aNewDomain — Google Fiber installations are costly and the subscription rate has been disappointing. No wonder Google is slowing installations and cutting staff. Is the answer Artemis Network’s pCell technology?
Google, after all, has been looking for other solutions that provide a fiber-class experience. And its recently acquired Webpass, a boutique high-speed Internet service provider, has been experimenting with the experimental wireless tech.
Invented by Quicktime pioneer Steve Perlman, pCell tech is clever technology that squeezes more out of the spectrum using compact router-sized so-called pWave devices (pictured, at right). By creating small, overlapping individual networks for every mobile device, they are designed to allocate the spectrum more efficiently than cell towers.
I first heard about pCell when I saw a video of a talk and demo that Perlman gave at Columbia University, but if you’re new to all this, start by watching Perlman’s shorter, more recent demo, below.
Editor: For other videos and tech papers on Pcell, check out the Artemis site here.
Perlman’s demos are impressive: These are computers, phones and tablets that are inches apart receive full-speed wireless connectivity and they freely move around without losing contact. Transmission speed slows a bit as they are moved, but full speed resumes as soon as they stop moving.
PCell access points are small and distributed compared to conventional cell towers and, if they turn out to be simple and effective, they could be installed and owned by individual users as well as companies –forming next-generation “street nets,” connected to Google’s, or anyone else’s, fiber.
The jury is still out on pCell, but it is safe to say that either it or some other fifth generation wireless technology will improve our access to the Internet and alter infrastructure ownership and business models.
For aNewDomain, I’m Larry Press.
Here are Artemis’ tech and white papers on pCell technology, readable in full and in place, below.
An Introduction to PCell White Paper [Artemis] uploaded by Gina Smith on Scribd
Artemis Pcell tech paper: Achieving large multiplexing gain+with+pCell (IEEE, Asilomar) uploaded by Gina Smith on Scribd
An earlier version of this story ran on Larry Press’ CIS471 blog, here. -Ed.