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back to article Wireless breakthrough: one frequency, multiple signals

A team of Italian radio boffins – and one Swede – have one-upped their pioneering countryman Guglielmo Marconi by demonstrating a method of simultaneously transmitting multiple signals on the same frequency. "This novel radio technique allows the implementation of, in principle, an infinite number of channels in a given, fixed …

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Coffee/keyboard

Breakthrough

This would be a real breakthrough if they could send more signals point to point along the same line, but they can't. They are effectively splattering the signal across a wider area and using some phase jiggery-pokery to send different bits of the signal to different places. They're using a new spatial encoding trick but it doesn't change the basic physics.

More complex spatial antennas could always send more stuff, the trouble is they're spatial so don't expect one built into in your mobile phone. To get the sort of bandwidth that you can get from a strand or two of fibre out the chunk of spectrum a telco might hold, you'll need an antenna the size of a city and a massive amount of cables and electronics to drive it. Which is kinda what's happening, when you think about it.

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Windows

In the late 90s when the bubble was expanding a Californian start-up called SilkRoad made all sorts of outlandish claims (that amounted to nothing) for optical fibre transmission and when I read this I was reminded of the similarity in language used. That's all I can say about this latest news as I have no deep understanding of radio.

The SilkRoad brochure was hilarious and included a history of optics/physics with a lineage that basically went from Da Vinci to Newton to Einstein to the founder of SilkRoad.

http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=SilkRoad&i=51365,00.asp

Despite what PC mag says, the prototype systems were not impressive and 15 or so years later fibre optics is busy plundering existing radio techniques to increase bandwidth and there's not even a hint that there was anything more to the SilkRoad hype than encouraging investors.

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Nothing new

I get that on Talk Sport frequencies every night.

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