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AI/Automation

Artemis returns with private pCell strategy

Startup Artemis Networks is back. The company is still pushing its pCell technology with CEO Steve Perlman at the helm. It is also touting a distribution partnership with Federated Wireless, a real-world deployment at the SAP Center sports stadium in San Jose and high-profile support from former Apple CEO John Sculley and financial analyst Craig Moffett, of MoffettNathanson.

"pCell is the most innovative technology I've seen in wireless in a very long time, upending everything we've been taught about wireless," said Moffett in a news release from Artemis. "We've all grown up thinking that spectrum is a scarce resource, but pCell breaks that equation, delivering over 10 times the performance of existing LTE and 5G technology."

Artemis' return to the mobile industry after a five-year absence isn't surprising. Light Reading reported in 2020 that the company was testing its pCell technology in the 3.5GHz CBRS band.

(Source: Philipp Dimitri/Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Philipp Dimitri/Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

According to a lengthy article from The Mobile Network, Artemis is pivoting from its original business model of selling its technology directly to large wireless equipment providers and mobile network operators. Now, it is working to sell its technology to venues and other entities that might want to build a private wireless 4G or 5G network. The company argues that such customers might be more open to its unique approach to wireless networking.

Artemis' strategy fits with that of other companies ranging from AT&T and Dish Network to Ericsson and Amazon, which have also begun targeting the private wireless networking market.

"The pCell vRAN's unique ability to multiply spectrum capacity by over 10x (and growing) will ultimately transform the lives of the billions of people who use mobile networks every day," argued Perlman in the company's release.

Specifically, Artemis said pCell "delivers 10x the capacity of conventional LTE/5G networks in the same amount of spectrum. While existing LTE/5G networks average less than 100 Mbps in 20 MHz of spectrum, a network powered by pCell with equivalent spectrum averages over 1 Gigabit/second, and over 7.5 Gigabits/second in 150 MHz, faster than any mobile network in the world." The company pointed to detailed case studies of its work in locations including the SAP Center to back its claims.

Leapfrogging 5G

Artemis made a splash in 2015 with claims that pCell technology would make 5G irrelevant.

"The biggest thing we realized in announcing this is that it is such a large leapfrog in terms of performance, power savings and cost savings that even if we show it to [operators] working and go through the math and science and have them bring in CTOs, we still get feedback that they see it work, but can't explain how anything can work so well," Perlman told Light Reading at the time.

The company began development work with Nokia and scored a partnership with Dish Network. But, according to The Mobile Network, Artemis' work with Nokia mostly fell apart following the departure of Nokia CTO Hossein Moiin amid the ongoing Nokia-Alcatel-Lucent merger integration. Artemis then quietly retreated into the mobile industry's background.

Interestingly, the publication also noted that Perlman is still involved in a legal case against the publisher of the Verge, arguing that an article critical of him has stymied his ability to raise cash.

"We have been self-funded but are now stepping up, with our first customers we are now seeking growth investment," Perlman told The Mobile Network.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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