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Startup MagnaCom is challenging the underlying technology of all broadband

December 28, 2013

Gigaom

To say southern California startup MagnaCom wants to shake up mobile and wireline communications would be an understatement. The company is proposing that cellular, Wi-Fi, fiber and wireline broadband networks do away with one of their fundamental technological underpinnings — an age-old modulation scheme called QAM.

QAM stands for quadrature amplitude modulation, and it’s a means of manipulating signals so they carry information over communications links, whether it’s the episode of Sesame Street coming out of your cable box or the Twitter(s twtr) update popping up on your smartphone.

Improvements in that modulation scheme have led to big improvements in spectral efficiency, meaning the same signals can carry more information. For instance, you may have heard mention of QAM in reference to mobile technologies: the boost from 16 QAM to 64 QAM was one of the means used to turn HSPA networks into faster HSPA+ networks.

MagnaCom WAM logoBut MagnaCom…

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