Kumu Networks, U.S. DoD team on 5G spectrum sharing advancements

March 9, 2021
Developed technology will also be open to certain commercial uses.

Kumu Networks in February announced it has been selected to lead the U.S. Department of Defense’s Dynamic Spectrum Sharing 5G Network Enhancements Prototype program.

Under the framework of this program, Kumu Networks will prototype a requested 5G Full-Duplex Integrated Access Backhaul (IAB) system and test it at scale in Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

The government's 5G testing and experimentation program allows Kumu Networks to accelerate its development of much-needed capacity and coverage extension enhancements -- while targeting dual-use in both the commercial and defense environments.

The DoD Dynamic Spectrum Sharing prototypes are intended to ensure the greatest effective and efficient use of the Department of Defense’s spectrum for training, readiness, and lethality.

Kumu Networks says its proprietary Self-Interference Cancellation technology can uniquely and optimally enable IAB solutions to reuse the access spectrum for the backhaul, doubling spectral efficiency. With the introduction of features based on 3GPP Rel. 17 that facilitates multi-hop IABs, Kumu contends that full-duplex platforms would be far superior to other forms of IABs since they could maintain high user throughput across many more hops.

"This is critical to both commercial telecom operators who must densify the 5G footprint, as well as tactical military networks that completely rely on wireless connectivity. The key challenge for 5G coverage is to counter the negative effects of high frequency signal propagation," explains Kumu Networks' CEO, David Cutrer.

Cutrer continues, "This requires creative solutions, both at the radio and network layers. Unlike other IAB schemes, Kumu Networks’ solution does not compromise on performance or scalability, allowing for perfect frequency reuse. The DOD faces a unique set of deployment and operational challenges and we are excited to contribute to their efforts to innovate, and ensure that the US military communications capabilities are at the forefront of technology.”

Kumu notes that DoD frequencies are adjacent to the CBRS band where 5G private networks are likely to flourish, and to the widely used standard 3GPP n77 and n78 bands. "This allows for efficient use of funds for developing products that can be immediately rolled out to the commercial market, in addition to the defense market," says Cutrer.

The DoD frequencies under development are also in close proximity to the recently auctioned C-Band frequencies in the USA that's yielded over $80 billion for only 280 MHz of spectrum, notes Kumu Networks -- highlighting the importance of highly efficient spectrum utilization.

Based in Sunnyvale, CA, Kumu Networks is a provider of radio self-interference cancellation and filtering technology for IoT, wireless infrastructure, and electronic defense. The company notes its patented Self-Interference Cancelling technology not only allows radios to use a single frequency channel to simultaneously transmit and receive, but can also provide flexible and dynamic filtering capabilities to avoid interference between co-located radios.

Learn more at www.kumunetworks.com.

In the video below, Kumu Networks' co-founder and CEO from 2011-2016, Steven Hong, gives an interview to IWPC - The International Wireless Industry Consortium. Hong, from Knoxville, Tennessee, cofounded Kumu Networks as a Ph.D. student at Stanford University in 2012.

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