Ubiquisys Nabs $9M for Femto Push
Ubiquisys is the latest UK femtocell startup to raise money, following Picochip 's recent $20 million influx of funds. (See picoChip Scores $20M, Ships 1M Chips and Small Cells Key to LTE, Analyst Says.)
The latest funding round comes from a combination of new investors -- 5 Continents Consulting Group (5CCG) and Japanese venture capital company Yasuda Enterprise Development Co. -- as well as existing investors Advent Ventures , Accel Partners , and Atlas Venture . With the new funds, the femto firm has raised a total of $57 million. (See Femtocell Startup Pockets $25M and Ubiquisys Flush With Femto Funds.)
Ubiquisys, which also counts Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and T-Mobile Venture Fund as strategic investors, has its femtocell technology commercially deployed at SoftBank Corp. in Japan and SFR in France through its systems integrator partner NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701). (See Google Invests in 3G Startup, T-Mobile Invests in Femto Firm, UbiquiSys Gets Google Boost, Softbank Kicks Off Free Femto Giveaway , France Fires Up Femtocells, NEC, Ubiquisys Win Softbank Femto Deal, and Who Does What: Femtocell Services.)
Now the company has new ideas for the technology that began life as an answer to indoor 3G coverage problems. The software-based femto provider is working on small cell products that would enhance coverage in rural and metro areas, as well as for indoor hotspots.
In March the company and its partner, Public Wireless Inc. , announced the availability of a 3G metro femto designed for outdoor hotspots, dubbed the Colo-Node HSPA. (See MWC Preview: Femtos Go Macro, Ubiquisys Unveils Wide-Area Femto, Ubiquisys Unveils 3G Metro Femto, Ubiquisys Updates Enterprise Femto , Ubiquisys Busts $100 Femto Barrier, and Ubiquisys Femtos Go Soft.)
The new funds could also be put to good use if a certain rumored request for proposal (RFP) process at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) goes its way. The US operator has reportedly issued an RFP for new femtocell gear for residential as well as enterprise applications, and Ubiquisys is understood to be responding as part of a joint bid with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and 2Wire Inc. , according to a Light Reading Mobile industry source. (See Rumor: Giants Crash AT&T Femto Party, CTIA 2010: Femto Spotting in Vegas, MWC Rumor: AT&T Eyes Q2 Femto Launch, Enterprise Suppliers, AT&T: Femtocells Are Better for Voice, and Call Quality Complaints Plague AT&T Femto .)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile