‘Industrial IoT is a first mover’ – Federated sets path to 1000MHz of private LTE/5G
Federated Wireless has announced it has secured $13.7 million in additional Series C funding from existing investors Allied Minds and Pennant Investors.
The funding will accelerate its partnership with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to offer connectivity-as-a-service, which has seen most business in the industrial IoT space. It will also provide a new pathway to 1,000 MHz of spectrum for private wireless networks by expansion into the 6 GHz band for 5G services.
Kurt Schaubach, chief technology officer at Federated Wireless, told Enterprise IoT Insights: “We are seeing the demand for more automation across market segments – logistics, warehousing, retail – in both the public and private sectors. Industrial IoT is a first mover in this space and we’re working with both Amazon and Microsoft to offer IoT bundles that combine their IoT solutions with our connectivity service.”
Federated Wireless announced “one-click” CBRS-as-a-service availability via AWS and Microsoft Azure, and heralded its “overnight” momentum last month, as enterprises, carriers, and cable companies started to pile into the CBRS band. It has also confirmed it will white-label its private-networking as-a-service offer to operators, cable companies, and IoT providers.
The proposed ‘1,000 MHz of spectrum’ for private LTE and 5G covers 150 MHz of CBRS spectrum, plus 850 MHz of the 6 GHz band the FCC has set aside for shared usage with an automated frequency controller (AFC). The FCC is expected to finalise rules for 6 GHz shared operation later this month (April), with a number of countries in the European Union and in Asia expected to follow suit by 2022.
Federated Wireless has already extended its own AFC tool, presented as a Spectrum Controller platform, in trials, as an industry-first, to enable spectrum sharing in the 6 GHz band, allowing operators and enterprises to accelerate delivery of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G services.
The new Spectrum Controller functionality is expected to be available for commercial use by the end of 2020. US operators and enterprises will be able to take advantage of unlicensed use of 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band.
Tim McDonald of Pennant Investors, commented: “Federated Wireless is… turning what had previously been a high fixed cost asset – spectrum licenses – into a variable, price-per-connection service. This is a game changer in wireless, enabling not only wireless carriers and cable companies, but also cloud service providers such as AWS and Microsoft, to offer valuable connectivity services over shared spectrum resources.”
Iyad Tarazi, president and chief at Federated Wireless, said: “The rapid adoption and general enthusiasm we have seen since FCC approval for commercial deployment of CBRS is even greater than we anticipated, and is driving both Federated Wireless and the wireless industry as a whole to new heights. Our newest developments, connectivity-as-a-service and extending the Spectrum Controller to 6 GHz, have greatly expanded our footprint and our opportunities.”
Federated Wireless said early last month it had 35 customers and 2,000-odd cell sites in the CBRS band, with 40 private LTE networks in deployment and 100 more “in the pipeline”, with new cell sites lighting up at a rate of about 100 per day.
Full interview with Federated Wireless to follow next week.