Mavenir files for proposed IPO

Mavenir
The 15-year-old company based in Richardson, Texas, has gone through several corporate iterations. (FierceWireless)(Fierce Wireless)

Mavenir filed a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) form today for a proposed initial public offering (IPO). If approved, the company would list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange. The SEC Form S-1 includes a $100 million placeholder, meaning the company would seek funding in the low nine-figure range.

The 15-year-old company based in Richardson, Texas, has gone through several corporate iterations. According to its company timeline, Mavenir went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. But in 2015 it was acquired by Mitel and renamed as Mitel Mobile. In 2017 Mavenir relaunched as a stand-alone private company and splashed onto the virtualization scene by purchasing the vEPC business of Brocade.

At this point, Mavenir is primarily a purveyor of open radio access network (RAN) software for next-gen distributed RANs. For the baseband unit, its software runs on general-purpose hardware from the likes of Intel and Dell. And it works with third-party radio vendors for their equipment

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The company was the first vendor that Dish Network named for its new greenfield wireless network.

RELATED: Dish names Mavenir as first vendor for 5G network build

Mavenir’s software is also live in Vodafone’s network in the U.K. In August, Vodafone U.K. switched on an open RAN 4G site in Wales with Mavenir software. The carrier plans to use open RAN to more cost-effectively extend 4G services to rural communities and introduce new suppliers in the RAN supply chain.

And Mavenir is also a vendor in Rakuten Mobile’s greenfield network in Japan where it provides the instant messaging and rich communications service (RCS) software, which runs as VNFs on Rakuten’s telco cloud.

John Baker, SVP of business development at Mavenir, participated in the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) event on open RAN. Baker stressed the importance of open RAN interfaces, a topic that’s near and dear to the company’s corporate heart.

“We see open RAN as somewhat the correction of the standardization process that took place over the last 10-plus years,” said Baker at the FCC event. “It’s all about open interfaces. Unless you also get the x interfaces open such that gNodeBs can talk to each other and avoiding the hard hand-off, you’ve still got issues.” He said without open x interfaces, it’s “very hard for operators to mix and match vendors in the same area.”

Mavenir’s CEO Pardeep Kohli last year talked with Fierce about interfaces such as CPRI. Kohli said just because some vendors are starting to open their interfaces, that still doesn’t mean that there’s any standardization between different vendors’ CPRI. “O-RAN and eCPRI are addressing a similar market," said Kohli. "O-RAN is a spec designed to address the problem from scratch. With O-RAN, I don’t need to know the spec from the other guy. We’re all following the same spec.”

RELATED: Mavenir acquires ip.access to add 2G/3G support for open RAN

Just last month, Mavenir acquired ip.access, a U.K.-based small cell provider specializing in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G-ready solutions. The purchase price was not disclosed. The acquisition gives Mavenir the ability to support earlier wireless technology generations that are in need of open RAN.

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