MIT Upgrades Triple the Speed and Double the Range of WiFi

Three cheers for more reliable duck face photos in stadiums across the globe!

8. 26. 16 by Jasmine Solana
Andrii Zhezhera/
Image by Andrii Zhezhera/

Spectrum Crunch

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to load a webpage on your phone with an overloaded network. And with phone usage growing faster than the wireless spectrum, everyone is forced to fight over smaller and smaller bits of bandwidth. Thankfully, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) said they have found a possible solution to this so-called “spectrum crunch.”

In a recently published paper, the team explained that the key to the MegaMIMO 2.0 system is coordinating multiple access points at the same time, on the same frequency, but without creating any interference. This means that the system could improve the speed, by tripling it, and strength, by doubling the range, of wireless networks, especially in venues with thousands of people all vying for the same signal.

But Does It Work?

To a point, adding more routers to a network can help with speeds and range. But eventually, the more routers added ends up slowing the network as well, as they all compete over the same spectrum. According to the press release, “the team developed special signal-processing algorithms that allow multiple independent transmitters to transmit data on the same piece of spectrum to multiple independent receivers without interfering with each other.”

Taking a page out of the Tom Haverford and DJ Roomba playbook, to test the system, the MIT team placed four laptops on top of Roomba robots and had them roam around inside a mock conference room. The result? MegaMIMO 2.0 increased the devices’ data transfer speed by as much as 330 percent!


“In today’s wireless world, you can’t solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another,” said Ezzeldin Hamed, a PhD student and lead author of the paper. “The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum.”

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy


Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.