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There are many technologies coming up with the passage of time. You might have heard the term UWB, Ultra-Wide Band technology somewhere. We recently saw the incorporation of the tech in the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra but they were already available on Apple iPhone 11. It is not a new technology though, UWB is a 132-year old wireless communication technology that has made a comeback in today’s era. So, here in this article we will give you all the details about what is UWB, how does it work, and its advantages, and disadvantages, and many more.
First of all, UWB stands for Ultra-Wide Band. Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology is a short-range wireless technology similar to that of WiFi or Bluetooth but it is more precise, reliable, and fast. It is a wireless technology for the transmission of a high amount of digital data and information using radio waves over a spectrum of frequencies. Find all of the spectrum bands for mobile networks in Nepal.
Ultra-Wide Band operates over a wide frequency spectrum that ranges from 3.1 to 10.6 GHz. It can determine the relative position of other devices in the line of sight up to 200 meters.
Talking about the history of Ultra-Wide Band technology, it has a very long history of 132 years. We will have to dive back in the past to know about the technology, it was at the end of the 19th century when G. Marconi used spark-gap transmitters in transatlantic radio communication. In 1920, UWB signals were banned for commercial use and restricted to military applications. The technology only began to attract attention and peak the interest of the scientific community at the end of the 20th century.
In 2002, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the UWB regulations for the first time. The regulations allowed unlicensed use of the assigned spectrum for UWB, just like the usage of WiFi, Bluetooth. They have also allowed the power limit to a very low value so as to avoid interference with other technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.
Though technology came to the light for scientists and researchers in this decade, it came to commercial use only recently.
Talking about the working principle of the Ultra Wide Band technology, it is a wireless communication protocol that utilizes radio waves like Bluetooth and WiFi. It works by sending billions of radio pulses across the wide spectrum and after receiving the pulses, the receiver translates the pulses into data. Ultra Wide Band (UWB) is able to achieve real-time accuracy as it sends billions of Pulses one every two nanoseconds.
The operating technology of UWB follows the Shanon-Hartley Channel Capacity theorem. That means UWB technology increases the channel capacity with a significant bump in the operating Bandwidth.
A MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output), distributed antenna system has been added to further increase the range and reception reliability of the Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology. It also enables the short-range networks and the antennas can be embedded into a smartphone or other various IoT devices.
When a UWB-enabled device such as a smartphone, smartwatch, smart key, which comes near to other UWB devices, they start “ranging” or measuring the distance between the device. It refers to calculating the Time of Flight (ToF) between the two devices.
The wireless technology goes on to utilize very low power whereas the bandwidth is very high (500MHz), which enables delivering huge data from a transmitter to other devices. The range of the UWB communication is around a couple of tens of feet, and the UWB signal cannot even penetrate the walls.
To use UWB in Samsung Note 20 Ultra,
The short-range wireless technology UWB arrives with many advantages. Some of the benefits of Ultra Wide Band are listed below:
It also has some short-comings along with its many benefits. The most noticeable drawback of the Ultra Wide Band technology is the short coverage issue of the wireless communication technology. It uses a large frequency spectrum and interferes with other wireless standards sharing the same frequencies. So, therefore it is vulnerable to other wireless communication systems and prone to human interference.
There are various applications of the Ultra Wide Band Technology. Some of the uses of UWB technology are listed below:
Comparing all these wireless communication technologies it feels like Ultra Wide Band technology has a little edge over them. We have made a brief comparison between the wireless communication technology in the table below:
|Frequency Band (Spectrum)||2.4GHz, 5GHz||2.4GHz||13.56MHz||3.1 – 10.6GHz|
|Accuracy||few meters||Up to a meter||few centimeters||10 centimeters|
|Battery||Works on AC (No Battery)||Low Consumption||No Battery||Low Consumption|
|Data Rate||144 Mbps||22 Mbps||106, 212, 424Kbps||480 Mbps|
Right now it is supported on Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Samsung Z Fold 2 also comes with the Ultra Wide Band Technology on it. As of now, there are not many smartphones with this feature but many other tech giants are researching and integrate it soon. We hope that many other phone brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus will be following Apple’s path.
The UWB is available in selected flagship phones only for now, but we can also expect this technology in premium mid-range phones like those priced under Rs 50,000.
Ultra Wide Band technology is one of the fast, secure, and low power consuming wireless communication technology. It is yet to be introduced to many other aspects of the digital ecosystem globally and so is for Nepal. But UWB technology has vast potential and we can look forward to this technology in the future.
In comparison with other wireless communication technology, it comes ahead and has an edge on the competitors. The technology could provide the answer to the global pandemic for various problems that we are facing right now. As we will be able to do our tasks and daily routines without physical contact, it helps to prevent the spread of viruses. So, what is your thought about this 132-year communication technology: UWB?