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Altair Raises $25M for Single-Mode LTEAltair Raises $25M for Single-Mode LTE

Startup is bulking up its supply of single-mode LTE chipsets as the wireless operators start pushing for them

Sarah Thomas

July 1, 2013

1 Min Read
Altair Raises $25M for Single-Mode LTE

Single-mode LTE chipset maker Altair Semicondutor has raised US$25 million in funding that it plans to use to support high-volume product deployments from its largest customers.

The funding, announced Monday, comes from Altair's existing investors Bessemer, BRM, Giza, JVP and Pacific Technology.

Why this matters
Altair already has a big deployment of single-mode LTE chips with Yota in Russia and is seeing heightened demand from Verizon Wireless in the U.S., Chee Kwan, Altair's VP of worldwide sales, told Light Reading in a CTIA interview. (See CTIA: Verizon Pushes for Single-Mode LTE.)

Its chips are in more than 100 devices, including tablets, mobile hotspots, routers and a number of higher-end machine-to-machine (M2M) gadgets, but operators are just now starting to think about dropping the 3G in smartphones. Understandably, too, given the LTE network's need for voice fallback and the infancy of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE). This round of funding comes just a few days after Verizon confirmed it would begin offer single-mode LTE smartphones at the end of 2015 when it has VoLTE widely deployed. This funding will help Altair be prepared when it and other operators take that plunge. (See Verizon's 5 Step LTE Program.)

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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