PHYTunes, a specialist in edge connectivity for enabling wireless-wireline convergence, on March 17 announced that the company has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to accelerate research and development of technology to improve connectivity inside buildings by enabling widespread 5G coverage at significantly lower cost and substantial energy savings, in a compressed timeframe.
PHYTunes said the technology developed will be used "to solve the indoor 5G problem and accelerate 5G deployment and ubiquitous 5G availability in both urban and rural areas."
As further explained by a company statement:
This will have major positive ramifications in terms of bridging the digital divide across different geographical areas and across different socioeconomic groups, by bringing new opportunities for telework, tele-education, telehealth, and telemedicine to traditionally underserved and unrepresented communities.
Phase I research will address critical technical issues related to the overall feasibility and performance of cellular subscriber line (CSL) technology with the development of a detailed simulation platform and network-side and customer-side prototype units using existing radio-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) components.
The project will allow mid-band and high-band cellular signals to be carried over existing twisted-pair copper wires, as well as coaxial, fiber and Ethernet wires, to enable the delivery of 5G-based services across barriers that signals delivered over the air from a tower cannot penetrate.
"The SBIR Phase I project has the potential to accelerate development towards a low-cost, low-energy solution that solves the problem of extending 5G coverage to the interior of homes and buildings," commented Dr. Akula Aneesh Reddy, chief scientist of PHYTunes, who added, "We are proud to be working with the National Science Foundation to further develop our work around wireless wireline convergence and look forward to working with our service provider partners to further validate our work in a real-world network environment."
America's Seed Fund, powered by NSF, awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact.
Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success.
America's Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.