Funding for startups

Vasona Grabs $12M to Tackle Cell Congestion

Startup Vasona Networks has grabbed another $12 million in venture capital funding for technology that aims to help operators ease wireless congestion at the cell-site. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has developed SmartAIR100 "Edge Application Controller" server software that sits between the radio network and the core and allows carriers to "see" into the radio network and manage sessions at the cell. The company's CEO, Biren Sood, formerly with BigBand Networks (now part of Arris Group Inc.), suggests this is a key problem to be addressed as traffic grows on bandwidth-constrained wireless networks. "A lot of carriers have very little visibility into what's happening in their network in real-time," Sood told Light Reading Mobile recently. The technology aims to reduce congestion by giving different types of data transmissions different bit-rates. For instance, video needs a consistent bit-rate to avoid jumpiness where other applications that update in the background may not; so it's pointless to give those connections more juice than they need. Sood says this makes the technology more of a complement than a rival to mobile video compression. The company started in 2010 but was secretive about its offering until January this year. The team has, however, been working on getting the message out to carriers. "We're in trials and deployments with carriers around the world," Sood claims. Vasona, named after a lake in California, has so far raised $22 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, New Venture Partners and a strategic investor. CEO Sood says that the company is allocating funds toward carrier trials and software development. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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