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Optical/IP

Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund

Flarion Technologies is keeping tight-lipped over the commercial implications and financial details of its latest cash injection by the T-Mobile Venture Fund, the venture capital entity of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) (see T-Mobile Invests in Flarion).

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

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lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 11:47:12 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund Go figure. Not in my wildest dreams did i ever think t-mobile would invest in flarion. I assumed flarion's attempts to get into europe where an excercise in wasting time -technically they are not in europe yet but it looks good. guess i was wrong. We may be in for a good show here.
Boloman 12/4/2012 | 11:47:06 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund What's with this - " I assumed flarion's attempts to get into europe where an excercise in wasting time"? This is 2003, not 1999. I imagine they are getting plenty of traction even if this t-mobile will make some other operators leery of them.
lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 11:46:55 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund "What's with this - " I assumed flarion's attempts to get into europe where an excercise in wasting time"? This is 2003, not 1999. I imagine they are getting plenty of traction even if this t-mobile will make some other operators leery of them."

I didn't think regulators would allow operators to deploy flarion.
Boloman 12/4/2012 | 11:46:51 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund is that didn't or still don't?
lrmobile_castro 12/4/2012 | 11:46:50 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund that is didn't. I doubt T-mobile is investing in the company for SK telecoms benefit.
lrmobile_justin 12/4/2012 | 11:46:49 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund Aside from the T-Mobile speculation, Flarion tells me it expects to have European trials and possible commercial contracts to shout about by the end of the year.

It claims it will be able to talk publicly about ten to twelve trials within "three different continents" by end 2003. First commercial contracts should be announced late 2003, early 2004 (apparently).
Boloman 12/4/2012 | 11:46:49 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund So is there a Flarion trial going on in Europe? Are there any rumors?
Boloman 12/4/2012 | 11:46:47 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund That sounds suspiciously like IPwireless. Weren't they promising 2 Tier 1 operators announcing IP Wireless roll outs by 3GSM in February 2003?
Then what happened - SILENCE. I'd like to know where IP Wireless's Tier 1 deals are now and I wonder if Flarion will have the same trouble getting to revenue.
whip 12/4/2012 | 11:46:36 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund Except IPWireless uses TDD spectrum. Flarion uses FDD. So chances are, operators considering Flarion already have the right spectrum. Right?
Boloman 12/4/2012 | 11:46:34 PM
re: Flarion Hushes on Slush Fund But if you make a noise about announcing two Tier 1 operators, then you already know who they are and that they have the right spectrum, don't you?
Here's an excerpt from this - http://www.lightreading.com/do...

"It (IP Wireless) claims it will reveal the names of Tier 1 carrier customers, and OEM deals with two of the top five wireless infrastructure vendors, in the first quarter of 2003."

SO WHAT HAPPENED?
And are Flarion making the same mistake?
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