Farooq Khan says Phazr, his small company near Dallas, can compete with the giants for the millions of 5G small cells soon to deploy. Verizon is listening and is testing the Phazr equipment. Their target was to be ready by the end of 2017.
Phazr's base station is about two feet high and a foot wide. That's large enough for 384 antennas per sector, three sectors per cell. That's massive, massive MIMO. It's made possible by the very small size of mmWave antennas.
Phazr's system uses mmWave for the download but ordinary spectrum below 6 GHz for the upload. This has the advantage of requiring much less power in the mobile phone, producing less heat.
Kahn writes, "Phazr aspires to become the U.S. company producing 5G mmWave gear. mmWave technology is heavily concentrated in the US thanks to decades of investments from DARPA/ US government. 'ITization' of mobile & fixed networks is removing barriers to entry. Network operators are encouraging the entry of new 'lean' network vendors to drive down Capex & Opex. These two factors (local mmWave ecosystem and 'ITization' of mobile networks) presents an opportunity for a local USA-based radio network gear provider to enter the market."
He has recruited a team of industry veterans from the vast pool of engineering talent in Dallas. The software development is mostly being done in Bangalore. Robert Heath (who wrote the textbook) and NYU's Sundeep Rangan are on the Advisory Board.
Verizon is also working with Khan's previous company, Samsung. While not as well known and Nokia or Ericsson, Samsung is under serious consideration in some of the largest 5G deployments.
Much of the pioneering work on mmWave was done in the U.S. by Ted Rappaport and others, but no U.S. company produces 5G mmWave gear.