If you own a 4G LTE-capable phone you’ve undoubtedly noticed times when data speeds seem worse than normal, especially if you live or work in a crowded urban area. That’s because the cell tower you’re connected to is at capacity due to the number of phones connected.
Telephone systems have been traditionally designed with the assumption that only a few of the users would be active at any given time. But the explosion of mobile phones, and in particular smart phones with always-on data connections, have broken that model. Bandwidth has become a precious resource that is stretched to the limit in many areas. But there’s a potential solution to this issue.
A company called Artemis Networks has introduced an alternative technology called pCell that makes your phone think it’s the only one connected to the cell tower. The linked article goes into the details but the important thing is its compatible with your existing phone. Assuming that pCell can scale to the size of the existing networks it will still require the cell operators to upgrade their systems to include it. If that occurs, you can expect urban areas to be first in line since this is where the problems are most acute.