Artemis, the company that claims it has developed a new technology to deploy wireless data at speeds 35 times faster than 4G LTE, is leasing spectrum owned by Dish to test its technology in real life.
Steve Perlman, the company's CEO, says the mobile network will be deployed in San Francisco as soon as the Federal Communications Commission gives it the green light.
Dish, via its subsidiary American H Block Wireless, will be leasing the 1,900 MHz PCS H Block to Artemis for two years, during which Artemis will use San Francisco as the first "showroom" for its wireless technology.
Many mobile wireless industry specialists have expressed their doubts about Artemis' new technology since Perlman introduced it over a year ago. They say Perlman's explanations are theoretically possible, but such a feat is limited by the constraints of today's wireless technology.
However, Artemis plans to achieve what industry experts and traditional wireless carriers think is impossible by exploiting interference, instead of trying to eliminate it as typical carriers do.
The system uses transmitters called pWave radios installed on 600 rooftops owned by wireless ISP Webpass to distribute coverage in the area. Unlike typical wireless transmitters, which are placed far enough to reduce signal interference, Artemis' system makes use of interference by tweaking the signals to create individual pCells, or personal cells, for each LTE device in the area.
Instead of several users getting a small piece of the wireless spectrum through a single antenna, each user gains full access to the entire spectrum through his own private link. This, Perlman says, will allow users to have "unlimited wireless at a much lower cost than any of the other unlimited wireless."
"The basic wireless service sends waves out and makes sure they don't interfere. That's why the world is divided into cells," Perlman told Re/code. "What we did is say, 'Look, let everything interfere but control the way we send those signals ... combine them together and make it so the combinations add up to the wave form the phone needs to receive its own private signal.' "
Artemis will be distributing a SIM card that can be used on phones compatible with LTE Band 39, which includes the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and certain Android phones. The company will also need to enter a mobile virtual network operator deal with network providers so that customers can continue to receive coverage even if they go outside the bounds of Artemis' pWaves.
Artemis is not planning to compete with the established mobile carriers even though its new technology, if it proves to be feasible, could easily capture the hearts of customers, for whom wireless data services offered by traditional providers continue to be a major pain point. Instead, Perlman hopes to license the company's technology to a carrier with the infrastructure, clout, and resources to deploy the technology to tens of millions of people.