Researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of Glasgow in the UK, and Tel Aviv University in Israel have built on previous twisted light research to use twisted radio waves to send data at high speeds without the problems of optical systems. The researchers reached data transmission rates of 32 gigabits per second across 2.5 meters of free space in a lab, which is one of the fastest data transmission via radio waves that has been demonstrated. Compared to light beams, radio is wider, more robust beams, which means it is better able to deal with obstacles between the transmitter and the receiver. Each beam carried its own independent stream of data at millimeter wavelength. The beams were passed through a “spiral phase plate” that twisted each radio beam into a unique and orthogonal DNA-like helical shape. A receiver at the other end of the room then untwisted and recovered the different data streams. The next step in the research will focus on extending the transmission’s range and capabilities.