Where it's based: Laguna Niguel, Calif.
When it was founded: 2012
Why it's Fierce: MagnaCom's technology is revolutionary precisely because it wants to revamp the way existing networks have been built so that they are more spectrally efficient.
Networks as we know them today--cellular, Wi-Fi, terrestrial, broadband, fiber and satellite--are built in part using quadrature amplitude modulation, or QAM, which was invented in the 1950s and first used commercially in the early 1970s. QAM essentially characterizes every signal that goes across a channel with two pieces of important information, a phase and an amplitude. The more signals that are received, the more complicated it gets to figure out the information and transmit it over the network, in what is essentially a two-dimensional view of networks.
MagnaCom uses patented technology the company calls WAM, or wave modulation. WAM is non-linear and multi-dimensional, and it allows for more data to be transmitted over the same amount of spectrum. The result, the company claims, are networks that are more resilient, and can transmit data at higher speeds, lower power and using less spectrum than before.
What's next: MagnaCom demonstrated its technology in January at the Consumer Electronics Show and generated a great deal of interest--now the firm is staffing up to meet potential customer demand. MagnaCom is interested in working with a variety of players, from network infrastructure companies to chipset providers and carriers. The company is most focused on carriers that are investing and researching in 5G technologies.
To start though, CEO Yossi Cohen said the company will likely first work with wireless backhaul and satellite companies, and hopes that once cellular carriers see the technology in action they will want to use it for mass market deployments.
Longer-term, Cohen hopes to get large network infrastructure providers to license MagnaCom's technology. In the latter part of the year, the firm will focus on making contributions to various standards bodies, including the 3GPP and IEEE. The company is privately held and funded by private individual investors.