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Startup makes noise with mm-wave GaAs radio

With an exclusive license from Northrop Grumman and $10M backing from investors that include the telecoms companies it hopes to sell to, E-Band is feeling confident about its broadband wireless technology.

The gigabit-per-second data transmission promised by E-band Communication Corporation s pioneering GaAs-based systems is earning it plenty of attention "“ both from investors and potential customers.

Systems designed at E-Band s San Diego base have already been deployed commercially and are now being sold in earnest, according to chief marketing officer Saul Umbrasas.

E-band says it uses PHEMT technology to make a highly integrated set of millimeter-wave GaAs chips. They transmit data at rates of 1 to 10 Gb/s using the 70-80 GHz, E-band, region of the electromagnetic spectrum that from which the company derives its name.

“Our radio performance is highly reliable, easy to install and maintain, integrates into carrier networks and we have superior technology as well as cost structure,” said Umbrasas.

“You can see this reflected in our investors, which include two major carriers, one major telecom equipment manufacturer and a bank that has lots of investments in telecommunication areas.”

These companies, who include Indian communications group Reliance and another unnamed “major wireless carrier”, have just ploughed an additional $10 million into E-Band's coffers. Also contributing was ADC Telecommunications, the telecom equipment manufacturer mentioned by Umbrasas that also has a strategic agreement to sell these mm-wave systems under its FlexWave brand.

The systems are, in part, based on high data transmission rate GaAs MMIC technology developed at Northrop Grumman and exclusively licensed by E-Band. They transmit data over frequency bands opened by the US Federal Communications Commission in 2003 specifically for high speed networks and wireless broadband.

Now, E-Band is confident that it can provide mm-wave benefits in many settings, from backhaul bulk network communication traffic, to last-mile transport of data from a network to the end user. According to Umbrasas, E-Band has made a great effort to ensure its technology is well suited to larger businesses, such as telecommunication carriers.

“All our executive and technical team came from multiple years of carrier and/or microwave radio experience,” Umbrasas said, “and we designed our E-band radio with that experience in mind to serve carrier and large enterprise customers.”

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