Australian 5G company milliBeam has successfully closed a seed investment round of $750,000 from leading deep tech VC fund founded by CSIRO, Main Sequence.
This investment will help the company fast-track the development of milliBeam’s Left-Beam technology and support the expansion of milliBeam’s design team.
MilliBeam’s proprietary Left-Beam technology addresses challenges such as mmWave 5G coverage and high-power consumption, which arise from limitations of semiconductor technologies at mmWave frequencies.
The company’s breakthrough technology is a result of innovations in system and circuit architectures and integrated circuit design.
MilliBeam’s technology aims to address the limited range and coverage of mmWave 5G signals by developing high-power and high-efficiency solutions, which increase coverage range and 5G system energy efficiency. In the next five years, this could result in a ten-fold increase in radio signal range and an energy efficiency of over 25 percent (compared to 3 percent currently).
Dr Venkata Gutta, an experienced semiconductor engineer, founded the company with the desire to solve a problem that will have global implications for connectivity and wireless speed.
He said, “5G mmWave is an exciting and necessary next step in the evolution of the communications market. However, there are inevitable teething problems and hurdles to overcome before it goes widespread including its suitability over long distances, how well it can go through walls, and energy-efficiency.”
MmWave 5G has long been touted as the fastest form of 5G, operating on incredibly high frequencies such as 28GHz. However, the headwinds facing the technology are not insignificant and carriers across the globe have struggled to deliver on the technology’s promise. The high frequencies mean it has a shorter range than regular sub-6GHz 5G and an even harder time penetrating buildings.
Harnessing the full potential of 5G networks based on the mmWave specification would require placing hundreds to thousands of smaller cells within a specific area to extend and improve network coverage. In comparison, the Sub-6 GHz 5G network does not have this demanding infrastructure requirement.
Mike Nicholls, partner at Main Sequence said, “Leveraging our Left-Beam technology, we can enable faster, more efficient 5G deployments, bringing high-speed connectivity to billions of users as they connect around the world.
“As technology advances and people become more hooked to their phones, video game consoles, and computers, there’s been an increasing demand for faster network services. There is so much demand for 5G technology and equipment that the opportunity is ripe for disruptive companies and new entrants."
Nicholls said milliBeam is well positioned to take communications to the next phase.
“They have a very strong expert team, a critical market need, a wealth of expertise in the field, support from investment partners who understand deep tech, and a very unique technology and approach.”
MilliBeam’s team is currently distributed across Australia, and the company plans to open an R&D centre in Sydney in the coming months.