Can Artemis Deliver 5G Service On Your 4G Phone?

Start-up Artemis Networks aims to boost wireless data capacity with its pCell technology. But experts are skeptical

5 min read
Can Artemis Deliver 5G Service On Your 4G Phone?
The Anti-Cell: Artemis Networks’ pWave radio access points transmit data to multiple wireless devices at once using the same slice of spectrum.
Photo: Artemis Neworks

“This is going to change everything,” said Steve Perlman in a New York City hotel room in February, two days before revealing that his new start-up, Artemis Networks, plans to commercialize its pCell wireless technology. “We can deliver in 2014 all the goals of 5G on 4G phones,” he said, including more network capacity and faster, more reliable connections.

Many wireless experts aren’t convinced. “This is a promising technology, but some of the claims seem too good to be true,” says Lingjia Liu of the University of Kansas, in Lawrence.

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How the FCC Settles Radio-Spectrum Turf Wars

Remember the 5G-airport controversy? Here’s how such disputes play out

11 min read
This photo shows a man in the basket of a cherry picker working on an antenna as an airliner passes overhead.

The airline and cellular-phone industries have been at loggerheads over the possibility that 5G transmissions from antennas such as this one, located at Los Angeles International Airport, could interfere with the radar altimeters used in aircraft.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

You’ve no doubt seen the scary headlines: Will 5G Cause Planes to Crash? They appeared late last year, after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned that new 5G services from AT&T and Verizon might interfere with the radar altimeters that airplane pilots rely on to land safely. Not true, said AT&T and Verizon, with the backing of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which had authorized 5G. The altimeters are safe, they maintained. Air travelers didn’t know what to believe.

Another recent FCC decision had also created a controversy about public safety: okaying Wi-Fi devices in a 6-gigahertz frequency band long used by point-to-point microwave systems to carry safety-critical data. The microwave operators predicted that the Wi-Fi devices would disrupt their systems; the Wi-Fi interests insisted they would not. (As an attorney, I represented a microwave-industry group in the ensuing legal dispute.)

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