Remember Artemis? The startup that in 2015 promised its pCell transmission technology was 25 times better than 4G LTE?
Well, Artemis is still around. But it's definitely flying under the radar nowadays.
"Everything we're doing is with partners," company founder Steve Perlman told Light Reading. "We've been working more intensely than we've ever worked."
Artemis's ongoing pCell efforts came to light via new documents the company filed with the FCC.
"Rearden LLC [the parent company of Artemis] seeks to conduct product development and market demonstration in the 3.5GHz range (using multiple 5MHz blocks for total of 50MHz between 3400-3550MHz and 3650-3700MHz) that will examine a new digital modulation technique for wireless networks, thereby providing important information for the development of next generation wireless communications applications for the business and consumer markets. Specifically, Rearden will install prototype base stations enabled with proprietary pCell wireless technology inside the Rearden Lab," the company wrote in a filing to the FCC requesting permission to test its technology in the CBRS spectrum band.
"Rearden," the filing continued, "will examine network performance, features, and functionality of pCell wireless technology and a suite of customer applications. Testing is required to determine the viability of pCell wireless technology and its ability to support a variety of applications with a high density of concurrent users."
It's no real surprise that Artemis is looking to test its services in the 3.5GHz CBRS spectrum band. The FCC recently opened the band to unfettered, unlicensed commercial operations. And already a wide range of applications -- from commercial LTE networks to private enterprise networks to fixed wireless services -- are expected to be deployed in the band.
But don't expect Perlman to make much noise about Artemis's latest efforts.
"We're doing a lot of things under nondisclosure with partners," he said. "Our customers will be announcing it... There are a lot of things going on in wireless that are just private company things."
Perlman's reticence is a noteworthy turnaround from 2015, when the company made a splash with claims that its 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's claims were enhanced by its 2017 partnership with Dish Network.
Today, Perlman continues to make the same kinds of performance claims he made five years ago. "We're so much faster than 5G," he said. "Our announcements and our headlines were never hype."
However: "We were just drowned out by one announcement or another," he said of the company's public marketing push. "We just sort of gave up trying to go and rise above the din."
Now, Perlman said, Artemis is quietly working with customers who want a functional wireless network.
Perlman declined to provide any details about Artemis's sales or customers, though a representative from the company indicated Artemis might have an announcement to release in the second quarter of this year.