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June 11, 2013

Testing New Roads to Alleviate Wi-Fi Traffic Jam

We hear about it all the time now in the world of wireless: we need more space. The airwaves are crowded and the new demands of an increasingly technology-dependent life aren’t helping keep us away from the looming danger of the so-called “spectrum crunch.” Some solutions are already in place: small cell arrays can help process backhaul, but it’s only a matter of time before a huge public event gets everyone on their phones and into the air and tests this additional relief infrastructure.

The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) is currently considering an interesting, and sort of obvious, answer to this problem. If the roads are congested, why not pave new ones for the demanding drivers of Wi-Fi? It’s a proposal that Globalstar has put on the FCC’s table: Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS).

The solution, which was petitioned for last year, goes like this: the majority of wireless communications takes place over the band licensed internationally to be used for radiofrequency purposes other than communications. By offering a new service on the 2.4 GHz band that has a longer range and boasts superior data transfer speeds, the TLPS stands to offer an incentive for carriers to use it other than out of necessity.

Tested on Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi technology by Jarvinian, Globalstar’s service exceeded the expectations set for distance and capacity with impressive signal strengths at three to five times the range of public Wi-Fi in indoor urban environments. According to John Dooley, the founder of Jarvinian, what is more surprising than the fact that the TLPS offers this kind of high performance without interfering with Wi-Fi on other bands is that the connections are maintaining very high-speeds more uniformly over greater distances.

With this kind of performance testing backing the TLPS option when it comes to new ways to connect at high-speed and relieve the current bulging wireless networks, it looks like carriers will have more high performance options than LTE and small cells to offer. What this means for the customer at this point: who knows? With LTE emerging and being used as an opportunity to reevaluate data plan options, TLPS can also be seen as an opportunity to re-monetize high-speed wireless.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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