The MIT researchers managed to invent smart routers that can provide a higher speed for crowded venues. The technical solution may also be useful for cellphone towers.
The interference of Wi-Fi networks can lead signals to crash into each other. By adding extra access points to extend the coverage area the number of collisions will also increase.
The MIT researchers are making access points to anticipate their interference and to modify their path in order to avoid a collision. The new method is an alternative to today’s way of networks taking turns in being active inside the same area.
“If you’re the only person, you get to send [data] all the time. If there are two people you get to send … about half the time. As there are more and more people, you get less and less opportunities to send,” said Hariharan Rahul, a visiting researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.
The new system has the name MegaMIMO and relies on the signals’ properties to overlap and wrap. When the device tweaked the signals, the warping stopped.
The process was difficult to put in practice because the laptops and mobile devices moving inside the same area are disturbing the network. Having more access points makes the control even more complicated.
The solution was to coordinate the access points inside the wired network. Another innovation was to measure the signals that were sent by phones and laptops to the access points. The old method was sending multiple measuring signals.
The researchers tested the technical algorithm and observed it was successful. The researcher team is now pushing the limits of their device and tries to get as many access points as possible.
The researchers note that the smart routers could be used to improve cellphone reception, but usually, they are placed at a safe distance that permits them not to interfere. The scientists could use the solution in places like stadiums, where the cell transmitters are close to each other.
As the 5G cellular technologies have short ranges, the new technique could also be used to help in this newer direction of development, but the researchers believe it is too soon to tell.
The researchers have patents for their work, and they plan to create a company and to commercialize their innovative product.
The US government is now considering wireless congestion to be a major problem. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a contest for teams that develop wireless networks to work together and conserve bandwidth. The prizes will have a total of $2 million.
Image Source: Wikipedia