New wireless tech could allow for lots more data bandwidth

What is Shannon's Law? It's a theory (also known as the Shannon–Hartley theorem) proposed by the late Bell Labs scientist Claude Shannon in 1948. In very basic terms, the law is supposed to show that a channel has a finite limit of the amount of bandwidth it can provide. In real world terms that's why wireless phones still have to deal with things like dropped calls or dead zones or not being able to get a wireless connection in a densely populated area or event like, say, a football stadium with over 100,000 people.

With more and more data being pushed on wireless carriers these problems will likely get worse as Shannon's Law will be felt. Or will it? In a newly discovered video the CEO of the OnLive streaming game service Steve Perlman is shown telling an audience at the Columbia Engineering School that his tech incubator Rearden Companies has been privately demoing a system that basically works around Shannon's Law. The technology is already allowing for increased bandwidth at 10 times what is supposed to be possible under Shannon's Law. That means that all those 100,000 people in the stadium should be able to connect to the network with Rearden's new wireless technology with no problem. In the video Pearlman claims they know they can increase the bandwidth to 100 times the Shannon's Law limit and might be able to get it up to 1000 times the limit. Also the range of the network is very long; about 30 miles with possibly more range available.

The kicker? Perlman claims in the video that the actual wireless phone hardware is relatively simple with just one antenna needed and less processing power than current wireless phones. Of course all of this was just shown on some slides in a presentation and Perlman didn't even hint as to when this technology might show up in real wireless products. But it certainly sound very promising. You can check out the full lecture in the video below with the wireless info revealed near the end.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Call of Duty XP fan event to be held September 2-3 in LA

Next Story

Google+ invites sent out, then shut down

13 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is very interesting...... its impossible to reach wireless full bandwidth capacity but i think the problem might lie at the layer 1 components... it wil b difficult to establish such hardware but all the best....

mail said,
There is no technical explanation in that video at all ...

Rearden Company has only done private demos so far, and will likely keep the the technology behind it concealed.

MidnightDevil said,
Increasing the bandwidth? Just that? Howcome no one though of it earlier? Seems kinda simple at first...

Some of the best ideas normally are.

kaczula said,
This 'breakthrough invention' sounds like some science trolling...
I am very sceptic.

yeah, i need a demo or some very good numbers proof before believing this. Will look at the video now, but not expecting to be convinced by it

Edited by XerXis, Jun 30 2011, 8:19am : edit: ok, they don't explain anything at all in the video. I remain extremely sceptic. "We don't do it like marconi did", it sounds like bull to be honest

Yes, not details whatsoever on how exactly this thing works.
It looks like OnLive is desperate for some cash from clueless investors...

flexkeyboard said,
Doesn't mean jackshit when the providers enforce datacap.

Actually it does. The real benefit of this technology (assuming it's not vapourware) is to ease contention. Even if you have a data cap, it's ultimately pointless if there isn't enough bandwidth available to hit it. Try using your phone at a mass media event and you'll see what I mean.