In a perfect world, our cellphones would have five bars all the time, calls would never drop and waiting for streaming videos to buffer would never happen. Steve Perlman, the developer of WebTV (remember that?) and founder of OnLive has the technology to give us a personal cellphone signal that is 1,000 times faster than what we normally get today.
Perlman's invention is called the "pCell" or personal cell. Today, cellphones work like so: they have antennas that need to connect to antennas installed on building tops and towers in order to get a signal. The reason your phone shows fewer signal bars is because you're out of a cell tower's range. If your carrier doesn't have a cell tower nearby, you're not going to get signal. (Hence, why carriers battled over coverage maps). It's frustrating when you move around and you suddenly see your LTE drop to 4G and then to 3G and then to turtle-slow Edge.
Cellphones with pCell in them could revolutionize the entire mobile industry. Instead of having to get closer to a tower for coverage, a pCell-equipped device would provide its own "signal that goes wherever the phone goes" says Perlman. pCell provides the same amount of bandwidth you'd get from a carrier's tower, but you won't have to share it with anyone, which means you won't get interference or suffer speed congestion.
Even better, when two pCell device antennas are within close proximity, instead of getting signal interference, you'll actually get a stronger signal. Now, that's magic.
While Perlman's invention sounds awesome in every way (the technology worked flawlessly according Wired who witnessed a live demo), pCell will require new types of SIM cards and new tower antennas. According to Perlman a prototype pCell network could launch by the fourth quarter of the year, but it'll probably be a while before wireless carriers invest in this new kind of infrastructure.