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wi-fm-fm-radio-wifiShort Bytes: Facing slower WiFi speed due to network congestion and signal interference is a very common problem. However, researchers have found a way to use FM Radio signals to solve this problem.

Living in a crowded neighborhood can seriously affect your WiFi speed. For those who don’t know, you and the people living around you, have a limited wireless frequency channels that are used by the WiFi networks to move the data. So, if there are more people around you using WiFi, there are good chances that the networks will overlap and kill your speed.

This is a very common problem, specially if you are living in an apartment. To solve this problem, Aleksandar Kuzmanovic, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, is trying something new.

He describes the root cause of this problem as none of the WiFi devices have a reference point about the activities of the other WiFi devices. This lack of coordination and timing creates trouble, that results in poor WiFi performance.

To enable the devices to communicate with each other, researchers have developed the first system for WiFi devices that coordinates without any human involvement and operates over FM frequency.

Also read: Your WiFi Router Has a Superpower You Didn’t Know

Sharing the information via RDS (Radio Data System) data of FM, WiFi networks can operate with coordination. Talking to All Tech, Kuzmanovic says, “Devices are able to detect that there is this particular repeating structure and hence they are all able to independently come to the conclusion that hey, this must be the beginning of this particular RDS signal sequence that’s repeating in time.”

Thus, the RDS signals act like a clock for WiFi devices that harmonizes the operations of multiple devices. In a recent research paper, the researchers called this technique Wi-FM and outlined one possible scheduling algorithm.

Kuzmanovic expects his idea to be further used and spread by the industry giants like Google and Apple in their operating system.

With inputs from NPR.org

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