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UWB Ultra-Wideband Technology/ The new future of wireless networks begins now!

UWB Ultra-Wideband Technology/ The new future of wireless networks begins now!

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Ultra-Wideband Technology – One of the most prominent new features in flagship phones, it provides ultra-wideband connectivity that allows pairing with IoT technology, and offers a myriad of new services to businesses and consumers.

Ultra Wide Band technology provides “spatial awareness”, which is the ability of your phone to recognize its surroundings and the things in it, and basically, the user of this technology can point his phone to another phone and transfer a file or image in a way similar to NFC technology.

Read also :

What is Ultra-Wideband (UWB)?


Ultra-Wide Band is a short-range wireless communication protocol such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and it uses radio waves, but it differs from the usual because it works at a very high frequency.

You can think of it as a radar that can scan an entire room continuously and focus precisely on a point, like the way a laser beam propagates, to detect its location and deliver its data.

In the early 2000s, ultrawideband technology saw limited use in military radars and covert communications and was used briefly as a form of medical imaging, such as remote cardiac monitoring systems, but its adoption was delayed until recently when commercial companies began to explore uses the potential for this technique.

Currently, the primary purpose of Ultra Wideband technology is expected to be to detect the location and range of devices. Phil Solis, one of IDC’s directors of research said:

UWB Ultra-Wideband Technology/ The new future of wireless networks begins now!
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While technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been modified to allow more accuracy in locating and connecting to other devices, Ultra-Wideband is inherently more accurate, uses less power, and as production of Ultra Wideband chips increases over time, it promises lower prices.

Manufacturers have already started to adopt UWB technology in their smartphones:

Manufacturers have already started to adopt UWB technology in their smartphones:

According to Solis, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple and Huawei are involved in projects related to Ultra Wide Band technology, and Apple is the first to actually deploy it in the iPhone 11 series.

Samsung, along with Xiaomi, Sony, Bosch, and others, is part of the Fira (Fine Band) consortium, which is developing the Ultra-Wideband ecosystem, and this ecosystem is built on top of the current IEEE 802.15.4/4x standard for wireless communications low data.

How the Ultra Wide Band technology works

How the Ultra Wide Band technology works

The technology works by sending billions of pulses over a broad spectrum frequency, then the corresponding receiver translates those pulses into data by listening to a familiar pulse sequence tuned by the transmitter. Then one pulse is sent every 2 nanoseconds, which helps the technology achieve very high accuracy that fits in real-time.

Ultra-low energy technology; But the high bandwidth (Ultra Wide Band 500MHz) is ideal for transmitting a lot of data from a host device to other devices about 30 feet away, and unlike Wi-Fi networks, they are not good at transmitting and propagating through walls.

“Because of its high repetition rate, it represents a very large field of view,” said Jack Gold, Principal Analyst at J.Gold Associates. “So, what’s special is its support for very broad bandwidth, and it has a lot of data processing power. So if you send a 60GHz signal with a width of 500MHz, and then you multiply it into many channels that you can do, you’re talking in a very wide range and great ambient coverage.”

UWB Ultra-Wideband Technology/ The new future of wireless networks begins now!

How the Ultra Wide Band technology works

To increase the Ultra Wide Band range and reception capacity, a MIMO (Multiple Ports Outside or Indoors) system has been added, and a distributed antenna system that allows reception of short-range networks, and these antennas can be integrated into a smartphone or other devices such as a wristband or smart key.

When a smartphone with Ultra-Wideband technology (such as the iPhone 11) approaches another device with the same technology, the two devices begin to determine and measure the exact distance between them. This is achieved by measuring the “Time of flight” TOF between the two devices.

Based on the IEEE 802.15.4a standard, Ultra-Wideband technology can determine the relative position of peers with a line-of-sight up to 200 meters, according to the Fira Consortium, which is currently adding a security extension — defined in IEEE 802.15.4z — to make it a “secure bandwidth technology.” precise”.

Comparison between UWB technology and other wireless networks such as Bluetooth:

Comparison between UWB technology and other wireless networks such as Bluetooth:

Ultra-Wide Band devices can calculate the exact location of another device that supports the same technology, such as the car keys or the TV remote control you lost between the couch cushions.

(If the lost device supports the indoor navigation service, the device that supports Ultra Wide Band technology must know its relative position and determine it with high accuracy on the map.)

UWB has an advantage over accuracy and security over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and according to Solis, this feature can be used for many different applications.

For example, a UWB-enabled device can be used to unlock a vehicle such as a wireless key or open an entry gate to a secure area within a building. A UWB-enabled smartphone or watch can also log into a bank account through an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). It would be another security check, or your phone could become your credit card, Solis said.

Possible uses for this technology

Possible uses for this technology

Apple has obtained a patent for using Ultra Wide Band technology with devices called “iBeacon”, which was recently launched in the name of Apple Airtags, which are small battery-powered sensors that can be connected to objects and broadcast a signal to be received by a device that has UWB technology, as it estimates the distance between the two devices with great accuracy. Down to just a few centimeters!

So, for example, an airport or a mall equipped with a network of these small sensors can monitor the path of pedestrians inside the building and provide real-time directions along specific paths thanks to the technology.

Ultra-Wide Band provides the ability for users of supported devices to know those around them and target them to transfer a document through the AirDrop feature, for example, to users of Apple phones.

Gold said Ultra-Wideband technology could be more secure to transfer data between phones over a short distance; Because it knows exactly where the other device that supports the same technology is located.

The future of UWB

Fira members are convinced that the success of the secure microscale for UWB technology depends on a comprehensive, interconnected, and interoperable ecosystem (Eccosystem).

This will require:

  • Interoperability between multiple devices, requires compliance software and certifications.
  • Close collaboration with other industry organizations such as IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance, Car Connectivity Consortium and others.
  • The FiRa Consortium will focus on UWB use cases using the available spectrum between 6-9 GHz.

The association is based on attracting companies with extensive knowledge of the ecosystem, leadership positions in the target market segments, extensive technical expertise in the system, as well as a strong presence and experience in other associations related to Ultrawideband technology.

The FiRa Consortium is seeking to help overcome the stereotype of UWB as an “outdated communication technology” and instead emphasize its transformation into a secure range and sensing technology.

  • Conclusion, is the future represented in this technology?

UWB certainly represents a major technological development in the field of smartphones, and companies have already begun to promote it and offer practical uses as we have seen with iPhones and Airtags accessories; But is this technology considered an alternative to Bluetooth? The answer, in our opinion, is no.. This technology will not be able to replace Bluetooth for more than one reason.

The first is that this new technology does not support connecting to audio accessories, so you cannot use it to connect to your wireless headset, for example. As for other reasons, in our opinion, Bluetooth technology is also in constant development and is not one of those technologies that are outdated and waiting for a replacement.

UWB Ultra-Wideband Technology/ The new future of wireless networks begins now!

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