Two Arizona Companies Combine to Bring 5G Tech Collaboration

By Jeff Gifford, May 19, 2020 | – Original Phoenix Business Journal article here.

A pair of Tucson companies that have merged are developing a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space.

Two Arizona companies are combining into one with an aim to bring their collaborative technological innovation into the rapidly growing 5G market.

FreeFall 5G brings together antenna systems maker FreeFall Aerospace with ED2 Corp., which builds telecommunications hardware and specializes in 5G. The Tucson companies already had worked together since 2018, with ED2 implementing a FreeFall antenna concept last year.

The combined company will continue developing that system — a 5G antenna that promises range and flexibility surpassing current market options but using less power and taking less space — with plans to unveil it this summer.

The merger was announced by Tucson-based venture capital firms UAVenture Capital and DVI Equity Partners. UAVenture Capital invests exclusively in University of Arizona science and technology spinoffs, and initially invested in FreeFall Aerospace in 2018. ED2 was DVI Equity Partners’ first Tucson-based investment.

"Based on what we all felt was a game-changing technology for 5G, it made sense to form a spinoff to operationalize the antenna," said [Bob Griffin]( Griffin), Managing Partner at DV Equity Partners, in a statement.

The original concept was developed by Dr. [Chris Walker]( Walker) along with Dr. [Marwan Krunz]( Krunz), who in addition to their work at FreeFall are also professors at UArizona.

"We believe this small and powerful antenna will revolutionize 5G communication," said [Fletcher McCusker]( McCusker), CEO and founder of UAVenture Capital, in a statement.

FreeFall Aerospace’s past projects have included an ultra-lightweight inflatable satellite antenna, steerable balloon-borne communications and ground-based systems.

"This new company has the potential to be a tremendous success, particularly as the importance of 5G technology grows," UArizona President Robert Robbins said in a statement. "I am very proud to see this kind of partnership grow out of innovative thinking from the University of Arizona, and I am grateful to UAVenture Capital for their leadership in making sure this outstanding technology will be available to the public. I am looking forward to seeing what FreeFall 5G will accomplish.