Waiting in the wings, the next generation of wireless technology

Ted Rappaport gives off the energy of a man who likes to bend his efforts toward a technical problem that others have said can’t be solved.

Rappaport is in charge of NYU WIRELESS, a New York University research program in downtown Brooklyn that has enlisted researchers to work on the next generation of wireless technology. When Fortune visits, he tells a story of how he traveled to the densest metropolitan area in the U.S. — downtown Manhattan – to send and receive millimeter wave radio signals over various distances. His goal? To demonstrate that a commercially viable expansion of spectrum for cellular and Wi-Fi could physically be done.

Many industry players doubted that it was possible. Now, those same people are using the results of the professor’s research to begin sketching out their own strategies for the next phase of wireless technology.

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