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pCell Technology Could Mean Substantially Faster Mobile Internet With More Network Stability

March 13, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Compared to just a few years ago, mobile internet is fast. It’s getting even faster as we progress through 2014 and major carriers are working to deploy most of their LTE network to subscribers. It seems that no matter how fast our mobile internet becomes, it can always be faster and provide users with even more connection speed, faster download times, and infinitely quicker browsing experiences. LTE is certainly plenty fast enough for most users, but not all users are within LTE coverage range, and even the ones that are, still lose connection to the network from time to time. A strong reason behind this is the way we implement our current network connections with cell towers. The towers we use to connect to the network as is do a fine job, but we can’t argue that they have problems keeping huge numbers of people connected at once while all of them are trying to use data at the same time.

This is where pCell comes in and could change the way we get and stay connected to our wireless networks, all while enjoying much faster data speeds. At least that’s the idea. pCell is a type of technology that is being developed by a startup company called Artemis which believes that it could deliver internet to mobile users that is 1,000 times faster than 4G LTE, and that it could provide better reliability with staying connected to the network, even when under a heavy load of users at the same time. It’s important to understand that the work and development behind pCell is new, and until some testing trials begin later this year there is still much uncertainty behind the whole idea. However, it sounds very promising and could change our mobile network experience on a large scale.

To get a better understanding of pCell and why it could be a game changer it’s also important to first understand how a current cell tower works and deploys connection to wireless subscribers. Cell towers basically broadcast out the reception that keeps us connected to our networks in a sort of bubble. The cell tower is meant to cover a fairly large area, and obviously being too far away from the reception origin gives you a weaker signal, which could result in slower speeds or even signal loss from time to time. Users can also experience connection issues if towers are placed too close together, which causes a reception overlap, or better known as a deadzone caused by the interference of the overlap. Instead of utilizing smaller numbers of towers to cover massive areas, Artemis wants to put up a huge number of little pCell boxes that cover a smaller area. These tiny boxes are called Pwaves, and basically combine with the signals that are broadcast from each box to provide a faster and more stable connection to each user on an individual level. pCell technology could not only provide faster internet with stronger signals to users, but it also uses less power, and could allow users to experience less battery drain since the devices would use less power searching for a connection to the network. The beginning of a pCell rollout for consumers is due to start near the end of this year in San Francisco, with the hope of a major launch across all major networks starting sometime in 2015.