NextG Gees Up

Wireless startup NextG Networks Inc. has grabbed around $35 million in debt and equity funding to help build out its proposed national wireless network.

Despite having one of the lamest names in a market stuffed with many strong contenders (does the wireless really need another "G"?), NextG is an interesting company [ed. note: really?].

NextG has developed a proprietary technology it calls "Course-Wavelength-Division-Multiplexing (CWDM)", which the company says can be used as a wireless transport for both wireless LAN and cellular traffic. The company has incorporated CWDM into "microcells" that it says can be used to expand and improve coverage of cellular and WiFi hotspot networks in built-up areas.

NextG had promised that it would find someone who could explain its technology in greater depth, but unfortunately they hadn't called by press time. It appears to have no connection with the CWDM used in optical networks (see CWDM: Low-Cost Capacity).

The startup hopes to sell its microcell products to carriers and is currently building out a network in the U.S. that might help sell the concept.

A spokesman for NextG says that the company is using the extra VC dosh to build out this network. He also says that the company is working with "the top six" U.S. carriers.

NextG has said it is working on implementing this technology in Chicago and Boston. A quick Web search also reveals that NextG has, or is applying for, "right-of-way" agreements in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

These kinds of deals would give the company the right to install its microcells on lampposts in the city [ed. note: sounds like a winning plotline for a hip TV series].

Of course, older readers will remember that the last company that tried such an ambitious network buildout was Ricochet Networks Inc. (see Ricochet: Dead Again?). [Ed note: The company is apparently alive again now.] NextG isn't revealing the full extent of its funding, but the $35 million is its second round. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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