Report: Verizon helps invest $25M into Kumu Networks for 5G network tech

Mobile carriers and infrastructure companies are struggling to support ever-increasing data traffic on wireless networks, and as they prepare to transition to 5G they're betting on Kumu Networks to help them do so.

Kumu pocketed $25 million in a Series C round from Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco and Swisscom, as well as returning investors NEA, Khosla Ventures and Third Point Ventures, according to a TechCrunch report. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has raised a total of $45.4 million including a $15 million Series B round announced in October 2013.

Kumu, which was founded in 2012 by a team of Stanford professors and Ph.D. graduates, uses self-interference cancellation (SIC) technology that isolates the wireless receiver from the transmitter, eliminating noise and freeing the receiver to receive external signals. The SIC technology enables radios to transmit and receive simultaneously on the same frequency, achieving improved spectral efficiency and boosting network capacity. Indeed, the company claims its technology can double the capacity of mobile networks.

SIC could be used to solve small cell backhaul challenges in modern networks, but its real promise may lie in the 5G networks that will be deployed in the coming years. The company recently completed a field trial with Germany's Deutsche Telekom as part of that carrier's 5G:haus initiative, and SK Telekom demonstrated its technology last year

The presence of Verizon among Kumu's new investors is noteworthy considering Verizon is working to take a leading position among the world's global wireless carriers in the race toward 5G network technology. Last month Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that the carrier expects to be able to offer 5G wireless speeds up to 1 Gbps, and that he expects the carrier to begin a commercial test of the technology as early as this month at the carrier's Basking Ridge, N.J., headquarters.

Verizon in September said it is working with partners Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Cisco, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung to test 5G and that its 5G technology field trials would begin in 2016.

Kumu has yet to release a product commercially and therefore has no revenues. It reportedly will use the new funding to continue development of its products.

For more:
- see this TechCrunch report

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