ExteNet Systems - distributed antenna systems - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2012
Where's based: Chicago, Ill
When it was founded: 2002
Why it's Fierce: ExteNet Systems is a big provider of distributed antenna systems that are used to help provide coverage in areas such as shopping malls, stadiums or airports--anywhere where there is a lot of usage in a dense area. DAS is essentially a collection of small antennas spread over a specific geographic area and connected by fiber back to a central location or power source, usually a base station. While DAS isn't a new phenomenon, it has recently garnered a lot more attention from wireless operators that are searching for ways to increase their wireless network capacity in high usage areas.
ExteNet Systems designs, builds, owns and maintains open distributed antenna systems for wireless operators and others. For example, ExteNet works with hospitals, government agencies, hotels and even college campuses to improve their wireless services.
The company garnered a lot of attention last February because it was selected to help improve wireless coverage in several areas of Indianapolis in advance of the Super Bowl XLVI.
ExteNet has an impressive list of investors including SSP Offshore, an affiliate of Soros Fund Management. But perhaps even more compelling is the fact that it was ranked No. 1 in the Wall Street Journal's 2011 list of the top 50 venture-backed companies.
What's next: A lot of companies see the potential for DAS and are trying to get into the business. Late last year tower firm Crown Castle purchased DAS provider NextG for $1 billion. We would not be surprised if ExteNet was an appealing acquisition target.
- ExteNet Systems - distributed antenna systems - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2012