Engineers at Ericsson are experimenting with the concept of embedding antennae within window glass, which could help cell towers better handle multiple simultaneous connections from a single location.
In an unofficial interview with a Bloomberg Businessweek correspondent at CTIA Wireless in late May, Mats Guldbrand of Ericsson explained that the new glass could help in situations in which numerous devices are simultaneously attempting to connect separately to the same cell tower, such as in a crowded building or on public transportation. While current networks may be moderately successful in handling the specific requests of each device, performance will suffer overall because the signals are both interfering with one another and straining the capabilities of the network.
However, Guldbrand said, if the devices were to connect to a localized antenna embedded in the window of—for example—a bus, the bus could then link all devices to the cellular network through a single transmitter mounted on its roof. A single, high-capacity connection would be easier to handle than a multitude of smaller connections and, consequentially, all devices on the bus would experience faster speeds and stronger connections. Using shielded glass can also limit the number of competing transmissions from entering the bus or other vehicle.
Embedding other technology into the windows is also possible, Guldbrand added. Ericsson is currently exploring further plans for its connected glass concept.
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