Affirmed CEO Wants to Own the Core... & More
BARCELONA -- MWC19 -- Affirmed Networks, known for building a virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC), is determined not to let itself become a one-hit wonder.
Company CEO Hassan Ahmed said Affirmed is expanding its market share in mobile core sales -- and its opportunities inside each customer network.
"Today Affirmed is a very different company in the sense of, yeah, we do the core, but we also do everything from the radio to the Internet in software," Ahmed told Light Reading at the company's booth.
"We do service automation, we do service assurance, we close the loop on the way the network works. We can figure out what's going on in the network... We're really a networking company."
Earlier this week, Affirmed announced it raised $38 million in its latest round of funding, which was led by Centerview Capital Technology and included investments from Qualcomm Ventures LLC, Eastward Capital Partners and others.
The funding round was billed as "strategic," meaning the company sees so much room for growth it can't sit still.
"The capital cycle of 5G is what this technology is really built for," Ahmed said. "4G was a hardware-based network that has now grown under virtualization -- and we've been doing that. But 5G is a capital cycle that's just native to software transformation. It's going to underlie the connectivity fabric of the world, right?"
Affirmed said it has more than 100 customers worldwide and is in more than 60 network operator trials, including several trials related to future 5G deployments. It vies against Ericsson, Nokia and other mobile network equipment giants.
Even with that tough competition, Affirmed's boss said his company's strength in software development -- and the telecom industry's push toward 5G networks with virtualized network infrastructure -- consistently give it a seat at the table.
"We can really do a big footprint -- a big chunk of the operator's footprint -- in this brand new way," Ahmed said. "This is the way networks are going to look. And that's kind of what's exciting for me. I would love to look back in five years and say, 'Wow, networks are completely different now and we had a hand in doing that.' "
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— Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading