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Kumu Networks Full-Duplex Radio System Could Be Huge For Future Wireless Carrier Networks

March 5, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Wireless networks have come quite a long way in the past 10 years, but there’s still improvements that can be made and it’s likely we’ll see some of those improvements as we move towards the next generation of network, 5G. Right now there are no currently up and running 5G networks but carriers around the globe are surely beginning to research how to evolve their technology to get to this point, and a company called Kumu Networks could have a solution to help things along. A current problem with cell networks is that they don’t allow for people’s devices to transmit and receive radios at the same time. Kumu’s technology, which is a Full Duplex radio transmission system, may be able to help with that.

To understand why they’re calling it Full Duplex, it’s simply because Half Duplex is already the term for how the radio transmissions operate on carrier networks now. Half Duplex essentially is the solution to an issue called Self Interference, which makes it impossible for radios inside a device to transmit and receive on the same frequency at the same time. Full Duplex, aims to allow this to happen which could end up doubling the amount of data being transmitted as it could be received and sent out simultaneously. Full Duplex won’t necessarily be part of the future 5G networks, but while Kumu was showing off their technology at MWC this week, carriers SK Telecom and Telefonica took notice and both believe that it could have an important role to play as a standard for future 5G networks.

Kumu already allegedly has a working and commercially viable Full-Duplex radio. Kumu states that they were able to achieve this by listening, which consisted of scanning the radio environment at all times according to Joel Brand who is the company’s Vice President of Product Development. Full-Duplex is already used in regular phones, so Full-Duplex isn’t something that Kumu themselves created, rather they came up with a tangible way to apply the use of Full-Duplex within the wireless phone networks to further expand the capabilities of the radio transmission and retrieval. Why this is such a big deal is because if carriers were able to utilize the full capacity of their networks to simultaneously transmit and receive data through the same frequencies, it could allow them to increase the number of connections present on their network at any given time, which would be strengthening their network and allowing more people to take advantage of it.