Kumu Networks trials full duplex in Deutsche Telekom 5G trial

Deutsche Telekom’s 5G innovation “space” 5G:haus has been having a look at full duplex technology from Kumu Networks, and it appears to like the look of early results from the trial.

Full duplex technology, which uses interference cancellation algorithms to transmit and receive in the same channel, is often mentioned as a potential  enabling technology for a 5G radio that could operate at much faster speeds.

Telekom said that trials had “successfully demonstrated the potential of the technology to increase spectral efficiency.” That will be a useful reference for Kumu Networks, which has been one of the leading companies in the commercial development of the technology although there have been a  variety of companies also targeting the space, including major NEP Huawei.

DT pushed out a press release saying it had been trialling Kumu’s full duplex radios in Prague, for a couple of different applications. Scenario one sees a device transmit and receive in the same spectrum to a base station, theoretically doubling spectral efficiency in a cell. Scenario two sees a small cell backhaul over  in-band spectrum to a serving macrocell. In-band backhaul like this is sometimes known as self-backhaul, as the small cell in question uses macrocellular capacity for backhaul rather than relying on a dedicated radio or fixed line link.

full duplex

Kumu Networks and Deutsche Telekom’s full duplex – artists’ impression. (click for bigger)

Kumu Networks CEO David Cutrer said in the DT release that the technology would be fully realised in the timescale of 5G development (meaning around 2020) but said the trials could also “accelerate the commercialization of the technology for near-term applications”.