Many stories in the press have been devoted to wireless infrastructure OEMs – for wide area networks – gearing up for the introduction of 5G handsets, set for the middle of next year. Just recently, a company known more for indoor wireless and stadium venues, JMA Wireless, has acquired mmWave engineering startup, PHAZR, which immediately put JMA Wireless into the mix as a 5G player.
PHAZR complements JMA Wireless’ XRAN all-software radio access platform, establishing a complete line of LTE and 5G technologies that cover a wide range of spectrum from 600 MHz to 47 GHz. Theacquisition expands JMA Wireless’ portfolio and expertise, adding some 60 mmWave and 5G RAN experts and a strong technology base.
“This is completely complimentary with our current initiatives such as XRAN and establishes JMA Wireless asthe first American company that has all the technologies to provide a full range of spectrum capabilities for the edge of the network,” said Todd Landry, corporate vice president of product and market strategy at JMA Wireless. “Combined, this creates a unique opportunity to disrupt the traditional network providers and supply bettersolutions forour customers.”
The combination of JMA Wireless and PHAZR breaks ground with a fully integrated architecture that addresses non-standalone and standalone systems for in-building wireless, and outdoor 5G and LTE, while moving toward a 100-percent virtualized RAN and driving intelligence to the edge of the network.
The system will provide users the fastest speeds available, whether their phone uses LTE spectrum, CBRS mid-band or the 5G millimeter wave spectrum. Or, with carrier aggregation, it may be a combination of all three.
“We make it a very transparent experience for the user. Based on your phone’s capabilities, it will utilize what’s available to give you the best performance,” Landry said. “To make it work together smoothly, you have to own the technology — like we now own and control all of XRAN and now PHAZR.”
As the FCC’s 5G FAST Plan intends to open more spectrum, beyond CBRS, it has an aggressive plan to open significantly more spectrum in the mid-band (sub 6 GHz) and mmWave space, wherePHAZR is well positioned to support both mid-band (2 GHz – 6 GHz) and millimeter wave (24 GHz – 47 GHz) bands. In addition, the 3GPP standards continue on a fast path and JMA Wireless has stayed close, with engineers participating in 3GPP and Landry on the Board at the ATIS member organization for the United States.
“All of our approaches are well aligned with standards-based interfaces, a critical element of new technology execution to ensure interoperability for operators,” added Landry.
Unlike traditional network equipment providers, PHAZR’s development began with 5G solely in mind for extremely dense outdoor environments or in-building areas. Repackaged into a ‘strand mount’ product, it can be hung on utility wires. The ability to cover these areas is critical to support next gen user experiences at the RAN edge and offer private 5G/LTE networks to enterprises.
“Using a clean-sheet approach and listening to customers is how we got to the product set we have today,” said Farooq Khan, CEO of PHAZR.“Now with JMA Wireless, we have the scale and support to accelerate our development and market deployment efforts. We will continue to adhere to the basis of our success – listen to our customers and help them solve their problems.”