Network fixes: Every move you make

Wi-Fi or mobile connections do not care whether a user is standing still, running, driving at 100kph or sitting on public transport. This kind of flexibility comes at a price, though. Most devices in motion transmit more slowly than they could because they maintain connections to the nearest base station for longer than they optimally ought to.In a paper presented last month, Hari Balakrishnan of from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests how a device’s movements could be predicted by sampling data from built-in motion, positioning, and other sensors, bumping throughput by around 50%. Such bumps are not trivial. Telecoms companies could save billions by using existing spectrum holdings more efficiently, and increase consumer satisfaction to boot, especially when it comes to data-intensive processes like streaming video. The improvements could reduce corporate network spending while boosting the actual speed of home broadband networks. These sometimes appear slow because of a poor wireless link rather than the connection from home to the service provider.To read this report in The Economist in full, see:
www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/04/network_fixes

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