Inventor of the Cell Phone, Martin Cooper, Names iPosi as Key Player in Solving Spectrum Scarcity

(Stanford University, Stanford, CA) Martin Cooper—engineer, wireless communications visionary, inventor of the first handheld cellular mobile phone, and 2013 Marconi Award recipient—spoke to an audience of hundreds from the wireless industry, military, and technology sectors at the 10th annual PNT Symposium held at Stanford University earlier this month. Mr. Cooper’s presentation, “The Myth of Spectrum Scarcity,” focused on spectrum reuse where he pointed to iPosi as one of today’s few early innovators to open up bandwidth and create exponential opportunity for increased spectrum capacity.

One of the ways to improve spectrum efficiency is to put multi-operator, cellular access points—or “tiny towers”—indoors, Cooper suggested. Just like their outdoor counterparts, these require GPS for timing and location. However, GPS signals which have a precisely known level outside, attenuate significantly indoors. With iPosi’s highly sensitive receivers, these indoor “towers” provide classic location and time coordinates and registers the radio signal attenuation incurred along discreet ray-paths from outdoors to inside. Thus, each cell inside virtually any building can be characterized for its unique radio containment characteristics (or its inverse, the potential interference to existing services beyond the building which share the same radio frequency) that the building shell and interior structures impose. This creates a radio isolation containment map, intelligence that builds a radio frequency (RF) model of the building loss—and the outdoor world—where the majority of wireless devices, sessions, and bandwidth occur.

“There is not a scarcity of spectrum,” Cooper said. “There’s a scarcity of spectrum management . . . how are we going to have more spectrum? We’re not doing enough to make efficient use of the spectrum. Yes, we need someone to build the infrastructure, but we don’t need exclusive use of it. We ought to only use the spectrum at the time we need it, the amount of power to accomplish that transmission, and only within the geography that’s needed at the time. If we do those things, the capacity increases by trillions.”

With iPosi’s low-cost embedded small cells, indoor GPS signals are profoundly strengthened to accurately measure the RF loss profiles leaving the building and provide a reliable way to protect legacy services from interference, while increasing spectrum capacity 100x.

“They [iPosi] are in fact today creating sensitivities for GPS on the order of 100,000x more sensitive than the typical GPS receiver,” Cooper said. “This will have an enormous impact on health care, education, and collaboration. A great interchange of ideas—we will be interacting in more efficient, useful ways. What’s the result of that? Huge increases in productivity and we’re going to end up solving the biggest problem in the world today, and that’s poverty.”

For more information about iPosi go to To listen to Martin Cooper’s presentation, “The Myth of Spectrum Scarcity,” go to

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