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Poor Indoor Signals May Hamper 4G Adoption

As more mobile phone companies roll out 4G cellular services, which promise to give consumers 100 megabit per second connections, the technology’s signal strength and other transmission characteristics are under a microscope. Most providers base their performance metrics on transmissions between points outdoors. However, the technology doesn’t work well indoors because signals don’t transmit well, creating dead spots, say two UK academic researchers who studied the topic. “This means that the 4G rollout will not guarantee a better data-delivery experience for indoor customers who already experience a bad signal with 3G,” said University of Warwick assistant professor Weisi Guo, who worked with University of Sheffield research student Siyi Wang on the project. “And it’s not just indoor customers. Users standing outside in the shadow of buildings could also experience poor signal strengths. Unless nodes such as small cells are deployed to improve signal penetration to indoor areas, the performance improvement under poor signal conditions is small. … Regardless of what the mobile phone companies will tell you to sell you an upgrade, we are not as 4G ready as they would have you believe.” (PhysOrg)(The Conversation)

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