Wireless Internet Speeds Over Large Distances

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 (12:42 pm) - Score 516
spinning wifi waves

Scientists working at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and the University of Padova have experimentally demonstrated, in a real-world setting, that it is possible to simultaneously transmit multiple independent radio channels, on the same frequency, via the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. Crucially the potential now exists to “dramatically increase the capacity of any frequency band,” which would have massive implications for other wireless solutions.

The development, which could also increase >wireless information transfer capacity “over large distances“, effectively works by adding a kind of spin to incoherent radio beams (think of the signal being sent out like a vortex). This is achieved by encoding the beams in two different Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) states.

Thankfully you don’t have to understand what any of that actually means in order to comprehend the significance of their work. The result is simply an ability to push even more data down what could be an already very crowded wireless link (i.e. better capacity and faster speeds).

New Journal of Physics (Detailed Explanation)

This novel radio technique allows the implementation of, in principle, an infinite number of channels in a given, fixed bandwidth, even without using polarization, multiport or dense coding techniques.

This paves the way for innovative techniques in radio science and entirely new paradigms in radio communication protocols that might offer a solution to the problem of radio-band congestion.

Our experimental findings that EM OAM can be used for increasing radio transmission capacity without increasing bandwidth is likely to open up new perspectives on wireless communications and radio-based science.”

The results also show that OAM and vorticity (i.e. the spinning signal) are preserved over long distances and can be utilized in radio communication, which is quite a feat. Sadly the demonstration was limited to two bands but in theory it could be expanded to deliver significantly more data over the same frequency.

Discussions with the wider telecommunications industry are already taking place but we probably won’t see anything commercial for a few years.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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