PoLTE raised an initial $6 million in funding in 2017 and another $12.5 million in 2019. The company reportedly discontinued services in September.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

December 1, 2022

2 Min Read
5G location tracking company PoLTE closes doors

PoLTE, a startup that had recently pivoted into the 5G location-tracking sector, has closed its doors.

Details are scarce, but the company's former finance VP suggested on his LinkedIn page that the company was acquired by an unnamed Fortune 500 company. Former PoLTE executives contacted by Light Reading declined to provide details, though the company's former CEO is now listed as an advisor to Qualcomm on his LinkedIn profile. Qualcomm officials did not immediately respond to questions on the topic.

Figure 1: (Source: Philipp Dimitri/Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: Philipp Dimitri/Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

According to TechCrunch, PoLTE raised an initial $6 million in funding in 2017 and another $12.5 million in 2019.

As noted by FierceWireless, the company was founded by Russ Markhovsky with an initial focus on E911 services, but pivoted into 4G location tracking offerings for Internet of Things (IoT) services in 2018. That pivot coincided with the appointment of Ed Chao, a former technology executive at MetroPCS before it was acquired by T-Mobile in 2013, as its new CEO. Chao replaced John Dow in the position.

PoLTE touted a cloud-based location service that leveraged 4G LTE signals to track IoT devices, an approach company executives argued was more efficient than GPS and other options.

Earlier this year, Chao began discussing PoLTE's new 5G offerings. "The challenges inherent in traditional technologies such as these can be overcome using Cloud Location over Cellular (C-LoC) technology," he wrote on Telecoms.com, a sister publication of Light Reading, in February. "C-LoC technology is emerging as the 'next generation' GPS and can be deployed within the network edge – either in a public cloud, private cloud or directly into the network – or as an xApp in a RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) in an Open RAN infrastructure."

But PoLTE discontinued its services in September, according to reports.

That sparked competitors to jump at PoLTE's stranded customers. "PoLTE provided their customers with location tracking using cellular connectivity. Since they no longer provide these services, their customers need a new partner to put their trust in for tracking and monitoring their critical assets," Link Labs wrote in a recent press release. "If you've been a PoLTE customer or were considering PoLTE, Link Labs can help."

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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