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5G Open Innovation Lab, CoMotion At The University Of Washington, And T-Mobile Collaborate To Accelerate 5G Hardware Innovation

CoMotion Labs becomes first 5G-equipped hardware incubator in the region

5G Open Innovation Lab (5G OI Lab), CoMotion at the University of Washington (UW), and T-Mobile announced a collaboration that will enable hardware startups to develop, test and roll out new products, services, and prototypes powered by T-Mobile 5G. With a new Ultra Capacity 5G network deployed at CoMotion Labs on the UW campus, the facility is now the first 5G-equipped incubator in the region focused on supporting the growth of the hardware startup ecosystem.

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Lack of 5G access and connectivity is a bottleneck for many innovators. The new 5G network at CoMotion Labs hardware incubator allows entrepreneurs, researchers, and student teams to build, innovate, and integrate additional capabilities into their companies and products using next-generation connectivity. The types of use cases startups may test include biotech/medical devices, remote sensors, and edge computing — anything requiring low latency and high capacity where vast volumes of data must move almost instantly.

“A fast and reliable 5G connection will allow us to quickly and securely upload patient imaging data to offsite servers for processing, improving the quality of care as well as patient and physician satisfaction,” said Dr. Shane Claggett, founder and CEO of Envision Ophthalmology, a startup in the CoMotion Labs hardware incubator which is creating a new medical device that leverages AI to improve ophthalmological diagnosis. “It will also give us a robust channel to monitor and maintain our fleet of devices.”

Nearly a dozen independent reports this year have confirmed T-Mobile leads in nationwide 5G speed and availability in the U.S. The Un-carrier is using its leading 5G network to fuel innovation with startups and developers in the Seattle region and across the country. T-Mobile is a co-founder of the 5G OI Lab and collaborates with universities and standards bodies to support 5G research and development to build the 5G ecosystem. At CoMotion Labs, with support from UW Information Technology, T-Mobile has deployed Ultra Capacity 5G with a state-of-the-art Distributed Radio Access Network solution inside the hardware incubator at Fluke Hall. Using 100 MHz of mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum and mmwave spectrum, along with advanced wireless technologies such as Massive MIMO, the T-Mobile 5G network can provide peak speeds well over 1 Gbps at the hardware incubator.

“The UW is home to some of the best and brightest engineering talent in the country, and our 5G deployment at CoMotion Labs makes the hardware incubator a premier destination for students, startups and developers,” said John Saw, EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile and member of the UW College of Engineering Visiting Committee.

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A joint innovation exchange between the 5G OI Lab and CoMotion significantly expands the resources and opportunities available to hardware-focused startups participating in the 5G OI Lab ecosystem. The 5G OI Lab will join the hardware incubator as a member, enabling startups to develop, test, and demonstrate their hardware devices and applications. This will allow the 5G OI Lab to broaden its program offerings to an array of entrepreneurs building what’s next.

The 5G OI Lab startups located in the hardware incubator will also take advantage of all the benefits of CoMotion Labs membership, including critical infrastructure, learning, mentoring and networking. They will also have access to the hardware incubator’s equipment for prototyping and development: 3D printers, large laser cutter, various hand tools, electronics/circuitry stations with reflow oven, multiple resin printers with wash/cure stations, and a suite of design and CAD software.

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“Everything we do at the 5G Open Innovation Lab focuses on making it easy for innovative startups, technology platforms, and industries to collaborate on solving global problems,” said Jim Brisimitzis, Founder and Managing Principal of the 5G OI Lab. “Our partnership with the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs hardware incubator provides 5G OI Lab alumni, future teams, and the larger UW ecosystem access to the latest tooling and test equipment they will need to develop next-generation hardware-based products and solutions. Access to T-Mobile’s production 5G network will enable everyone operating within CoMotion’s hardware incubator to build what’s next without connectivity limitations.”

“T-Mobile’s 5G network will enable new capabilities and growth opportunities for startups located in CoMotion Labs hardware incubator,” said François Baneyx, director of CoMotion and UW vice provost for innovation. “This new infrastructure and these exciting partnerships will enhance CoMotion Labs’ ability to foster innovation and will help our entrepreneurs break new ground.”

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