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Cisco, Verizon, DT and Swisscom invest $25 million in Kumu full-duplex tech

digital waves

Industry support of the unique self-interference cancelling technology developed by Kumu Networks increased with a Series C funding round led by leading telecoms players.

Cisco, Verizon Ventures, Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments, and Swisscom all had a whip-round to raise $25 million and hand it over to Kumu to help it keep up the good work. Kumu’s technology claims to enable full-duplex transmission, allowing full utilization of one frequency for both sending and receiving at the same time – potentially doubling spectral efficiency.

“Kumu Networks’ full-duplex technology is a rare technological breakthrough that offers substantial benefit to a multitude of wireless modalities,” said Rachid El Hattachi, SVP Architecture and Blueprints at DT. “Full-duplex offers significant advantages and removes roadblocks from wireless endeavours as diverse as LTE Advanced, general Radio Frequency planning and future standards and protocols. We jumped at a chance to invest in and help foster this important new technology.”

“Full-duplex technology can simplify difficult network expansion tasks and increase spectral efficiency,” said Vijay Doradla, director at Verizon Ventures. “We look forward to Kumu Networks’ continued growth as they seek to commercialize their technology for near-term applications in the wireless ecosystem.”

“We are honoured to have such a broad coalition of investors participating in our Series C funding,” said Kumu Networks CEO David Cutrer. “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.”

In addition TIM (Telecom Italia) has just carried out what it claims is the world’s first test of ‘full-duplex relay’ technology in Turin, in partnership with Kumu. “We are very happy to announce this first ‘live’ test,” said Gabriela Styf Sjoman, Head of TIM’s Engineering & TILAB. “5G is a key network evolution towards more advanced digital services and we are not only committed to defining the standards, but also to contributing to key research and development initiatives that will be fundamental for a healthy ecosystem in digital services, including the network, open platforms and services.”

Incidentally Verizon has also chosen to join the ONOS project, which has the stated aim of keeping SDN development open. “Verizon recognizes the potential of ONOS as an open source SDN platform and the service provider solutions it enables, as well as the promise it holds to transform the networking industry,” said Brian Higgins, VP of Network Planning at Verizon. “By joining the partnership, we hope to advance open source SDN and NFV solutions based on ONOS and to help shape the future of this ecosystem.”

Cisco, meanwhile, has also chosen to invest in IoT platform startup Kii, although Cisco insists on calling it IoE (Internet of Everything) instead. “Building compelling mobile and IoE solutions requires a multifaceted effort – and the backend platform is one of the key ingredients,” said Miyuki Suzuki, president of Cisco Systems G.K. “We believe our investment in Kii will help support the development of a platform that offers the ease of use, features and scalability needed to bring IoE solutions to market rapidly.”


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