New ‘lightRadio cube’ could spell the end for ugly mobile phone masts

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LONDON - Ugly mobile phone masts that blight the landscape could soon become a thing of the past, for scientists have developed tiny cubes which you can hold in your hand.

The pioneering technology could also create a seamless wireless network and eliminate Internet ‘black spots’.

Designers at Bell Labs, New Jersey have developed a tiny antenna that transmits signals without the need for huge unsightly towers, reports the Daily Mail.

The ‘lightRadio cube’ is the size of a Rubik’s cube-vastly smaller than the ironing-board-sized antennas found on mobile phone masts.

These tiny devices could be attached to lampposts, buildings or telephone poles as single cubes or in clusters, connected to the mobile phone network with optical fibres.he lightRadio cube has been developed by French-U.S. communications giant Alcatel-Lucent.

Wim Sweldens, of the firm’s wireless division, said: “We see more and more towers that become bigger and bigger, with more and bigger antennas that come to obstruct our view and clutter our landscape and are simply ugly.”

“What we have realised is that we, as one of the major mobile equipment vendors, are partially if not mostly to blame for this,” he said.

Sweldens said the new ’small-cell’ technology could make mobile phone masts ‘go away’.

Rather than connecting all phones within a mile or two to the same mast, mobile phone companies could instead divide traffic between several smaller cells.

This would allow for a far greater capacity for calls and data - crucial at a time when smartphone users are saturating the network with data requests.

The new technology would go on show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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