Accuris Networks, which powers the seamless authentication of Hotspot 2.0, has raised $15 million in capital and brought in a WiFi industry veteran to be its new CEO.
The company announced on Wednesday that Jeff Brown, former CEO of Kineto Wireless, will take on the Chief Executive slot at Accuris Networks plc . Brown left Kineto earlier this month, when it was acquired by Taqua LLC . (See Taqua Acquires Kineto for VoWiFi Push.)
Accuris, which provides roaming and handoff software for cellular and WiFi networks, has also completed a $15 million equity funding round from investors including Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund and the China Ireland Growth Technology Fund. This brings the private company's total funding to $23 million since it was founded in 2003.
Accuris says it will use the funding to bolster its AccuRoam roaming platform and improve WiFi offload and roaming. It is also targeting growth in China, Japan and Asia, but is opening a new office in Silicon Valley to expand in North America, as well. Here, Accuris works with wireless operators including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Bell Mobility Inc. and Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), but CTO Aidan Dillon says it's seeing more interest from the cable camp as well. (See Carrier-Grade WiFi Still 2 Years Away – CableLabs.)
The company provided the authentication and handoff technology behind AT&T's and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s trial of Hotspot 2.0 at February's Mobile World Congress. Dillon says the trial showed that when a device is able to automatically connect to WiFi without popups, passwords or extra steps, there will be significantly more WiFi usage than on non-Hotspot 2.0-enabled devices. (See Hotspot 2.0 Makes Slow & Steady Progress.)
"With Hotspot 2.0, WiFi behaves to the user as a base station would on GSM or CDMA, so you donít have to care about who are you attached to," Dillon explains, adding that it works for voice calls and messaging too. "If you're buying a service from somewhere, it could be 3G, 4G or WiFi, and you donít have to select it and figure out what it costs. It just connects."
The Wireless Broadband Alliance announced this week that 12 carriers have deployed Hotspot 2.0 across the globe, including AT&T, Boingo Wireless Inc. , Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), KT Corp. , NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. (Telkom) , Salt SA , Linktel and Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) . (See WBA: 12 Carriers Deploying Hotspot 2.0.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading