Federated Wireless snags an added $13.7M to accelerate private wireless networks

Federated Wireless today announced it secured $13.7 million in additional Series C funding from existing investors Allied Minds and Pennant Investors. According to Crunchbase, the added funding brings its total funds raised to more than $130 million.

Federated is a leader in the ecosystem for CBRS spectrum. Led by President and CEO Iyad Tarazi, the company was founded in 2012 and established itself as a Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrator. It’s deployed its Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) network to enable sharing in the 3.5 GHz CBRS band.

Tim McDonald of Pennant Investors said in a statement: “Over the last three decades, control and management of scarce spectrum assets has been the driver of hundreds of billions of dollars in market capitalization for wireless carriers in the U.S. Federated Wireless is the clear market leader in delivering spectrum as-a-service, turning what had previously been a high fixed-cost asset – spectrum licenses – into a variable, price-per-connection service.”

In February, Federated announced it was delivering a Connectivity-as-a-Service offering for enterprises through partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The services will allow U.S. enterprises to buy and deploy private 4G and 5G networks with a single click through the cloud providers’ marketplaces.

RELATED: Federated launches new CBRS services with AWS, Microsoft Azure

During a recent FierceWireless virtual panel about private wireless networks over CBRS, Federated CTO Kurt Schaubach said, “The goal is to make deploying a private LTE or private 5G network as simple as possible. We’ve found working with customers that there’s tremendous pent-up demand for private networks, but the challenge is: it’s difficult for an enterprise to wrap their head around what it takes.”

Federated and 6 GHz

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced early this month that he’s circulating draft rules permitting unlicensed devices to operate in the 6 GHz band, making all 1,200 MHz of spectrum available for unlicensed. 

In anticipation (and hope) of this move by the FCC, Federated has been applying what it’s learned in CBRS to the 6 GHz band, where it has created a spectrum controller to enable spectrum sharing.

The 6 GHz band currently is used by licensee incumbents to provide microwave links for utilities, public safety, transportation and other uses. Federated Wireless’ new automated frequency controller (AFC) would be used to protect those incumbents from interference while allowing for new users in the spectrum.

RELATED: Federated Wireless gets ready to enable sharing in 6 GHz band

Chairman Pai has said that freeing up 6 GH spectrum would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five.