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Juniper Veteran Is New Kumu Networks CEO

Dan Jones
4/17/2014
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Former Juniper executive vice president RK Anand is joining Kumu Networks as the rule-breaking radio startup's new CEO.

Joel Brand, VP of product management at Kumu Networks, tells Light Reading that Anand was recruited last Monday. He replaces original CEO and co-founder, Sachin Katti, who will be doing more at his other gig as a professor at Stanford University.

Brand says that Katti will continue to be involved with the company at the board level and with its radio technology. Anand, however, will handle the day-to-day business of running the company.

Anand was the 12th employee hired at Juniper in 1996 and worked on early software and silicon and the development of QFabric at the company. He left in 2012. (See Juniper Struggles Continue Past Q3 and Considering QFabric.)

Kumu claims to have developed a radio technology that lets it transmit and receive signals at the same time, which Brand calls "Full-Duplex" technology. In theory, this would allow it to majorly increase capacity over radio technologies that use either two channels to send and receive signals (FDD) or time-schedule signals so that a channel isn't sending and receiving at the same time (TDD).

Kumu says it has achieved this with technology that cancels "self-interference" in the radio, the energy that leaks into a radio's receiver while transmitting. As a result of the cancellation, the receiver "hears no noise" from its transmitter, so that it can "cleanly receive external signals."

The company's first product is an RF self-interference front-end that Kumu says can be installed in any radio. Brand says that the company is aiming initial units that vendors can use for designs out in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company is initially envisaging vendors using the technology for applications such as developing an LTE small cell that can support subscriber calls and maintain a backhaul connection at the same time using the same radio.

Brand says that the implications of the technology, however, go far wider. He says that the RF front-end could be used to double the capacity of WiFi as soon Kumu can bring down the cost of the component "just a little." The company is also talking with the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Ltd. and others about future 5G developments. (See NGMN Kickstarts 5G Initiative.)

Brand says that Kumu has so far raised $25 million in venture capital. "We're still a small company. In terms of absolute money, we've got plenty," he tells us. Brand says that the company is still considering taking some strategic investments from carriers, as it works with operators on lab trials.

Kumu was founded in 2012 by a team of Stanford professors. The company is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and has 25 employees and two dogs.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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chuckj
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chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/20/2014 | 7:37:20 PM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
May be good enough for TDM voice data rates.
DanJonesLRMobile
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DanJonesLRMobile,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2014 | 5:54:12 PM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
Yeah, not clear to me when he stopped being the advisor.
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 5:45:44 PM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
He was also an advisor to Juniper for a time after he stepped down from his post leading the data center unit. Juniper then spent most of last year repurposing Qfabric to be part of the more SDN-oriented MetaFabric .
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 12:44:37 PM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
He appears to have been involved with Xsigo (sold to Oracle) and possibly other startups too.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 12:28:28 PM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
A company to watch for sure.
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 11:01:09 AM
Re: Takes a lot of guts.
I'm curious to hear what Anand has been up to since he left Juniper in 2012. Has he been involved in any capacity with Kumu since then?
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2014 | 9:57:02 AM
Takes a lot of guts.
> Kumu was founded in 2012 by a team of Stanford professors.
> The company is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and has 25 employees
> and two dogs.

A company founded by Stanford Professors, consisting of 25 employees raising 25 million dollars of venture capital. Thats impressive feat for professor-entrepreneurs.

Its actually a daring step for a professor founder/CEO to handover the duties to someone much junior to him. Takes a lot of guts.
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