Friday, 08 April 2022 11:18

Australian start-up milliBeam aims to make mmWave 5G widely usable Featured

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Dr Venkata Gutta: "milliBeam is enabling large-scale global deployment of mmWave 5G by addressing the challenges of poor coverage, deployment and operational costs through LEFT-BEAM semiconductor chipset technology." Dr Venkata Gutta: "milliBeam is enabling large-scale global deployment of mmWave 5G by addressing the challenges of poor coverage, deployment and operational costs through LEFT-BEAM semiconductor chipset technology." Supplied

An Australian semiconductor technology start-up claims it has created technology that can bring mmWave 5G performance to the point where it can be widely deployed at a reasonable cost.

milliBeam says its proprietary technology will make it possible to deploy 5G faster and in a more efficient way.

The company has received seed funding of $750,000 from Main Sequence, the deep tech VC fund set up by the CSIRO. It has been founded and is headed by Dr Venkata Gutta.

There are three kinds of 5G and milliBeam has taken aim at the high band. Low-band 5G is made up of sub-2 GHz frequencies, with peak speeds of as much as 350Mbps, upload speeds of 60Mbps and latency of around 30ms, according to Cradlepoint. The advantage is that the signals can get through obstacles and travel long distances.

Mid-band 5G is the spectrum that comprises frequencies between 2-7 GHz and is expected to reach speeds of up to 1.56Ghz. With a 5G standalone core, speeds of 350 Mbps can be reached, with latency ranging from 8 to 12 ms.

High-band 5G comprises frequencies in the millimetre spectrum (mmWave) - frequencies at or above 24 GHz. This is the best performing layer of the 5G spectrum with download speeds of up to 3Gbps.

With a 5G standalone core, upload speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps can be achieved with latency in single-digit milliseconds.

On the downside, high-band 5G is mostly confined to line-of-sight transmission; it can be easily interrupted by weather, structural interference, and distance.

milliBeam infographic

milliBeam’s proprietary LEFT-BEAM technology addresses challenges such as mmWave 5G coverage and high-power consumption, which arise from the limitations of semiconductor technologies at mmWave frequencies.

The company’s technology is a result of innovations in system and circuit architectures and integrated circuit design.

A statement from milliBeam said existing state-of-the-art beamformer ICs used a number of elements to transmit signals with varying phases to create a focused signal beam, aimed at user equipment.

This could improve signal range, but beamformers suffer from disadvantages such as high power consumption which limits efficiency, as well as limited radio output power, which reduces range.

Commonly available 5G beamformers have a transmit power of 100mW and consume many watts of battery power. This normally equates to efficiency below 3%. Taking receiver power consumption into account, overall efficiency is less than 2%.

The low transmit power limits signal range to 100 metres or less and indirectly drives up the cost of deployment in terms of the increased number of cells required.

milliBeam’s technology has been aimed at developing high-power and high-efficiency solutions, which increase coverage range and 5G system energy efficiency. The company hopes to boost radio signal range by a factor or 10 and increase energy efficiency to 25% and over in the next five years.

Dr Gutta told iTWire he was hopeful testing of the technology would be completed by the end of 2022.

As to deployment, he said he hoped that something would be in an actual product by mid-2023.

The immediate aim for Dr Gutta is telecommunications companies. Handset makers will also be approached, but there is likely to be competition from the bigger companies in the field.

"milliBeam is enabling large-scale global deployment of mmWave 5G by addressing the challenges of poor coverage, deployment and operational costs through LEFT-BEAM semiconductor chipset technology," he said.

"LEFT-BEAM delivers higher transmit power and high energy-efficiency to support mmWave 5G peak data rates over greater distances. The LEFT-BEAM technology will enable telcos to deploy mmWave 5G technology over scale in a cost-effective way and enhance global connectivity.

"Having just successfully closed a seed investment round of $750,000, we are working to complete our initial chip development, including testing by the end of this year, and focus towards sampling for customers in mid-2023.

"Over the next few months, our key priorities are to complete our first test chip, expand the engineering team, and to secure funding for further expansion. We’ll also be teaming up with partners and customers and will directly engage with the telcos and the handset manufacturers to take mmWave 5G to the next level in global mobile connectivity."

Main Sequence partner Mike Nicholls said: “As technology advances and people become more hooked to their phones, video game consoles, and computers, there’s been an increasing demand for faster network services. There is so much demand for 5G technology and equipment that the opportunity is ripe for disruptive companies and new entrants.

“milliBeam is well-positioned to take communications to the next phase. They have a very strong expert team, a critical market needs, a wealth of expertise in the field, support from investment partners who understand deep tech, and a very unique technology and approach.”

milliBeam has in its ranks experienced IC designers and test and verification engineers. The designers have had a successful track record in companies such as Samsung, AMD, Macom, Cambridge Silicon Radio, and Nitero and are experienced in designing Silicon IC solutions for mmWave beamformer applications.

The company has a number of offices across the country and plans to open a research and development centre in Sydney soon.


The past year has seen a meteoric rise in ransomware incidents worldwide.

Over the past 12 months, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have diligently tracked the meteoric rise in cyberattacks, as well as trends and activity across all threat vectors, including:

Encrypted threats
IoT malware
Zero-day attacks and more

These exclusive findings are now available via the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which ensures SMBs, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations have the actionable threat intelligence needed to combat the rising tide of cybercrime.

Click the button below to get the report.



It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Related items

  • Telstra-TPG deal: Budde urges overall review of mobile telco services

    Australia should undertake a comprehensive review of its mobile telecommunications in the wake of Telstra's bid to actively promote the sharing of its infrastructure, independent telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has urged.

    In a submission to the ACCC, which is examining the proposal prior to a decision on 17 October, Budde said prior to this, he had always argued for domestic roaming in regional areas because it did not make economic sense to overbuild mobile infrastructure.

    The agreement between Telstra and TPG has three aspects in respect of a Multi-Operator Core Network commercial arrangement: a MOCN Service Agreement, a Spectrum Authorisation Agreement, and a Mobile Site Transition Agreement.

    The ACCC says: "TPG would authorise Telstra to use spectrum which it currently owns, and Telstra would provide TPG with network services by way of active mobile network infrastructure sharing in certain regional and urban fringe areas (the Regional Coverage Zone), which comprise approximately 17% of the Australian population coverage.

    {loadposition sam08}"TPG will use the MOCN services supplied by Telstra to offer 4G and 5G retail and wholesale services in the Regional Coverage Zone. TPG will also transfer up to 169 of its existing mobile sites in the Regional Coverage Zone to Telstra, and intends to decommission the remainder. The initial term of the MOCN Service Agreement is 10 years and TPG has two options to extend the agreement by five years."

    Due to the existing mobile situation, Budde said there was hardly any competition in regional areas. There was a "low level of mobile coverage, often lower levels of quality, no choice for consumers and potentially higher prices" but the  ACCC had failed to declare roaming in regional areas.

    In view of Telstra having split its business into three major areas, of which two were now separate infrastructure businesses — one based on mobile and the other one of fixed networks — Budde said a complete review of mobile regulations was needed.

    "Since deregulation some 30 years ago, regulations have been built around infrastructure-based competition. Regulation facilitated this and discouraged the sharing of infrastructure and sometimes actively prohibits it," he said in his submission.

    "Now Telstra has changed this by actively promoting the sharing of their infrastructure with other players. It is therefore totally rational for players to use this opportunity to enhance their reach into the market through the new opportunities provided by Telstra.

    "Thus, where the ACCC failed to make sharing possible, Telstra has made a 180-degree turn and is now offering such services voluntarily."

    Budde said Telstra was not doing this out of the goodness of its heart. "Increased competition from the digital giants and also competition among the three main mobile operators forced Telstra to lower its costs and look for new revenue opportunities and hence its offerings in infrastructure wholesale services to its competitors, something it has violently opposed for many decades," he pointed out.0

    "We would argue that these changes require a total review of mobile telecommunications regulations."

    Budde added that in the mobile market, spectrum policy was based on ensuring new agreements would not lead to monopolisation.

    "The deal clearly ends that policy as TPG would hand over its spectrum to Telstra. As TPG - under this new deal - doesn’t need the infrastructure in regional areas where Telstra has its own infrastructure, it will close down its own infrastructure," he said

    "While mobile infrastructure competition in regional areas - for economic reasons - was already very weak, the deal would end that totally as also Optus has questioned its regional investments if the deal is allowed.

    "This stops any competitive pressure on Telstra to extend its regional network and furthermore it will become the sole recipient of government subsidies provided under the Black Spot policy, where it is aiming to extend the mobile network into regional areas. This clearly means the end of infrastructure-based competition."

  • Global monthly smartphone sales fell below 100m units in May

    Global smartphone sales fell below 100 million units in May, the second time this happened since it first occurred after the pandemic broke, the technology analyst firm Counterpoint Research claims.

    In a statement, the company said sales had fallen 4% month-on-month and 10% year-on-year in May, to 96 million units, marking the second month-on-month decline and the 11th successive month of year-on-year decline.

    It said despite a V-shaped recovery after the COVID wave hit in 2020, smartphone sales were yet to reach pre-pandemic levels. Supply constraints and COVID waves had first affected the market, followed more recently by less demand due to inflation, the slowdown in China and the Russia-Ukraine war.

    Research director Tarun Pathak pointed out that demand for a new smartphone, especially in wealthier countries, was driven by replacement, making it a discretionary purchase.

    {loadposition sam08}"And inflationary pressures are leading to pessimistic consumer sentiment around the globe with people postponing non-essential purchases, including smartphones," he said.

    "The strengthening US dollar is also hurting emerging economies. A segment of consumers is likely to wait for seasonal promotions before purchasing to offset some of the cost pressures.“

    month month

    Counterpoint senior analyst Varun Mishra said the lockdowns and prolonged economic slowdown in China had hit both local demand and the global supply chain.

    "The smartphone market in China recovered slightly month-on-month in May as lockdowns eased, he said. "However, it remained 17% below May 2021. There may need to be a new baseline market size defined for China’s smartphone market.

    "Added to this is the uncertainty created by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which is hurting demand in Eastern Europe. None of the OEMs seems to be spared from the negative impact on demand caused by a mix of these factors.”

    Low demand was leading to a build-up of inventory which in turn resulted in declining shipments and lower orders from manufacturers, with the April-June quarter expected to be the worst hit.

    The situation is gradually expected to improve during the second half of 2022. "June also marks the beginning of promotions in several regions, like 618 in China, back-to-school in August, Diwali in India followed by Christmas and New Year," the firm said.

    "It will also mark notable launches like the new Samsung Galaxy Fold series and the iPhone 14 series, which can help ignite some demand."

  • Zscaler opens data centres in Canberra and Auckland

    Cloud security specialist Zscaler has established co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland.

    The new sites complement the existing Zscaler data centre infrastructures in Sydney and Melbourne. All are co-located within Equinix data centres.

    The increased capacity provided by the Canberra data centre will help Zscaler meet increased demand from public sector organisations.

    "Successful organisations of any size realise that any disruption, regardless of how small a security incident, will have an impact on the business as a whole," says Zscaler Australia regional vice president Steve Singer.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    "At present, we support more than a million users from Australia on our platform and these numbers are set to escalate. Bringing new data centre facilities to Canberra and Auckland puts our industry-leading Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange™platform closer to our customers."

    He added "Right now, there is an ongoing focus at all levels of the community on the need to reinforce Australia's cybersecurity posture from a range of threats, including potential national state and supply chain attacks.

    "Our new data centre infrastructure will further support any new programs which the new Federal Government and Minister for Cyber Security may launch to further build awareness of the Essential Eight and continue to reinforce the need for ongoing cyber vigilance.

    "At the same time, we also look forward to further supporting New Zealand enterprises to keep information safe and secure and continue to observe CERT NZ guidelines."

    The Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange platform is IRAP assessed to Protected.

    Zscaler public sector customers in Australia include Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, Commonwealth Grants Commission, and Cenitex.

    Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation technology division senior network operations administrator John Pratezina said "Our organisation recently went live successfully with Zscaler Internet Access and Zscaler Private Access which is supporting our employees with a complete, secure, stack as a service from the cloud.

    "Zscaler's investment in onshore data centre infrastructure here in Australia provides certainty and the company's focus on serving the needs of the Australian public sector ecosystem provides us with confidence that our security requirements will continue to be met in the years ahead."

  • Apple dominates 1Q22 premium smartphone sales with 62% due to iPhone 13

    Apple accounted for nearly two-thirds of first-quarter smartphone sales in the so-called premium segment, the technology analyst firm Counterpoint Research says, but providing no figures to back up its claim.

    Globally, total smartphone shipments for the quarter fell by 11% year-on-year for the quarter, according to figures earlier in the year from Canalys, another analyst firm, with about 309 million units being shipped.

    Apple's 62% share was its highest in the first quarter since 2017, Counterpoint said. Smartphones that have a wholesale average selling price of US$400 (A$575) and over fall into its premium segment.

    Apple's iPhone 13 was its best-selling model in the first quarter of 2022, a feat it has achieved since October 2021. The best-selling Android model for the first three months of 2022 was the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

    {loadposition sam08}Counterpoint said Samsung's share of the premium market had fallen in the first quarter, and attributed this to the delayed launch of the Galaxy S22 series.

    premium segment 1q 2022

    Chinese brands took up the remaining spots in the top five, with Oppo (including OnePlus), Xiaomi and vivo taking positions three to five. However the share of the premium market commanded by Chinese brands had fallen, Counterpoint said, though, again, it did not provide any numbers.

    The analyst firm said foldable phones appeared to be gaining some traction, led by Samsung, capturing 3% of the premium segment.

    Higher selling prices meant that despite a drop in the sales numbers, the revenue earned went up.

    volume value

  • Review: Oppo Find X5 Lite lives up to its name

    The Oppo Find X5 Lite is the cheapest device in this flagship line and thus lacks many of the features that are part of the Find X5 Pro and the Find X5, its more expensive cousins. The price ($799) also reflects that.

    The company normally issues three models in each series, with the last having been in the Find X3 line. There was no X4 as the word for "four" has a similar sound to the Chinese word for "death."

    The Lite looks like any of the Oppo's other models, weighing in at 173 grammes. A plastic case is included in the box, but this is standard issue, and nothing special as in the case of the X5 Pro.

    The 6.43-inch AMOLED display has an FHD resolution of 2400x1080p, with 8-bit colour depth and 409PPI. It is clear and easy on the eye, though in bright light things cannot be seen that easily.

    {loadposition sam08}The standout feature of the Lite is its charging. The 4500mAh battery easily lasts a day or more and can be charged to 100% in a little more than 30 minutes due to the 65W SUPERVOOC Flash-charging. This, alone, makes it worth the cost.


    Photos taken indoors are not the best.

    The rear cameras stand out from the back, with a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and 2MP macro camera. These give acceptable pictures when the light is good but indoors the photos come out a bit dull as can be seen.

    The degree of zooming in is somewhat limited and anything more than 2x does not yield acceptable results. The front has a 32MP selfie camera.

    Like the other two devices in this series, the Lite supports 5G. In Australia, 5G is yet to be available at prices that the common man can afford, but the 4G network is very good, hence this is not a worry.

    The Find X5 Lite is built atop a MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC and has 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage space. Virtual memory can also be used by the operating system, so there is no fear of memory slowing down operations.

    There are two refresh speeds, 90Hz and the standard 60Hz. In-screen fingerprint security is available, as also facial recognition and the standard numeric lock. There is no advertised water or dust-proofing.

    The model sent to me for review was the Startrails Blue one; the rear of this does not accumulate fingerprint marks easily.

    There is space for two SIMs and also an SD card. The operating system is Android 11 over which is Oppo's ColorOS 12. The Lite model sold in Australia has a standard earphone jack.

    The device is available in two colours: Starry Black and Startrails Blue. It is being sold at Vodafone and Optus (black only), JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Big W, Wireless1, Woolworths Mobile, Catch, Kogan, TeleChoice, Yes Distribution, Amazon, MobileCiti, Bing Lee, Australia Post and Retravision.


    Height about 160.6 mm

    Width about 73.2 mm

    Thickness about 7.81 mm

    Weight about 173 g (Rounded to the nearest integer)

    RAM and ROM Capacities 8 GB + 256 GB

    RAM Type LPDDR4X @ 2133 MHz 2 x 16-bit

    ROM Specifications UFS2.2 @ 2 Lanes HS-Gear3

    Phone Storage Card Supported

    USB OTG Supported (Reverse charging supported)

    backfor bottomDisplay

    Size 6.43"

    Screen Ratio 90.8%

    Resolution FHD (2400 × 1080)

    Refresh Rate Maximum: 90 Hz Options: 90 Hz or 60 Hz

    Touch Sampling Rate Maximum: 180 Hz (2 fingers) Default: 120 Hz (5 fingers)

    Colour Gamut Vivid mode: 100% DCI-P3/135% sRGB Gentle mode: 76% DCI-P3/103% sRGB

    Colour Depth 16.7 million colours (8-bit)

    Pixel Density 409 PPI

    Brightness 430 nits (typical); up to 600 nits in sunlight (typical) and up to 800 nits when displaying HDR or HDR10+ contents.

    Panel AMOLED (Hard)

    Cover Glasses Corning Gorilla Glass 5



    64MP Main Camera: f/1.7; FOV 80.5°; 6P lens; AF supported; closed-loop focus motor
    8MP Wide Angle Camera: f/2.25; FOV 118.9°; 5P lens
    8MP Macro Camera: f/2.4; FOV 88.8°; 3P lens; fixed focus


    32MP Front Camera: f/2.4; FOV 85°; 5P lens

    Shooting Mode

    Rear: Photo, Video, Night, Expert, Panoramic, Portrait, Time-lapse, Slow-motion, Text scanner, Dual-view video, Sticker, Extra HD, Macro, and Soloop templates

    Front: Photo, Video, Panoramic, Portrait, Night, Time-lapse, Dual-view video, Sticker, and Slow-motion



    Rear Camera supports up to 4K (30fps), 1080P (60fps/30fps), and 720P (60fps/30fps)
    Video Slo-mo: 1080P (120fps) and 720P (240fps)
    Video stabilisation: EIS, 1080P (60fps), 1080P (30fps)

    Video zoom:
    1-20x zoom: 4K (30fps), 1080P (60fps/30fps), 720P (60fps/30fps)
    0.6x zoom: 1080P (30fps) and 720P (30fps)


    Supports 1080P/720P (30fps) (Default: 1080P(30fps)) (Retouch: turned on by default).
    Video stabilisation: 1080P (30fps) (1080P (60fps) is not supported)
    Video Slo-mo: 1080P (120fps), 720P (240fps)


    CPU MediaTek Dimensity 900

    CPU Speed Cores 8 cores

    GPU ARM Mali-G68 MC4


    2 × 2200 mAh/17.02 Wh (min)
    2 × 2250 mAh/17.41 Wh (typ)
    [Two series-connected cells, equivalent to a total capacity of 4500 mAh]


    Biometrics Fingerprint, In-screen fingerprint sensor

    Facial Recognition Supported

    Sensors Geomagnetic sensor, Proximity sensor, Optical sensor, Accelerometer, Gravity sensor, Gyroscope, Pedometer

    Cellular Network

    SIM 2


    SIM Card Type Nano-SIM card

    Frequency Band

    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
    FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/66 (UL: 1710 MHz–1780 MHz, DL: 2110 MHz–2180 MHz)
    TD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
    5G SA: 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41/78
    5G NSA: 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41/66/77/78



    Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n/
    Wi-Fi 2.4G/5.1G/5.8G
    Wi-Fi Display and Wi-Fi tethering

    Bluetooth Version

    Bluetooth 5.2, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

    Bluetooth Audio Codec SBC, AAC, APTX, APTXHD, LDAC

    USB Interface USB Type-C

    Earphone Jack 3.5 mm


    Supports Android Beam, HCE, and UICC
    Multi-function NFC: HCE and NFC-SIM

    Operating System

    ColorOS 12 based on Android 11

    Location Technology


    Built-in GPS, A-GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, GALILEO and QZSS positioning systems supported.




    Google Maps and other third-party map apps are supported.

    Price: $799




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News