open RAN

Verana Networks nabs $11M to make 5G basestations

Verana Networks announced it raised $11 million in venture capital funding, money the company said it will use to begin building 5G basestations for transmissions in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. The company said it expects to begin commercial sales starting in 2022.

"Verana plans to offer its solution to network operators, big and small," Amit Jain, Verana's founder and chief commercial officer, wrote in response to questions from Light Reading. "In the United States, mmWave spectrum is owned by over 30 operators (all four nationwide carriers, regional operators like C-Spire, Claro in Puerto Rico and GCI in Alaska, several rural operators, and ISPs like Starry). Internationally, mmWave spectrum is owned by several operators in Europe and Asia. mmWave is also available for local (or private) 5G in Japan, United Kingdom and Hong Kong."

Light Reading first reported on Verana – founded earlier this year – in September, prior to the company's financing announcement.

Spark Capital led Verana's Series A round of funding, with Aspiro Capital, DC Investment Partners and Bold Capital also participating.

"Verana Networks is designing a 5G radio access network (RAN) solution that can reduce the cost of building 5G in mmWave spectrum by up to 10X, enabling mobile operators to bring the promise of 5G – gigabit speeds with low latency – everywhere," the company wrote in a release.

The company added that its products will be based on Open RAN Alliance (O-RAN) interfaces. That's noteworthy considering network operators are hoping the open RAN trend will foster additional equipment suppliers in the industry, thus breaking up the dominance of heavyweights like Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson.

"We believe that our vision to dramatically improve the economics of mmWave deployments, and our decades of experience building innovative radio access network products for major mobile network operators gives us an edge in the fast-growing multi-billion-dollar market for 5G network infrastructure," said Vedat Eyuboglu, Verana's CEO and co-founder, in a release.

Jain noted that the company's leadership team traces its experience to Airvana, which built 3G EV-DO macro basestations before selling femtocells to the likes of Sprint and KDDI, as well as SpiderCloud Wireless, a major player in the market for small cells.

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

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