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As India Embraces New Avatars Of WiFi, Contributions Of Two Indian-Origin Innovators Recognised

At a event in Washington on 20 October, the non-profit Wireless History Foundation, inducted four pioneering innovators into the Wireless Hall of Fame.

Two of them were born in India and their work has played a crucial role in broadening the spread of 5G and wireless Internet worldwide, including India.

Dr Arogyaswami Paulraj, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, was inducted for his invention of multiple-input multiple-output or MIMO, a technology which sharply increases the data capacity of wireless networks by placing multiple antennas at both the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver) of a communication service like 4G or 5G.

Today, MIMO is harnessed by billions of devices from mobile phones to home WiFi routers.

Neera Singh, an IIT Kanpur alumnus, developed software that could detect and calculate interference at radio towers when setting up new mobile phone systems, helping telecom companies to avoid huge losses.

She went on to co-found LCC International which set up wireless networks around the world.

The other two inductees were Dan Hesse who has headed two of the world’s largest wireless carriers, AT&T Wireless and Sprint — and Stuart Subotnik, a pioneer of wireless paging.

Interestingly, this recognition of the historical contribution of two Indian-origin innovators comes at a time when the wireless industry in India is poised to roll out new avatars of wireless — specifically WiFi:

Jio Pioneers WiFi Powered By 5G

Reliance Jio announced on 23 October that it had rolled out the first implementation of a city-wide WiFi service powered by its recently acquired 5G wireless network — in the temple town of Nathdwara in Rajasthan.

The company intends to go beyond mobile phone business with its 5G capability, and is launching Jio True5G-fuelled WiFi services in high footfall areas like railway stations, bus stands, commercial centres and educational institutions.

It will also offer home and office WiFi users the option of powering their wire-fed data links with wireless 5G — significantly reducing the hassle and logistics of accessing high-speed Internet services.

Airtel has also announced its interest to serve this data market with its own 5G offering.


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