Federated Wireless has gained another $13.7 million in funding from current investors, to bolster the company’s resources to deliver Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum-based private networks as well as leverage 6 GHz spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to soon open up for shared use.
The additional Series C funding for Federated comes from Allied Minds and Pennant Investors. Federated said that the money will “accelerate expansion and adoption of the company’s partnership with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to offer Connectivity-as-a-Service” as well as “provide a new path to 1,000 MHz of spectrum for private wireless networks by expansion into the 6 GHz band for 5G services.”
“The rapid adoption and general enthusiasm that 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,” said Federated President and CEO Iyad Tarazi. “Our newest developments, CaaS and extending the Spectrum Controller to 6 GHz, have greatly expanded our footprint and our opportunities, and I would like to thank our investors for continuing to support us as we continue to grow.”
The FCC is set to vote this week on draft rules that will open up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum at 6 GHz for unlicensed use, with two initial operating parameters: standard-power transmission in 850 megahertz of the band and indoor, lower-power operations across the full 1,200 megahertz. Another proposed rulemaking would add a third category of “very low-power,” short-range devices with high data rates, such as augmented/virtual-reality wearables. Operations in the band are to be coordinated via an automated frequency coordination system, which the FCC says will “prevent standard-power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services.”
Federated already has expanded the capabilities of its Spectrum Controller to 6 GHz to provide that capability. Federated’s automated frequency controller (AFC) is deployed in current trials and expected to be be available for commercial use by the end of this year. “This is a significant leap forward for the wireless industry and for U.S. operators and enterprises that will soon be able to take advantage of unlicensed use of 1,200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band,” the company said. Federated added that a number of countries in the European Union and in Asia are also expected to follow the FCC’s lead over the next two years.
Federated had announced in February that its connectivity-as-a-service solution would be available to order like other IT network resources, via AWS and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. The company also recently launched an online community, my federated, which includes a customer and partner support portal and an information repository about deploying CBRS networks. Tarazi said in a blog post that the company had been planning my federated for some time, but accelerated the launch in response to the ongoing pandemic, in part to provide a forum for interactions related to CBRS and private networks when face-to-face meetings are falling by the wayside.
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