Operators need mmWave like base stations need backhaul
This has been a good week for the millimeter wave (mmWave) camp, with three major developments adding momentum to the movement. On Monday UK regulator Ofcom announced that it had started the process towards an auction of mmWave spectrum to be used in private 5G networks as well as wide area public mobile networks. On Wednesday chip maker Qualcomm Technologies announced, at its 5G Summit, that its Snapdragon X70 5G chipset for phones and Internet-able devices (IoTs) will include a connection to a Standalone 5G network built with mmWaves.
On Thursday mmWave system maker Pharrowtech closed a €15 million Series A funding round to expand on its ideas for developing 60 GHz wireless RF transceivers and antenna technology. The capital raised will go on customer support, strengthening Pharrowtech’s operations in the United States and growing its engineering and business teams.
Netherlands-based tech investor Innovation Industries led the funding and was joined by Seed Round investors imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures, and KBC Focus Fund. Pharrowtech needs the money to push on with its recently launched 60 GHz CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) PTR1060 and phased array antenna Radio-Frequency Module (RFM) PTM1060.these will all create 5G unlicensed fixed wireless access, wireless infra-structure and consumer applications.
No Hertz, no headway
Pharrowtech designs sub-systems for 60GHz licence-free operations. This frequency range is becoming increasingly important for applications such as remote working and learning, augmented and virtual reality, and entertainment and gaming, because of its high capacity and short latency.
Network operators see fixed wireless access (FWA) system as the most effective and economical solution to deliver the required gigabit-per-second speeds link to consumers. In parallel, due to the increasing powers of 5G radio base stations, mobile operators are using millimeter wave system to meet the increasing demand of backhaul network architectures for macro and high-density small cell deployments.
FWA or the highway
Pharrowtech recently announced the availability of the PTR1060, an IEEE complaint RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases that supports the full 57 to 71 GHz bandwidth. The company has also launched phased array antenna modules to provide third party equipment makers (OEMs) with a ready-to-use 60GHz solution. The programming interfaces and tune-able features of the chip and antenna allow for optimal integration by equipment makers, according to Pharrowtech founder Wim Van Thillo, the company CEO.
“This year has started on a great note for Pharrowtech and this investment is another significant milestone in our journey. Despite the global pandemic, Pharrowtech moved from prototypes in 2019 to scaling up production of an exceptionally advanced 60 GHz RF solution by 2022.”