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Google bolsters patent suite with capacity-boosting tech

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Web giant Google has strengthened its patent portfolio further with the acquisition of a “beam forming” Mobile Transmit Diversity (MTD) patent portfolio from US-based Magnolia Broadband.

The patents cover methods for increasing spectrum utilisation – or network capacity, expanding coverage, improving uplink transmission speeds at the cell edge, and improving device battery life.

The MTD concept is based on sending replicas of a signal over two different antennas, which are either selected by the device or sent simultaneously. Both methods require feedback from the network, but while the former needs to know which antenna experiences lower path loss to the serving cell, the latter needs an indication directing towards optimal phase difference between the two antennas, in order to bring about coherent combining of the two signals at the receiver – a technique also referred to as beam forming.

However, the software, which can be embedded into any mobile broadband device remains the property of Magnolia Broadband, but will be made available to mobile device vendors and chipset companies.

Although it’s possible that the tech could make its way into Motorola smartphones based on Android, it’s more likely that Google was interested in the patents as an addition to its intellectual property war chest and a potential revenue stream.

Yaron Eitan, chairman of the board of Magnolia Broadband, said: “We look forward to deployment of this innovative technology in smart phones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices, to provide faster data throughput, better coverage and wider range.”

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