Fronted by entrepreneur Steve Perlman, perhaps best know for his development of things like QuickTime and WebTV, Artemis claims to have solved one of the most vexing problems for large public-venue wireless, namely the congestion caused by a lot of cellular devices in a small geographic place. Though no details are yet available to explain exactly how it works, the company says its pCell wireless technology turns conventional cellular infrastructure on its head, using cell interference to amplify signals to each device.
We are reaching out to the company and to other cellular industry types right now to get reactions to the announcement. In the meantime, if this plan really works it could potentially make stadium and other large-venue wireless networks a lot easier and cheaper to deploy. Some good details can be found in this EE Times report.
Here is the company’s simple explanation of what its technology does:
“pWave radios transmit signals that deliberately interfere with each other, combining to synthesize tiny pCells, each just one cm in size. Every mobile device has its own pCell, a “Personal Cell,” each getting the full spectrum capacity.”
A little bit farther down its explanation page, the company adds more details, apparently pegging its strategy of mesh deployment of antennas as a cloud-based radio access network, or C-RAN.
“pCell is a pure software-defined radio C-RAN. Linux-based servers scale linearly with capacity. Fronthaul is conventional IP. pWaves self-synchronize. Seamless handoff to cell networks if desired.”
And just to tease more, the company also hints that it could set up its own networks, instead of just making cellular work better. Again, we will need more technical details about how pCell works to figure out its exact impact, but this statement is also interesting:
“Concurrently with LTE devices, pCell supports “pCell-native” devices, at far lower cost and power, each with its own pCell in the same spectrum. pCell-native devices can be faster than LTE with fiber-class latency. For example, an iPod-class device could be made pCell-native with minimal additional cost at the same size and power, and would provide better than LTE mobile performance in pCell coverage areas. This opens the door for low-cost pCell-native smartphones, wearables, UltraHD TVs, laptops, appliances, etc.: a broadband Internet of (inexpensive) Things.”
Our guess is that the reality of this design will mean some kind of client software or chip necessary to allow devices to connect to the pCell network; anyone with any details on the device or network, please chime in!