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Breakthrough wireless tech to combine LTE, Wi-Fi data streams

Published Oct 24th, 2012 7:40AM EDT
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Why settle for using either LTE or Wi-Fi when you could use both? That’s the question that researchers at several major universities have tried to answer by developing a new wireless technology capable of opening up more bandwidth by delivering the best of both wireless worlds. According to Technology Review, the new wireless tech has been developed by “researchers at MIT, the University of Porto in Portugal, Harvard University, Caltech, and Technical University of Munich” and is able to “seamlessly weave data streams from Wi-Fi and LTE” to deliver data more efficiently.

The other key element of the new technology is the way that it solves data packet loss — that is, bits of data that get lost over the air and that must be re-sent. Technology Review says that the researchers have found a way to send “algebraic equations that describe series of packets” so “if a packet goes missing, instead of asking the network to resend it, the receiving device can solve for the missing one itself.” This is particularly important because devices that constantly have to refresh to retrieve lost packets clog up bandwidth and make for inefficient wireless data networks.

Technology Review says that although tests for the new wireless tech have worked well in labs, there are still questions about whether it will work just as well with a full-scale network deployment.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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