CommScope nabs small cell vendor Airvana with an eye on C-RAN deployments

CommScope, which focuses on designing, building and managing wireless networks, is adding small cells to its portfolio of products and solutions by buying privately-held small cell specialist Airvana. CommScope aims to use the deal to help it in Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) deployments. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Airvana was founded in 2000 and is one of the world leaders in small cells. The firm has shipped 1.5 million small cells and supports one of the largest small cell networks in the world, CommScope noted. Airvana CEO Richard Lowe and Vedat Eyuboglu, Airvana's co-founder and CTO, will be joining CommScope, as will Airvana's existing employees, most of whom are in Chelmsford, Mass., and Bangalore, India. The acquired business will continue to be headquartered in Chelmsford and will operate within CommScope's wireless segment when the deal is completed.

The deal, which is expected to be completed within the next 60 days, will give CommScope a leg up in the market for indoor wireless coverage and capacity solution. That could win CommScope more business with carriers looking to deploy small cells to support both their consumers wireless businesses and enterprise solutions. CommScope also said that it will look to combine Airvana's small cell portfolio with its own distributed antenna systems (DAS) offerings to support a wide range of deployments, from single-operator, low-capacity ones to more complex, multi-carrier deployments in high-traffic environments.  

CommScope also said that as more carriers deploy C-RAN technology, the combination will let it offer more flexible solutions to them. C-RAN technology leverages distributed base station architecture to enable a host of benefits, such as savings on capital expenditures and operating costs, increased asset utilization and savings on energy.

"Airvana has differentiated itself in the emerging indoor small cell market through its unique product architecture and innovation," Morgan Kurk, senior vice president and wireless segment leader at CommScope, said in a statement. "With a 15-year track record of delivering mobile broadband infrastructure products that meet the requirements of Tier 1 operators, Airvana's carrier-grade embedded software development capabilities are impressive and complementary to CommScope."

"Our breakthrough Cloud RAN small cell architecture represents a dramatic advance in wireless performance, capacity and deployment economics," Eyuboglu added. "With CommScope, we will be perfectly positioned to realize its full potential."

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