Wireless base station developer ip.access Ltd has received 8.5m pounds ($14.7m) of venture funding that it will use to finance the expansion of its second-generation pico business and to develop third-generation access points for use in homes and small businesses to support fixed-mobile convergence.
The Cambridge, UK-based spinout from mobile handset IP developer TTP Communications Plc offers its small base stations to improve in-building cellular coverage and capacity.
The company quoted a recent survey that claimed 70% of users experience coverage problems at work, and 34% have changed operators as a result of poor coverage. It believes cellular capacity in buildings will become even more important as networks migrate to 3G and as call minutes move from fixed to mobile.
ip.access claims to produce the world’s smallest GSM base stations which are designed to be deployed inside buildings and communicate with operators’ infrastructure using broadband IP links. Its customers include T-Mobile USA, Telfort in the Netherlands, and Spring Mobil in Sweden.
The funding reduces TTP Communications holding in ip.access to 47.5%. After completion, up to 2m pounds ($3.5m) additional investment will be sought by ip.access. This will be used to repurchase shares held by TTP and this would reduce its holding to 36.5%, or 32.3% on a fully diluted basis.
The funding was led by Scottish Equity Partners and included Intel Capital Corporation, and Rothschild & Cie Gestion.