Arieso vs Goliath

Ex-Voodoo managed startup claims small VC investment as it prepares to battle larger rivals

June 7, 2004

2 Min Read
Arieso vs Goliath

Network optimization startup Arieso Ltd. has scored a small $2.6 million cash injection as it gears up for battle against a bevy of larger market rivals.

Founded in August 2002, the U.K.-based company has secured its first round of VC funding after almost two years of internal investment from its ex-Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) management team (see Arieso Secures $2.6M).

Aireso claims its software kit -- dubbed Ariesopt -- can increase the performance of a carrier’s Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) network and reduce initial capital expenditure as the network is deployed.

“We have had different levels of success with trials so far,” says commercial director Graham Ward. “I don’t think we have ever had less than a 20 percent improvement, and have got as high as a 100 percent improvement. On balance, we say we will get up to a 30 percent improvement in capacity or a 30 percent reduction in the number of [base station] sites required.”

Ward declines to divulge details of the trials, stating only that “some are global names and some are not.” Given that the startup’s CEO and chairman have both held high-profile positions at Vodafone, the carrier appears a likely bet.

With a headcount in the “low teens,” Arieso is a minnow compared to competitors Schema Ltd., Radioplan GmbH, and ComOpt AB but already boasts a number of credible partners.

“We are interfacing with Ericsson’s TEMS product and are also working with Forsk and Agilent,” says Ward (see Ericsson Intros CDMA Tool).

Arieso’s man is also keen to play down concern that the company could struggle against higher-profile rivals. “I am not aware of our competitors in the 3G environment having moved to commercial operation with optimization kit... We are confident but not arrogant. Moving from trials to commercial implementations is always subject to time slippages, but we are moving forward and carriers are realizing why they need to use these tools.”

The W-CDMA air interface is part of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS), adopted as the European 3G standard. Used with existing Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) core networks, the theory in the lab holds that W-CDMA-compliant handsets and base stations can increase wireless data transfer rates to a maximum of 2 Mbit/s.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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