Researchers at MIT say several companies have licensed technology that can exponentially boost bandwidth by eliminating the need for networks to resend dropped data packets. The researchers say the dropped packet problem can be solved at the device level by using algebraic formulas to teach mobile devices to “solve” for the missing data.
A non-profit startup called Code-On Technologies is licensing the technology, which was developed by researchers at MIT, Caltech and Harvard, along with partners in Portugal and Munich. The breakthrough was reported today by Technology Review, which is published by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology.) MIT says it has non-disclosure agreements with all the licensees.
The bandwidth-boosting technology could be a life saver for service providers if it proves itself in real world applications. It could also be something of a setback for infrastructure providers if it eventually decreases the need for for more small cells, base stations and other network equipment that is currently being deployed worldwide to increase network capacity.
MIT is calling the technology coded TCP, and says the young researchers who worked on it demonstrated it recently by downloading Angry Birds videos from YouTube during a train ride from Boston to New York. The students attracted lots of attention from other passengers who were unable to get online at all.
The researchers installed their software on servers in the cloud, and say that it might work even better if it were installed directly on routers and transmitters. They say the same technology could eventually be used to merge cellular network traffic with Wi-Fi traffic because devices could use algebraic formulas instead of switching between the networks.
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