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Qualcomm tech might make cell towers obsolete

by on22 May 2015

LTE direct

Chipmaker Qualcomm is trailing LTE Direct which could bypass cell towers and allow phones to talk directly.

The wireless technology reportedly has a range of up to 500 meters, far more than either WiFi or Bluetooth.

Qualcomm has already brought out a whitepaper on the trials it has already conducted in partnership with telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei and Germany's largest wireless carrier Deutsche Telekom in Bonn, Germany.

Some think that the technology could be limited to targeted promotions or advertising through the usage of location-based apps and services. Because the world needs to be bothered by more people trying to sell you stuff you don't want.

However Professor Jeff Andrews has studied the possibility of using the fledgling technology to improve utilization of scarce electromagnetic spectrum and "overall throughput and energy efficiency".

Andrews thinks it could be a back-up in case of network failures or in case of complete unavailability of any network in remote regions.

Devices using LTE Direct will have the ability to use licensed spectrum bands to automatically detect other devices similarly enabled with the feature without routing through cell towers.

Qualcomm said that this "horizontal discovery" will be good for consumers and app developers and will also enable carriers to deliver better value by using spectrum in a hitherto unseen manner to deliver entirely new categories of services as part of the Internet of Things.
LTE Direct could also potentially help smooth out network problems that occur when a large number of users are trying to connect to the same cell tower in densely populated urban areas.

Last modified on 22 May 2015
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