Breakthrough technology could lead to global 4G roaming

Breakthrough technology could lead to global 4G roaming

UK researchers claim to have uncovered a new technique that needs only one channel for two-way communication and could allow for global roaming on 4G networks.

The new technology, developed by researchers at the University of Bristol, is capable of estimating and cancelling out the interference from a transmission, allowing a radio device to transmit and receive on the same channel at the same time.

It is something of a substantial breakthrough given that radio systems like mobile phones and wireless internet connections use as much of the radio spectrum as is necessary.

If the technology is found to be successful, it could lead it to use around half as much of the spectrum, further opening up the possibility of the much-anticipated 5G, as well as enhancing coverage for 3G and 4G devices.

Under current systems, each frequency band requires a separate filtering component, meaning that no mobile device is capable of supporting all the frequency channels available around the world.

However, if these filters are successfully replaced by the research team's new duplexer circuit, it could create smaller and cheaper devices that would be able to allow manufacturers the chance to produce a single model that could be used anywhere in the world.

The benefits would be considerable in the age of mobile working, reducing costs and maintaining high levels of productivity.

Leo Laughlin, a PhD student from the university's EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications, said: “Until now there has been a fundamental unsolved problem with radio communication.

“Since the radio spectrum is a limited resource and with network operators paying billions of pounds to access the spectrum, solving this problem would bring us one step closer to the faster, cheaper and greener devices of our connected future."