MIT develops device to amplify the range of any WiFi network by 1000%

Although some cities around the world already have the technological infrastructure needed for the use of the 5G network, researchers and network security experts still have many obstacles that prevent the full adoption of this new paradigm as a whole new standard.

One of the main impediments to this transition is the difficulty in delivering faster Internet service, due to the little progress shown by wireless signals in recent times. Although a possible solution is to include transmitters in WiFi devices, mobile towers and mobile devices, this trend has been overtaken due to the insistence of companies to produce increasingly smaller tech devices.

In addressing this wireless communication issue, a group of network security experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that efforts may not need to focus so much on antennas and transmitters, but instead working in a way to boost the signal should be using resources in the telecommunications environment.

The RFocus system was born from this premise, raising the need for a software-controlled intelligent surface, employing more than 3,000 antennas to optimize the signal strength in the receiving device. According to network security researchers, RFocus increases the average strength of wireless signals by nearly 1000%. In addition, the construction of these antennas is relatively inexpensive, as experts say that each antenna has a cost of just a few cents, making RFocus a highly viable project.

While the obvious application of this system is to increase the reach of WiFi networks, developers believe that the potential of RFocus is much greater, with many other applications to the industrial, commercial, government and domestic sectors.

Regarding its physical characteristics, RFocus is a two-dimensional surface composed of thousands of antennas that, according to the received signal, can reflect or pass that signal. The entire RFocus structure would be controlled by a software development specially created to maximize the intensity of these signals.

Similar approaches have previously been analyzed by researchers from other universities, all with a view to optimizing the reception of wireless signals and driving the expected transition to 5G technologies in the area of telecommunications.