Qualcomm Invests in Small-Cell Backhaul Startup
Millimeter-wave backhaul startup Siklu Communications Ltd. announced on Tuesday the closing of its $19 million Series B funding round and revealed that Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is among its new investors.
In this funding round, Qualcomm, as well as Amiti Ventures and another undisclosed strategic investor, joined Siklu's existing investors -- DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures, Evergreen Venture Capital and Argonaut Private Equity Management LLC .
Siklu, which makes a microwave backhaul system that operates in the 71GHz-76GHz licensed E-band spectrum, said it will use the new funds to develop picocell backhaul products for Long Term Evolution (LTE) as well as expand its sales activities in the U.S. and India. (See Siklu Comes to North America and Ridin' Millimeter Waves to 4G .)
The company was founded in 2008 and has its R&D and operations in Israel. Siklu's co-founder, chairman and president Izik Kirshenbaum said in a press statement that Siklu this year has "hundreds of links deployed in Europe" and its "first trials in the U.S. and India."
Why this matters
The $19 million funding round and backing by cellular heavyweight Qualcomm is good news for Siklu, but it's also an endorsement of millimeter-wave microwave technology for providing backhaul to small cells in general.
Millimeter-wave uses high-frequency spectrum bands, such as in the range of 70GHz to 80GHz, to deliver high-capacity links over short distances of about one kilometer or so. It's one of many different options operators are considering to overcome the challenge of deploying low-cost, high-capacity backhaul to small cells.
“Small cell backhaul is one of the hottest areas of innovation in the mobile networks space,” said Patrick Donegan, senior analyst, Heavy Reading . “There are a lot of new companies out there bringing new product ideas to market in this space, but you don’t get many better indicators that you are on the right track than funding from Qualcomm.”
Here's the latest on the startups flocking to small-cell backhaul:
- Startups Rush to Small-Cell Backhaul
- Backhaul Startup Makes Millimeter-Wave Splash
- LTE Backhaul Startup Rises From Nortel Ashes
- Chip Startup Spurs Small-Cell Backhaul
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile