Cohere rings in investment, trial from Bell Canada

More backing for upcoming RAN smarts company.

Cohere Technologies has announced investment from Bell Canada, and said that the operator will also be trialling its technology in 2023.

Cohere has software which it says can increase capacity in mobile spectrum, by providing more accurate channel condition information to the base station controller. It calls this its Universal Spectrum Multiplier. The sofware can be integrated in base stations, or deployed as an xApp in an O-RAN Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC).

Massive MIMO especially requires accurate and longer lasting channel predictions, and this is one area that Cohere has targeted, but the company has also said that USM could help to increase capacity in any deployment. For instance, a year ago it claimed that it could be used to enhance performance where spectrum was being shared for a use case like using DSS to deploy 5G within 4G spectrum.

Bell Canada is set to investigate the deployment of the USM software as an xApp in an Open RAN trial. Its investment unit Bell Ventures is behind the investment, which has not been disclosed. Cohere claimed a year ago that USM can double spectrum performance, and claims that operator trials have confirmed its claims. TMN has heard informally from one T1 operator that the technology did impress in 2022 lab trials. It has also had public trials in 2020 with Deutsche Telekom, again deployed as an xApp on a RIC developed by VMWare. It was part of a further trial with Vodafone in 2021, again on a VMWare RIC platform.

VMWare is one of Cohere’s investors, along with Juniper, another company developing a RIC for Open RAN deployments. Other investors include Koch Strategic Platforms (also a major investor in Mavenir), Intel and Telstra, which has backed the company since its 5G OTFS days.

Cohere developed its technology – which relies on advanced Delay Doppler-based channel detection, estimation and prediction  calculations – as it originally looked to develop a new waveform for 5G based on OTFS. It now sees OTFS as a candidate waveform for 6G use cases, and Bell Canada’s trial will also investigate OTFS for 6G.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bell Ventures as an investor and look forward to our technical collaboration. This investment aligns our interests and allows us to scale faster toward commercialising our support for 4G and 5G with our Universal Spectrum Multiplier,” said Ray Dolan, Chairman and CEO, Cohere Technologies. “Bell’s interest, collaboration and support is also intended to accelerate OTFS as a candidate for 6G that has unique benefits to the global defense industry as well as satellite connectivity.”