Nokia Networks has announced it will partner with Artemis Networks to test its new pCell technology, which may be capable of removing network congestion and speeding up wireless service across the United States.
Artemis claims that its pCell tech is able to use the same 3G and 4G LTE spectrum, and still deliver 50 times the capacity. This would remove the congestion issue found in public areas where thousands of people are connecting to one cell tower.
Nokia Networks plans to test the tech in a few public places to see if pCell is scalable. Currently, tests have only been conducted in very controlled environments; this will be Artemis’ first large test to see if the wireless technology works in the wild.
For everyday mobile users, pCell could be a major boost to wireless speed. Buffering videos, laggy games, and dropped FaceTime calls would apparently become a thing of the past.
Artemis founder Steve Perlman — the same guy that had a hand in creating WebTV, QuickTime, and OnLive — claims that pCell gets better the more congestion is on the network. Nokia Networks Chief Technology Officer Hossein Moiin seems convinced, “what we’re doing next is demonstrating that it does work. I’m not 100 percent sold, but I’m a believer.”
Some remain skeptical about pCell, but getting Nokia on board should inspire some confidence among the wireless carriers. Nokia is the third-largest networking company in the world, and is set to shoot up the ranks with the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion.
Perlman claims that wireless carriers in the developing world might look to skip 4G LTE and move straight to pCell. That may save carriers billions in networking costs, while offering a much improved wireless experience to users.
pCell is still a very experimental technology, however, meaning AT&T and Verizon will need hard proof that pCell works before investing in it. At the Code Conference last year, Perlman claimed that companies representing $600 billion of the $1.2 trillion in wireless revenue were in talks with Artemis concerning pCell technology.