Improvements In Mobile Device Radio ReceptionImprovements In Mobile Device Radio Reception
Anyone that has had several mobile phones knows that not all phones receive their radio signals at the same strength. You can be in the same place with two different phones and one will perform well while the other may show fewer bars and have a bit of static or short periods where the caller cuts out. Clearly the design of the phone and internal antenna affects reception as much as the carrier you are using.
September 11, 2009
Anyone that has had several mobile phones knows that not all phones receive their radio signals at the same strength. You can be in the same place with two different phones and one will perform well while the other may show fewer bars and have a bit of static or short periods where the caller cuts out. Clearly the design of the phone and internal antenna affects reception as much as the carrier you are using.Just look at your phone and think how many types of signals it needs to work with. Most have at least Bluetooth and their cellular technology. Often, cellular technologies are really multiple frequencies, like quad-band for GSM devices and separate 3G network bands such as UMTS. More and more devices also have WiFi radios, and a few may have an old fashioned FM receiver or even a new Flo TV receiver. Cramming all of that into a tiny phone doesn't leave a lot of room for long antennas that would have better reception.
WiMax.com has an interview with a VP at SkyCross, a company that specializes in high performance antennas for mobile devices. The problem with reception is more than just a bunch of different antennas, you also have to consider the frequencies that may be stepping on each other. Devices with WiMAX run at 2.5GHz while normal WiFi is at 2.4GHz. That is close enough to potentially cause problems for one or both of those bands. SkyCross claims to have solved this with what they call iMATTM, or isolated mode antenna technology. It "enables a single antenna to function like multiple antennas, without compromising the performance of each antenna or the industrial design of the device. This is accomplished by utilizing a single radiating structure with multiple feed points." They have worked with phone manufacturers like Samsung and radio makers like Novatel and Sierra wireless. The problem will only get worse as more technologies are developed and the internal circuitry of phones gets smaller to allow more room for things the consumer cries out for, like real keyboards, longer battery life and bigger screens, all without making the phones larger or heavier. There is more technical data in the interview, so check it out if this interests you.
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