Where it's based: San Diego, Calif.
When it was founded: 2006
Why it's Fierce: In-building coverage has been the bane of the mobile operator's existence since the birth of cellular services. Simply put, customers want coverage inside the home--where they spend most of their time. But many solutions require hardware and system changes both for the customer and the operator.
In comes Nextivity. Using antennae and signal-processing technology to boost coverage in the home, the company has created a new market for self-configuring, environmentally aware indoor coverage systems and developed the first baseband processor for optimizing the transmission and reception of 3G wireless signals. The net impact is that this smart repeater makes any 3G device behave as if it is sitting closer to a tower to achieve better signal-to-noise ratio.
Operators don't have to make any changes to their networks, and end users can plug in the product without any outside assistance. George Lamb, Nextivity's vice president of support and operations, quipped that the product passed the mother-in-law test. If his mother-in-law could install it without any assistance, then anyone could install it. Praised by the venture capital community for having a detailed business plan, Nextivity has received a $16-million infusion from a number of investors, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Express Ventures and Founders Fund.
What's next: Nextivity is hitting it big in Europe. After trials with some 40 different operators, the company will begin shipping product in volume by the beginning of June.