Bay-Area startup Kumu Networks, which specializes in increasing spectral efficiency with full duplex chip-based technology, raised $25 million in an investment round including Cisco Systems, Verizon Communications and Deutsche Telekom among others.
Kumu says it has developed technology that cancels self-interference, the excess energy that leaks into a radio’s receiver while transmitting. As a result of the cancellation, the receiver hears no noise from its transmitter, freeing it to cleanly receive external signals. The company says this allows a radio using its self-interference cancellation technology to transmit and receive at the same time on the same frequency.
This is a big deal not only for current LTE networks strained by the huge demand for mobile data, but also for next-generation “5G” networks, which will have to handle even larger data demands with incredibly low latency.
“We are honored to have such a broad coalition of investors participating in our series C funding,” Kumu CEO David Cutrer said. “The diverse group of investors highlights the broad reach and economic potential of our solution and its massive impact on multiple arenas within the wireless industry.”
During Mobile World Congress 2015, Telefonica announced a partnership with Kumu Networks as did SK Telecom.
Kumu Networks co-founder and director of product Steven Hong laid out the value proposition of full duplex “for LTE applications as well as for future 5G networks. The self-interference cancellation technology that we’ve developed allows a radio to actually completely cancel out its own transmission such that it can receive simultaneously. This allows a radio to transmit and receive in the same band at the same time, doubling spectral efficiency. And that’s a big deal. This is a limited asset. To take advantage of that spectrum in the most efficient way possible is a huge priority for all the operators in the entire wireless ecosystem.”
Hong also discussed the 5G angle.