Mavenir expand open RAN business by buying ip.access

Mavenir expands open RAN business by buying ip.access

28 September 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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US open RAN specialist Mavenir has bought UK small-cell company ip.access in a move that will further consolidate a rapidly growing sector of the mobile equipment industry.

Privately help ip.access will operate as a business unit within Mavenir’s emerging business group, said the US company this morning. It is expected to develop strong synergies with Mavenir’s open RAN (ORAN), cloud core, edge and analytics suites.

Nick Johnson, founder and CTO of ip.access added: “It’s not just consumer services anymore, but industrial private networks, professional closed group networks for financial, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, among many others. We look forward to applying our long experience in private networks to complement Mavenir’s existing portfolio in serving this hugely expanded customer base.”

ip.access, based in Cambourne, just outside of Cambridge, has more than 50 live networks deployed globally with communications service providers, it said this morning, and “hundreds of private networks for industry, critical infrastructures, data monetisation, security and surveillance”.

According to its annual report for the year ending 31 March 2020, ip.access had sales of £9.3 million in the year, down from £11.5 million the previous year. It made a loss in the latest financial year of £1.3 million.

UK government will see the acquisition as yet another loss to the country’s high tech industry, following the proposed sale of SoftBank-owned chip designer Arm – also in Cambridge – to Nvidia and Microsoft’s purchase in July 2020 of Metaswitch.

Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir’s president and CEO, said: “Operators are looking to transform their 2G/3G networks as they migrate to 4G and 5G. We expect to provide a seamless, multi radio access technology single RAN offering for those operators that allows them to have the benefits of advanced radio solutions across all layers.”

A statement from Mavenir this morning said the unified company would expand its 2G and 3G capabilities to ORAN, and add “a full suite of enterprise radio solutions for Mavenir’s private network offerings”.

There’s also a role in what the Texas-based Mavenir calls “non-traditional networks”, including aviation, maritime, rural and remote networks with next generation solutions in the air, on land and at sea.

Richard Staveley, ip.access CEO, said: “Many subscribers in many networks and geographies need GSM and 3G service with LTE even as 5G is introduced. Mavenir’s open RAN and enterprise solutions combined with ip.access’s multi-radio access technologies positions the combined company perfectly for that future.”

Aniruddho Basu, Mavenir’s head of emerging business, said: “ip.access brings a strong foothold in 2G, 3G and 4G as well as in the enterprise space that we believe augments Mavenir’s market leadership. Combining our assets enhances our end-to-end network proposition, provides a ‘multi-G’ single RAN evolution path for carriers, and creates a market leading proposition for the private networks enterprise market.”