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NetSpira Cranks Up

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
5/27/2004

Data services platform startup NetSpira Networks SL has broken its silence after notching up a bevy of carrier wins in an unsuspecting market.

Founded in 2001, the Madrid-based company has developed what it calls an “Enhanced Charging Solution,” which sits alongside the GPRS gateway support node (GGSN) or the packet data serving node (PDSN) in wireless networks. The kit aims to enable operators to create, rate, and bill for data services without needing to upgrade their transport infrastructures.

Despite securing four contract deployments to date -- with Telefònica Mòviles SA in Spain, Optimus Telecomunicacoes in Portugal, Verizon Wireless in Puerto Rico, and Vodafone Spain -- the vendor has insisted on taking a muted approach as rival startups talk up their own success (see P-Cube Salsas With BellSouth, ProQuent Wins Portugese Deal, and Megisto Maxes Up).

“We have a low profile and a very low cost structure,” CEO and president José López tells Unstrung. “We are competing directly against P-Cube, Megisto, ProQuent, Cisco's CSG, and Nokia.”

With only 25 employees, NetSpira prefers to let its partners take the industry spotlight, according to López. “We have not been very aggressive in our PR. We work very much through our partners, as it allows us to remain compact but gives us global presence... The Telefónica Spain deal was won with Hewlett-Packard; and Atos Sema worked with us on Optimus. Lucent is our partner in the Asian market, whilst we have an OEM agreement with Starent in the U.S.” (See Starent, NetSpira Do Billing and NetSpira Charges Up Telefonica.)

In true startup style, López claims that more announcements are imminent. “We have announced four public contracts and hope in the next few weeks to double to eight.” The CEO states that two of these new deals will be with American carriers won via its Starent OEM deal. A further contract announcement in Asia/Pacific is also expected.

To date, NetSpira has received “a few million” dollars of investment from Spanish VC Bullnet Capital, but López expects to raise extra funding as the company ramps up headcount.

“We hope to expand with some additional funding. We will be looking at doubling our size. With this expansion we hope to raise the visibility of our cómpany.”

— Justin "Bullnet" Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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