5G and Beyond

Casa Systems buys AT&T's fixed wireless equipment supplier for $115M

Casa Systems, a networking company that is working to expand its position in the mobile industry, announced it will purchase fixed wireless network equipment supplier NetComm Wireless in a transaction worth around $115 million.

The purchase by Casa further signals the company's efforts to parlay its networking products in the cable sector into the mobile and wireless industry. NetComm's two main customers are NBN in Australia and AT&T in the United States, both of which are using NetComm's products to build out substantial fixed wireless services. (See Casa Systems Inks Deal for Netcomm Wireless.)

Casa's purchase of NetComm also could underscore the company's desire to sell fixed wireless access equipment to its existing base of cable companies. Indeed, a number of major telecom providers -- ranging from Verizon to C Spire -- are venturing into the fixed wireless market with an eye toward delivering internet services into homes and offices without spending the money required to build out a wired network to those locations. Midco, Charter Communications and other cable players in the US and globally are either testing fixed wireless technology (Charter) or actively deploying it (Midco).

Casa, for its part, has been working to expand sales of its 4G/5G mobile core product, as well as its small cells. "We believe initial traction in our wireless business will be from our Apex family of the indoor and outdoor radio access network products and the small cell core. We expect revenue from our Axyom 4G 5G mobile core solution in 2019 and we are already participating in multiple tier one mobile service providers 4G 5G core evaluation and the trial processes," Casa CEO Jerry Guo said late last year during the company's quarterly earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the event.

In the press release announcing Casa's purchase of NetComm, Casa's Guo made clear his company's focus on the 4G and 5G market. "With complementary product portfolios, the combination of Casa Systems and NetComm strengthens our ability to meet the growing demand for increased bandwidth by communications service providers around the world," he said, adding that the purchase expands Casa's reach to more service provider customers and "adds fixed wireless products to our portfolio, enabling us to address the large 5G fixed wireless access market."

NetComm even received a recent public shout-out from T-Mobile's Dave Mayo, the executive in charge of the operator's fixed wireless plans.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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