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Artemis unveils pCell technology promising high-speed mobile connectivity for all


March 12, 2014

Artemis has unveiled pCell, a new mobile network technology that overcomes the problems associated with conventional mobile towers

Artemis has unveiled pCell, a new mobile network technology that overcomes the problems associated with conventional mobile towers

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The rise of smartphones and subsequent explosion in mobile data usage has put a strain on mobile networks, slowing them down when congested and requiring more and more radio spectrum space to accommodate the demand. Artemis Networks hopes to solve this problem with a new technology called pCell, which promises full speed mobile data regardless of the number of users.

Artemis Networks is a San Francisco-based firm that was founded in the early 2000s and has been "incubated" for over a decade. It claims its new mobile network base stations will be able to eliminate network congestion, dead zones and unreliable connections, instead providing mobile users with a "fiber-class broadband experience."

The base stations, or "pWaves," are used in place of mobile network towers. They do not need to be placed at regular intervals like mobile towers and so instead can be placed with cost and convenience in mind. According to Artemis, they are cheaper to run and more efficient than conventional mobile towers, as well as being cheaper and quicker to roll-out. Most importantly, however, they can provide high performance service regardless of the number and geographical spread of users.

Traditional mobile towers create network "cells" of anywhere between five and 50 km (3 and 31 miles), whilst trying to avoid overlapping and interfering with other cells. All mobile devices in the area share the cell's capacity for data transmission, meaning that the more users there are trying to connect via the same cell, the worse its performance becomes for each user. pCell technology, on the other hand, supposedly turns this model on its head.

"Instead of dodging interference, pCell exploits interference, combining transmitted radio signals from multiple pCell base stations to synthesize tiny "personal cells" – pCells – of wireless energy around each mobile device," explains Artemis. "So, rather than hundreds of users taking turns sharing the capacity of one large cell, each user gets an unshared pCell, giving the full wireless capacity to each user at once."

Steve Perlman, the founder and CEO of Artemis Networks, demonstrated the technology at the company's unveiling event at Columbia University. As well as demonstrating 4K video streaming using the pCell mobile network, Perlman argued that pCell effectively leapfrogs the need for 4G technology. Perlman suggests that not only can pCell provide a better quality of service, but that it works with existing devices and can hand-off to existing cellular networks when a user goes out of range.

Artemis is already in talks with prospective partners and expects to begin rolling out the technology in one major city this year.

The video below provides an introduction to pCell.

Source: Artemis

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

just one question, what is the range of one of these little transmitters, or how far apart can you put them?


Wow, that sounds awesome! I hope the roll out goes good for that lucky city, so it can quickly expand!

Derek Howe

Sounds like phased-array applied to cell phones.

Anne Ominous

More powerful cancer tubes! Yay!

Sven Ollino

Does it give the PTB the ability to locate individuals with even more precision than the current system does? And if so, should we be worried? And should we be informed?

Mel Tisdale

my village has no cell phone service at all...how about trying it out here? just a quarter mile up the hillside i could get 5 bars, but getting that signal down to the town is difficult and it takes 45 minutes to drive an ATV up the hill to that spot. i finally had to drop my service for the cell phone.


If everyone in a given area is being given service by, for example, 3 cell towers, isn't the total capacity for combined users limited to the total capacity (band-width) of the 3 towers combined which in turn is limited by the fiber-optic capacity of the towers? This may boost efficiency, but has limits.


Notarichman there are repeaters that you place at the top of the hill and covers the valleys fairly cheaply. A small solar panel could power it.

Get say 10 people together and costs would be fairly small each. You could even start it as a business delivering cell and internet to others out of town range.

Mel since they already track you to a foot in stores like Walgreens by asking your tracker/cell phone, does it matter? We need to just ban most data collection and limit data storage time of what is allowed.


it would have to track you to work properly i would think. but i am still having trouble with the basic thinking behind it. definitely something to watch, it could have applications far beyond cell phones and there ilk


mass produce nationwide alone & install reuse idle towers & place these units on them. any Hi rise or billboard can do.

Stephen Russell

This sounds like a great thing for everyone. Mobile companies can leverage from this new technology. With this type of wireless data, it can truly be a game changer for audio quality.

Reyna Ramli
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