When California high-tech communications firm E-Band Communications Corp. first went looking for financial help to develop its proprietary wireless radio communication system, investors basically said, “Looks great, but this is very complicated millimeter-wave technology, which has only been used by Department of Defense in the past and requires very specialized engineering skills to develop. Can you really do it?” That’s how E-Band co-founder and VP of Technology Jim Plante, starts his E-Band story.

E-Band Communications has now, in fact, developed a prototype transceiver system that operates in the millimeter-wave region at 71 to 76 GHz and 81 to 86 GHz (the “E-Band”). This is important because this provides significant advantages over other millimeter-wave wireless technologies. For one thing, signals in this band suffer much less loss of signal strength as distance increases. Adverse weather affects such as fog, dust, snow or desert sun basically have very little if any affect on this technology. This is especially important for defense and National security related applications such as port security, where fog is a consistent presence and always an enemy of communication and security systems.

The E-Band transceiver is now positioned to be the core for a high-speed radio communications link serving as a low-cost alternative to fiber optic cable installation for border and port security applications, as well as intelligence gathering, communications interoperability and information sharing.

“This is the only wireless technology able to transmit 1 to 10 Gbps data-rates at distances up to six miles. This technology opens up a number of new opportunities and enables applications previously possible only with fiber optic connections, which typically cost several times more and can take months if not years to implement. Using E-band wireless, we can set up ‘fiber-like’ network in a matter of days,” said co-founder and chief marketing officer Saul Umbrasas, “and that makes our technology stand out from the crowd.”

E-Band has been able to demonstrate a working prototype, thanks to two grants awarded by Cal State San Bernardino’s Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization (OTTC). The first was for $75,000 for prototype development, testing and evaluation. Results provided proof of concept for the technology and E-Band applied for follow-on funding to handle a couple additional improvements. OTTC then provided a $50,000 follow-on commercialization award that allowed E-Band to complete its prototype.

The funds OTTC provided come from the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT) program, sponsored by Congressman Jerry Lewis and channeled through the Department of Defense via the Office of Naval Research.

Thanks to the OTTC/CCAT grant, E-Band has been able to significantly increase its ability to attract institutional capital. As this report goes to press, E-Band's principals are now in discussions with a group of venture capital and strategic investors.