Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund
Despite potential parallels between this investment and last year’s double-whammy -- the SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) trial and “strategic” cash investment (see Flarion Cookin' Up Seoul Food and SK Flashes Cash for Flarion) -- the Flash-OFDM network vendor won’t confirm that today’s investment signals the start of a likely trial with T-Mobile International AG.
OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) is a modulation scheme that can support an average data rate of around 1.5 Mbit/s for users in a standard, PCS-sized cell site, while using only 1.25 MHz of spectrum. This is more bandwidth efficient than standard cellular networks.
“We can’t speculate if there is a trial involved with this investment,” says the company’s senior director of marketing and strategy, Ronny Haraldsvik [ed. note: spoilsport].
The marketing man does claim, however, that the undisclosed investment amount takes the total level of funding received by the company to over $100 million. The company has so far officially announced that it has squirreled away $58 million in two rounds of funding.
Recent media speculation suggests some of the extra $40 million or so may come from another investor that hasn't yet been publicly announced. The Financial Times has hinted that Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL) has put its hands in its pockets -- following its trial deployment of the Flarion system (see Nextel Trials Flarion's Flash).
Other long-running investors in the alternative wireless broadband supplier include Charles River Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).
Today’s T-Mobile VC deal follows Flarion’s concerted efforts to break into the European market. Previous trials in Asia and the U.S. with KT Corp., Hanaro Telecom Inc., and SK Telecom have already been announced (see Flarion: 'Europe's Ready for Us', KT Joins the Flash-OFDM Band, and Flarion Doubles Down in Korea).
— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung