Fund helps Ubiquisys meet femtocell demand

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Ubiquisys, the Swindon, UK-based developer of 3G femtocells, has completed a $9m (£6m) funding round led by 5 Continents Consulting Group (5CCG), with participation from new investor Yasuda Enterprise Development, as well as existing investors Advent Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Atlas Venture.

The capital will be used to accelerate the company’s programme to meet the demand for its femtocell technology − a demand that has partly been driven from new markets such as indoor hot-spots, metro and rural areas.

In the past 12 months, SFR and Softbank have successfully launched Ubiquisys femtocells in France and Japan, respectively, driving strong revenue growth. Softbank is one vendor that is offering the Ubiquisys femtocells for free, increasing consumer demand further.

’The femtocell market is ramping faster than we envisaged and the advent of the free model, pioneered by Softbank and enabled by Ubiquisys, will only increase that momentum,’ said Chris Gilbert, chief executive officer of Ubiquisys.

In March this year, the company confirmed that the $100 ’industry price point’ for commercial femtocells had been crossed. For years, industry pundits had been suggesting that only by doing so would femtocells move out of the hands of early adopters and niche applications, and into the consumer mainstream.

In the same month, Public Wireless announced the commercial availability of its Public Wireless Colo-Node High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) metro femtocell. Specifically targeted for outdoor hotspot locations, it contains up to four of Ubiquisys’ femtocells.

To assist designers in developing products, Ubiquisys produces what it calls ’Hardware Blueprints’, which enable manufacturers to produce femtocells for consumer and business applications, while its Femto-Engine software allows them to create a complete 3G femtocell with self-organising capabilities.