Artemis names PureWave as pCell base station supplier

BARCELONA, Spain--Now that Artemis Networks has made a splash with the official introduction of its pCell technology, it is also putting together an ecosystem of suppliers that will help trial its unique interference-drive approach to enhancing wireless capacity and performance.

Artemis is teaming with small cell vendor PureWave Network to design and develop pCell base stations, called pWaves, for upcoming trial deployments. PureWave is slated to supply pWaves in various bands and power levels to wireless carriers that deploy the pCell System, "both for initial deployments and to add additional capacity using the same spectrum as mobile data demand continues to grow," the companies said.

The companies did not specify which cellular operators might be involved, but speculation has focused on Sprint's (NYSE:S) Clearwire unit, given that FCC documents posted last year pointed to testing of the Artemis' technology  using Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum in the San Francisco area.

Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of Artemis, has told FierceWirelessTech that Artemis' pCell (the "p" stands for "personal") technology is being trialed by unspecified partners in San Francisco and will be ready for commercial deployment in one market at the end of this year.

Artemis describes its pCell system as a software-defined radio Cloud-RAN that connects through fronthaul to pWave radios distributed throughout the coverage area.

The pCell system exploits radio signal interference, rather than trying to reduce or eliminate it, to synthesize a 1-centimeter diameter "personal cell" around the antenna of any standard LTE device in the coverage area. Last week at Columbia University, Artemis demonstrated how a pCell system can deliver consistently high throughput to multiple users by streaming multiple 4K Ultra HD video streams at once, using off-the-shelf Release 8 LTE dongles each concurrently using the same 10 MHz of spectrum.

Another advantage being touted for Artemis' approach is the fact that each additional pWave radio adds to the aggregate capacity of the pCell coverage area. Further, if a pWave radio drops out of the pCell network temporarily due to a power outage, the only impact is a reduction in aggregate capacity rather than a loss of service to the area. That means operators can save on capex because they do not need to deploy a battery or generator backup for every pWave radio.

PureWave's involvement with Artemis raises some potentially interesting possibilities regarding pCell's application beyond the commercial market. PureWave has long been involved in creating small base stations for WiMAX and LTE, but it has also tried to make a case for the use of small cells in public-safety communications.

Last summer, PureWave deployed a Band Class 14 LTE test network in Silicon Valley to demonstrate small cell performance in various deployment scenarios deemed critical to public-safety networks. The 700 MHz Band Class 14 spectrum is allocated to the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet), which is exploring a host of technology solutions as it crafts the blueprint for what will be the nationwide public-safety broadband networks (NPSBN).

PureWave's design leverages the TCI6630K2L system on chip (SoC) from Texas Instruments, combined with TI's analog front-end transceiver, the AFE7500. "Texas Instruments is delighted to be part of Artemis' cutting edge pCell System, and to continue to expand small cell technology into new applications through our collaboration with PureWave," said Cal Parsons, TI's marketing manager for small cell processors.

For more:
- see this joint release

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