Buildings grow taller, cities grow denser; but the electromagnetic spectrum on which we all talk to each other and download each others’ slide decks and FaceTime our children remains the same (at least for now).
Now researchers out of Downtown Brooklyn’s NYU Tandon School of Engineering have an idea to make the system work faster.
“Recent advances in self-interference cancellation enable radios to transmit and receive on the same frequency at the same time,” a new paper, Throughput and Coverage for a Mixed Full and Half Duplex Small Cell Network, says. “Such a full duplex radio is being considered as a potential candidate for the next generation of wireless networks due to its ability to increase the spectral efficiency of wireless systems.”
Basically what that means is that bandwidth users — let’s take phones for example — will be able to upload and download, or receive and transmit, information simultaneously.
That’s what researchers Shivendra Panwar, professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Tandon, and Sanjay Goyal, a doctoral student, along with Assistant Professor Nicola Marchetti and doctoral student Carlo Galiotto, both of Trinity College in Ireland, call the full duplex radio system. In theory, this should double bandwidth speeds. In practice, it’s going to cause a lot of confusion. But! By switching between this full duplex system and the system we currently have, the half-duplex system, it could allow service providers to adjust the best mix of bandwidth and clarity for a given place. Maybe Downtown Brooklyn needs more bandwidth and less cellular clarity and Staten Island needs clear calls but not a ton of bandwidth. That adjustment might be getting a whole lot easier in the future.
“The beauty of this system is that it’s tunable and would allow providers to adjust the mix of cells based on the needs of a region,” said Goyal, in a statement from Tandon. “If you’re designing an urban network, the demand for bandwidth is much greater than the need for wide-area coverage. More full duplex cells would provide that bandwidth, even at the cost of a few more dropped calls.”
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