Pivotal Commware is making 5G networks possible for cellular carriers, and its growing

The now Kirkland-based wireless start-up company, Pivotal Commware, is creating technology that will make 5G cellular networks possible, and it recently relocated its headquarters to a larger office.

Pivotal Commware was developed within Bellevue’s Intellectual Ventures as part of the Invention Science Fund department that incubates start-ups, pairs them with CEOs, and spins them out as their own companies. Commware grew up in IV’s former Bellevue office, and relocated to an 18,000-square-foot space in Kirkland — nearly double the size of their last space.

In the last year, Commware raised $17 million in funds from investors, including Bill Gates, and will be at the forefront of a new method for deploying cellular networks using holographic beam forming. The new technology is essentially a small, lightweight panel on a cell tower — or elsewhere — that transmits a powerful radio signal to any desired location, such as airplanes, drones, ships, or streets during rush hour traffic. Commware’s holographic beam forming will allow cellular carriers to efficiently, and affordably focus data capacity where it’s needed most.

Commware CEO Brian Deutsch said the military currently has similar technology, but it’s bulky and expensive, making it nearly impossible to deploy on a commercial market place. Current technology won’t support the speed needed for 5G networks, or the growing number of products that are becoming electronic.

“Phones are reasonably fast, but they’re not doing augmented reality, cars aren’t doing autonomous driving that requires split-second decision making,” Deutsch said.

A delay in the data networks are usually jammed in the last couple miles its traveling, but with holographic beam forming, the energy is focused on a specific area, and we “can harness and control the energy instead of spitting it out willy-nilly like it’s been done.”

Deutsch predicts some versions of 5G will be released in mid-2019, and more broadly by 2020.

“When they talk about 5G, we’re talking about 10-plus gigabit peak speeds, which is absolutely amazing, and very low latency,” he said. “The time from your phone to the cloud is very short, and if you’re using autonomous driving, that’s important.”

Commware has about 35 employees, and expects to grow to 50 by the end of the year.