ip.access, the award-winning market leader in femtocell and picocell technologies, announced that Cisco® has made an investment in the company. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Already cash-positive with its existing 2G picocell business, ip.access has secured funding from an impressive array of industry supporters for its breakthrough Oyster 3G(tm) femtocell, which is currently in trials with major mobile network operators globally. Existing ip.access investors include Scottish Equity Partners, Rothschild Gestion, Intel Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, ADC and Motorola Ventures.
Building on ip.access’ unique experience in cellular-over-IP technology, the Oyster 3G femtocell is a low-power wireless access point which plugs into a residential broadband DSL or cable connection to deliver a 3G mobile phone signal indoors. With operators increasingly seeking to exploit the benefits of all-IP networks, femtocells are a natural choice for delivering cost-effective 3G coverage and high-speed data capacity to mobile phone users at home. Analysts are predicting a huge market for femtocells: a recent report from IDATE forecasts that 10 million UMTS femtocells will ship worldwide in 2010, rising to 18 million in 2011.
Operators plan to integrate femtocell technology within residential gateways and set-top boxes, such as those offered by Cisco’s consumer products business. These integrated products will help enable fixed broadband and mobile services to be bundled together. They will also ultimately help enable mobile phones to better communicate with PCs, TVs and other devices in the ‘Connected Home’ – for example, a slideshow of photos captured on a camera phone could be displayed on a TV set.
“We are delighted to have Cisco as an investor,” said Stephen Mallinson, CEO of ip.access. “As the worldwide leader in Internet Protocol-based networks, Cisco brings complementary skills and experience to address the needs of operator and consumer customers.”
ip.access’ 2G picocells are already deployed in more than 30 live networks around the world. The company was recently selected as a Red Herring 100 Global Award winner. It also won numerous awards during 2007 for its Oyster 3G femtocell technology, including a Global Mobile award for ‘Best Radio Access Product’, Light Reading’s ‘Leading Light’ Award for ‘Best New Product from a Private Company’, and a World Communication Award for ‘Best Technology Foresight.’
ip.access will be demonstrating the capabilities of the Oyster 3G femtocell at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 11-14 February 2008.
Based in Cambridge, UK, ip.access ltd is a leading manufacturer of cost-effective picocell and femtocell infrastructure solutions for GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G. These solutions bring IP and cellular technologies together and solve in-building access problems for mobile operators, opening up new revenue streams while defending existing business. ip.access is the company behind the Oyster 3G(tm) femtocell, winner of numerous industry awards including the Best Radio Access Product at the 2007 Global Mobile Awards. The Oyster 3G dramatically increases 3G cell capacity and coverage; improves quality of experience; and drives down costs. Oyster 3G is ready for today’s mobile networks and tomorrow’s IMS infrastructure. The ip.access nanoGSM® is the world’s most deployed picocell solution for cellular networks. It provides GSM, GPRS and EDGE coverage and capacity for offices, shops and using satellite backhaul passenger aircraft, ships and in remote rural areas. With more than 30 live networks around the world and many more being deployed, ip.access is the partner of choice for operators competing in the new converged marketplace. ip.access counts Scottish Equity Partners, Rothschild Gestion, Intel Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, ADC, Cisco and Motorola Ventures among its shareholders.