'DIDO' Tech From QuickTime Creator Could Revolutionise Wireless Broadband

That's a big statement, but Steve Perlman has the chops: he lead dev of QuickTime at Apple in the '80s, co-founded WebTV in the '90s, and more recently launched the OnLive game streaming service. Now his company has published a white paper for a new wireless tech claiming to flip current Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE limitations by getting faster (not slower) with more users. It supposedly allows users to access the full spectrum bandwidth and has been tested at speeds up to 100Mbps. Is the NBN in trouble?

Malcolm Turnbull reckons so (surprise!), telling the Australian that it could challenge the government's wisdom on fibre. But the reality is that the tech, which also claims sub-millisecond latency from kilometres away, is at least 10 years off before it even comes close to commercialisation and the current copper network would still pose a bottle neck. Oh, and DIDO (which stands for Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output) is still largely an unproven concept.

As Stan Beer at ITWire put it, the tech "claims to offer all the advantages of wireless Internet connectivity without the disadvantages of latency and bandwidth limitations caused by the pesky laws of physics that NBN devotees love to cite."

Still, colour me interested — definitely one to watch. [DIDO white paper via ITWire]

Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output (DIDO) wireless technology is a breakthrough approach that allows each wireless user to use the full data rate1 of shared spectrum simultaneously with all other users, by eliminating interference between users sharing the same spectrum. With conventional wireless technologies the data rate available per user drops as more users share the same spectrum to avoid interference, but with DIDO, the data rate per user remains steady at the full data rate of the spectrum as more users are added.

As a result, DIDO profoundly increases the data capacity of wireless spectrum, while increasing reliability and reducing the cost and complexity of wireless devices. DIDO deployment is far less expensive than conventional commercial wireless deployment, despite having vastly higher capacity and performance, and is able to use consumer Internet infrastructure and indoor access points.

The potential of DIDO is to have unlimited number of simultaneous users, all streaming high-definition video, utilizing the same spectrum that a single user would use with conventional wireless technology, with no degradation in performance, no dead zones, no interference between users, and no reduction in data rate as more users are added.

DIDO works indoor/outdoor for urban/suburban applications at distances of several miles, and for rural applications, DIDO works at distances up to 250 miles. Urban/suburban latency is sub-millisecond.

This paper describes how DIDO is dramatically different than conventional wireless technology, how DIDO works, what we have running so far, and the mind-blowing applications DIDO makes possible. We believe that DIDO wireless will completely transform the world of communications and far more.



    Lemme guess, this is going to make the NBN obsolete.

    Just two quotes:

    "Sorry Jim, but this is not logical".

    "You canna change the laws of physics".

    It only takes 5 seconds or so to see the fallacy with this - you still have limited spectrum and are attempting to use it to transmit unlimited data. It work with a limited number of users, but colour me skeptical about widespread (e.g. NBN-replacing) implementation.

    Best take a look at this article for a rational look at the claims...


    @Luke - of course this will make the NBN obsolete.

    Why on earth would you want to go with a rock-solid, easily upgradable, practically unlimited bandwidth technology such as fibre when you could bet the farm on a theoretical new technology that's firmly vapour-ware and may exist in another 10 years?

    The decision practically makes itself - it's DIDO for sure.

      You do realise that i was being sarcastic?

        Sorry... stupid laptop cut me off before i could finish the comment.

        for some reason, liberals and general naysayers will always say that wireless is best and makes the NBN obsolete.

    Makes no sense at all.
    I'm calling vapourware on this "tech"

    Perlman's credentials are impeccable; I don't doubt that DIDO will eventually work as he claims. But I've read what I can about this, and while it can dramatically reduce spectrum contention, it doesn't magically give a user infinite bandwidth.

    It will allow wireless users to transmit at close to the full capacity of the spectrum, more or less independently of other users, so dozens or even hundreds of users could get 50-100Mbps from a ~2GHz carrier, which is great news for those on the fringes of the NBN. Higher frequencies could carry more data, but have too little penetration of walls, rain etc to be practical for broadband.

    Those with a fibre connection will *start* at 100Mbps, with 1Gbps already allowable, and with a ceiling of over 10 *terabits* per second using today's tech, and with no concerns about contention, interference etc. Latency will always be better than wireless too, even with DIDO.

    By the time DIDO is developed and deployed, it would be at best adequate for our primary broadband, and would quickly be limiting again, as mobile broadband is now. With historically ~45% annual growth in bandwidth demands, fibre is unquestionably the only long-term answer.

    Where's the bit where it typically says something like, "we only need X million (of your money) to get a proof of concept built by Q3 or 2012, or 2014, or 2017, or..."?

    One of the guys who developed mobile phones says this:

    "Steve Perman's "miraculous" wireless announcement does not "break" Shannon's Limit. It is theoretically possible but, today, it is "hype"." - Martin Cooper

    (via http://twitter.com/#!/MartyMobile/status/97393200439894017)

    It's more of a factor of speed. The 10,000 mile principle idea is close to high speed switching but I'm not sure unless I can see the logical layout. I believe the technology uses "a like" switch backplane approach in that the framework is 100 times faster than the transmission. Two principles at play; the data transmissions rate is faster and cell switching is faster. The end results is to the user system everything is simultaneity and infinity but in essence one has the same bandwidth and the latency is between end points.

    Hi all,

    DIDO appears to be a modified version of something called MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input multiple output) technology.

    The challenges it faces include the fact that:
    1. each mobile station would nominally require it's own access point (you could get away with time-sharing access to a certain extent)
    2. you still require fast backhaul back to the core network
    3. mobility would cause a lot of extra problems for the network as the computation of the signals required to "cancel out interference from unwatned signals" relies on a quasi-static (fixed) mobile station
    4. in relation to the NBN - the CSIRO NGARA solution already in talks to service rural areas uses many of the same principles of operation

    Hope that helps to inform.


      Why would each mobile device require it's own access point? Multiple APs all transmit at once to many devices. There is no one to one connection. Time sharing is not full access. I think you have the wrong idea about how the technology works.

      Why would mobility cause issues? The signals are constantly monitored and updated to ensure each device is getting it's own clear waveform. Since this will change constantly even when static, mobility doesn't cause issues.

        Hi Lindsay - take a look again at the white paper and notice that in all the examples given, every MS has an AP. They have purposely not said anything about this (I assume to sidestep questions), because this is one of the key technical requirements in MU-MIMO. You're correct, time sharing is NOT full access, so if you want to have more users than APs, you'll not be getting full rate for everyone all the time as the paper claims.

        I said mobility would cause EXTRA problems, one of those being computing power. The more/faster the MS moves, the more often you'd need to relay back your signal quality, increasing battery consumption.

    so if each device needs its own access point and there are multiple devices per person and these need to connect to the cloud, how would they connect? possibly via a high speed network like NBN.

    I assume that the definition of "dido", a trick or prank does not apply ?

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