Ubiquisys raises $19M to aid tri-mode small cell effort

Ubiquisys has $19 million in new venture capital cash that it will use to hasten delivery of tri-mode 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi small cell hotspots.

The UK-based company said its latest investment round was oversubscribed and attracted funding from new investors Mobile Internet Capital and Nissay Capital, along with existing investors including 5 Continents Consulting Group (5CCG) and Sallfort Privatbank, Accel Partners, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture and Yasuda.

"Ubiquisys will use the capital to generate further profitable growth and accelerate delivery of innovative tri-mode 3G/LTE/WiFi small cell hotspots," said the company, adding it is building on its strength in residential and enterprise femtocells, which have gained it partnerships with 70 operators worldwide.

The company, which claims to have shipped 50,000 small cells, said immediate opportunities for its technologies include indoor public spaces such as cafes, malls, transport hubs and office public spaces. "Indoor is where most mobile data is consumed, where there is abundant low-cost fixed broadband for backhaul, where there are millions of available sites serving Wi-Fi today and where macro network cooperation is fully proven," said Ubiquisys.

The vendor also has worked with Texas Instruments and Broadcom on products. In May 2011, Ubiquisys announced a collaborative effort with Intel to create a new class of device described as "part small cell hotspot, part powerful computing platform" and which shifts rich content, cloud applications and core networking capabilities to the network edge.

The Ubiquisys small cell range includes public access hotspots, self-organizing networks for enterprise, modular residential small cells and satellite-linked small cells for remote locations. Ubiquisys' competitors in the small cell space include major infrastructure vendors Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ: ALU), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks and ZTE, as well as small cell specialists that include ip.access, Contela, Juni and Minieum Networks.

A study released earlier this year by Infonetics Research forecast 3 million small cells will be shipped by 2016, bringing the market value to $2.1 billion.

However, the femtocell market has been stagnant of late, according to ABI, which expects growth in the femtocell market will pick up from 2013 onwards once large operators begin refreshing their inventories. The market will grow at a CAGR of 63 percent to reach almost 28 million units in 2017 for revenue of $3.4 billion, said ABI. Consumer femtocells are the largest class of femtocells representing a 68 percent share of units in 2012 and 70 percent in 2017.

For more:
- see this Ubiquisys release

Related articles:
Analyst: Small cells benefit 3G networks more than LTE
Ruckus Wi-Fi gear preps O2 for small cell future
Sprint boosts femtocell count to 950,000
Femtocell shipments flatline due to slow inventory burn rate
Study: Small cell market to hit $2B by 2016, driven by capacity needs
Infonetics: Small cells taking off, femtos leaving home
Ubiquisys partners with Intel for small cells
Ubiquisys, Texas Instruments team for dual-mode WCDMA/LTE small cells

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