Verizon finally acknowledged that yes, it is working with the startup Pivotal Commware on “cutting edge” extender technology to amplify millimeter wave coverage in public spaces and in homes, buildings and so forth.
Pivotal Commware, the Kirkland, Washington, startup backed by Bill Gates, so far has only been able to hint at its work with Verizon, with references to the 28 GHz band. Now, it’s able to publicly confirm it with the carrier’s blessing. No details were revealed in terms of units supplied or other specifics.
Verizon also announced partnerships with Movandi and Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) in this space.
“Not only can extenders expand coverage inside, they allow more customers to add more devices to the network and enhance millimeter wave coverage at outdoor locations,” Verizon said in a press release. “As we continue to expand mobile and home coverage across the country, Verizon will work with leading technology partners to further advance the 5G ecosystem and bring revolutionary 5G experiences to our customers.”
Pivotal’s technology takes advantage of mmWave’s limited propagation and other characteristics to make it all work. The company recently released a white paper (PDF) and video to demonstrate how a Tier 1 mobile operator can use its Echo 5G and Pivot 5G repeaters to increase indoor 5G mmWave coverage while reducing deployment costs.
“We are excited to partner with Verizon and to work with their exceptionally talented team,” said Pivotal Commware CEO Brian Deutsch in a statement emailed to Fierce on Wednesday. “This partnership allows us to deploy and optimize our technology at unmatched scale, receive deep insights from top 5G experts and help Verizon further the 5G ecosystem through innovation.”
He reiterated Pivotal’s belief that the immersive ultra-wideband 5G experiences people want are possible only with the massive bandwidth available at mmWave frequencies. Previously, he acknowledged that analysts and others are skeptical that mmWave can make a good 5G business case because it requires so much densification and small cells for an operator to get the desired coverage.
“We’ve turned the perceived underpinning weaknesses of mmWave into strengths using innovations in electromagnetic science,” Deutsch said, adding that Pivotal’s holographic beam forming technology solves mmWave coverage challenges outdoors and counteracts reflection, penetration and shadowing loss indoors – “to achieve the gigabit speeds end-users expect and to deliver cost, size, weight and performance that is orders of magnitude improvement over legacy technology like phased array and MIMO.”