Quantenna Communications - Wi-Fi - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2014

Fierce 15

Where it's based: Fremont, Calif.
When it was founded: 2006
Website: www.quantenna.com

Why it's Fierce: "'Good enough' Wi-Fi is no longer good enough," explained David Carroll, vice president of worldwide sales for Quantenna Communications. That's exactly the thinking behind Quantenna's business--and its successes in the market.

Founded eight years ago in Silicon Valley and backed by roughly $149 million in venture capital money, Quantenna and its 205 employees are working to ensure Wi-Fi does not become a commodity. To do that, the company is developing silicon and software that can transmit Wi-Fi data faster, farther and more dependably.

What exactly does that mean? Quantenna boasts Wi-Fi with the same quality and reliability as wired Ethernet, delivering "up to four HD video streams at more than 200 Mbps data rates, over 300 feet, with near-zero packet error rate (PER) data transfers, regardless of signal impairments and other interferences in the home."

"We are in a very high-growth revenue ramp mode," Carroll said, noting that--although he declined to provide specifics--Quantenna's revenues grew significantly over last year's figures, and the company expects that to happen again this year. "We expect that growth to continue."

Quantenna has made its mark by selling its Wi-Fi chipsets and associated software to OEMs like Cisco and Arris that supply Wi-Fi equipment to service providers like AT&T (NYSE: T), DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), Swisscom, Telefónica, Orange and Rostelecom. Indeed, Telefónica and Swisscom have strategic investments in Quantenna.

Today, Carroll said Quantenna's technology is being used to deliver HD- and 4K-quality video in the home, and in the future could aid in the development of the Internet of Things market, where all manner of high- and low-band connections will be powered through Wi-Fi.

What's next: "Going forward, we've raised the bar yet again," Carroll said, pointing to Quantenna's latest chip that supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Further, Carroll said the telecom industry's increasing focus on Wi-Fi as a possible alternative to cellular--a notion discussed by top cable and MVNO executives--could help drive interest in Quantenna's solutions. "We believe that trend (of Wi-Fi as an offload for and possible alternative to cellular) is here to stay--and is only going to accelerate," Carroll said.

Quantenna Communications - Wi-Fi - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2014