Cohere Technologies: Transforming Mobile Networks with Universal Spectrum Multiplier

In a recent digital interview with Fierce Network, Raymond Dolan, CEO of Cohere Technologies, shed light on the company's revolutionary advancements in the telecommunications sector. Dolan discussed the successful collaboration with Vodafone, particularly the promising results of field tests conducted in a dense urban area in Spain. The trials showcased the capabilities of Cohere's Universal Spectrum Multiplier (USM) in addressing congestion challenges in low and midband FDD networks, marking a significant milestone for the technology. 

The interview also delved into the broader landscape of telecommunications, with Dolan emphasizing the resurgence of interest in Open RAN and the crucial role of innovation. Cohere aims to contribute to the Open RAN movement by providing solutions that go beyond traditional network architectures, offering better radios, antennas, and software. As the industry anticipates the deployment of USM on a global scale, Cohere remains at the forefront of transformative technologies, propelling the evolution of wireless communication. 


Alejandro Pinero: Welcome, everyone, to another digital interview here at Fierce Network. It's a pleasure to speak with Ray Dolan, CEO of Cohere Technologies. Ray, great to have you with us. 

Raymond Dolan: Thanks for having us, Alejandro. It's good to speak with you today. 


Alejandro Pinero: Absolutely, and I'm very excited to have this chat, Ray. Coming out of Barcelona, you've shared a lot of exciting news. It's an opportunity to discuss those and delve into the impact on the industry. 

Raymond Dolan: Yes. 


Alejandro Pinero: Specifically, a few days before MWC, you had a press release with Vodafone, discussing exciting results regarding your Universal Spectrum Multiplier (USM) and its impact on performance. Can you provide some context on that? 

Raymond Dolan: Certainly, Alejandro. We've been collaborating with the Vodafone team for several years. There was a press release in 2021 reflecting lab results, and this time, the focus was on the field. The testing took place in a dense urban area called Tarragona in Spain. It was a challenging environment, akin to a hall of mirrors. The USM aims to make sense of reflections in such areas. The results were fantastic, showcasing its efficacy in addressing congestion. We were thrilled that Vodafone chose to share these results, providing industry context on what the USM can achieve. 

Alejandro Pinero: With compelling results like those, discussions arise about when we'll see this beyond the trial period. How do you envision the market for USM, and when can we expect commercial deployments? 

Raymond Dolan: The next step involves more testing in Spain before moving to Canada to collaborate with Bell Canada. The coalition has been expanding globally, involving North America, Australia, Europe, and now Canada. This multi-operator trial, led by Bell Canada, an investor in Cohere, will integrate the USM into major RAN players. Confirming its deployability in both greenfield and brownfield environments is crucial. Our focus on addressing congestion in low and midband networks, a significant global issue, propels the testing for backward compatibility with large RAN players. The specific timeframe for confirmation is later this year, marking it as a deployable solution globally. 

Alejandro Pinero: Exciting developments ahead. Now, let's touch on Open RAN. At MWC, there was a resurgence in discussions, and it seems Open RAN is gaining momentum. How do you perceive the progress of this technology, and will Cohere work with large incumbents exploring Open RAN? 

Raymond Dolan: Absolutely. Open RAN is experiencing a resurgence. While dismantling and reconstructing the network across interfaces expands the supply chain and R&D capacity, Cohere's unique contribution lies in profound innovation. We've participated in meetings with vendors committed to Open RAN, focusing on inserting innovations that operators desire. Cohere, along with other companies, is contributing to revitalizing the Open RAN movement. Our emphasis is on bringing innovations like better radios, antennas, and software, aligning with the evolving Open RAN landscape. 

Alejandro Pinero: Impressive. Now, let's revisit another focus area for Cohere: the OTFS waveform. You've been ahead in forecasting opportunities for communication-enabled solutions, including defense. Considering challenges with OFDM, do you anticipate this year as the fruition point for OTFS, and how does it tie into 6G? 

Raymond Dolan: The keynote with Lockheed Martin at MWC 2023 forecasted opportunities for defense and other industries. OTFS serves as a universal hosting engine, accommodating diverse waveforms. While forecasting ahead of its time, we've spent years refining the Universal Multi Spectrum Multiplier (USM) to address current issues like low and midband spectrum congestion. OTFS is now matured, proposed in 3GPP in 172 about seven years ago. We've engaged with global operators, showcasing its merits. The OTFS waveform, as part of the USM platform, is ready for deployment, aligning with today's challenges and paving the way for seamless migration to 6G. 

Alejandro Pinero: it's always impressive to see how Cohere is several years ahead in innovation. We appreciate your insights, progress updates, and thoughts on what lies ahead. Thank you for joining us. 

Raymond Dolan: Thank you, Alejandro. Have a great rest of 2024. We look forward to further discussions at Marketplace later this year. 

Alejandro Pinero: Excellent. Thanks for joining us at Fierce Network. Stay tuned for more leading voices in the tech industry. Until next time, take care. Bye-bye. 

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