Federated Wireless Raises US$58m In Series D Round, Restates Mission To Scale Private 5G


By James Blackman

US-based Federated Wireless, offering shared spectrum services in the CBRS band, has raised US$58 million in Series D funding. The new investment will go to accelerate growth in enterprise markets, it said, with a major focus to “simplify” and “democratise” private LTE and 5G systems, and scale the company’s own private wireless platform. It has long-held an ambition to expand into international markets.

The round was led by “an affiliate of” Cerberus Capital Management, a New York-based ​​mid-market “direct lending platform”, with further funding from two existing investors, US-based intellectual property commercialisation firm Allied Minds and Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC. Federated Wireless, founded in 2012, wants private cellular, sprung by spectrum liberalisation and sharing systems, to drive digital change across industries.

It will use its new money to take the hassle out of network design and deployment, including the question of how to access dedicated spectrum resources. It said “[The] goal is to simplify and automate how wireless networks are purchased, deployed, provisioned, and managed, making it easier for organisations to customise their network to business requirements, and speed time to market with advancements in IoT, VR/AR, and other digital technologies.”

Federated Wireless, the first to offer a spectrum access system (SAS) mechanic in the US, has so far helped 350 customers to access shared CBRS spectrum and start to deploy dedicated LTE networks; it reckons 85,000 devices have been connected in CBRS spectrum allocated by its SAS platform. The CBRS band, like equivalent (varied) spectrum provisions in other industrial nations, is being used by enterprises of all stripes.

Federated Wireless claims customers in the defence, government, manufacturing, telecommunications, utilities, real estate, and education markets, among others; it cites Charter, Comcast, Verizon, the US Department of Defense, and Carnegie Mellon University, among its public references. It said the new funds will go, generally, to expand its edge solutions in collaboration with key partners including AWS, Intel, HPE-Aruba, JMA, and Cisco.

Its idea about platform simplification – covering the whole cellular commissioning process – gets into the subject of all-in network deployment and hands-off network management; Federated Wireless said it will invest in cloud-native tools to bring “automation, application analytics, and zero-touch provisioning”. There was something in the press announcement, as well, about “mobilising the ecosystem” around business development and sales.

It said as well it will work to expand its platform capabilities for frequency sharing in 6 GHz spectrum, and “promoting its adoption domestically and internationally”. The company will invest in its own sales and marketing divisions. With the new Series D round, a senior advisor at Cerberus, Shaygan Kheradpir joins the board at Federated Wireless; as well, industry veteran Chris Swan has joined as chief commercial officer.

Chief executive at Federated Wireless, Iyad Tarazi said: “Private wireless will deliver the type of transformation for enterprises that the cloud delivered for IT infrastructure. This investment will enable us to scale our spectrum platforms, invest in commercialization, and accelerate private wireless market adoption.”

Kheradpir said: “Federated Wireless has revolutionised the way enterprise networks are delivered, transforming the economics of wireless for mobility while opening the door to high performance connectivity and industrial automation. We are excited to support its mission to advance shared spectrum and private 5G.”

Chief investment officer for public equities at GIC, Bryan Yeo said: “Federated Wireless is powering innovation in how networks are delivered and reshaping wireless connectivity for a cloud-driven world. As a long-term investor, we are confident that the global demand for bandwidth will continue to grow, and Federated Wireless is providing essential technologies and services to lead in this space.”

Chairman of the board at Allied Minds, Harry Rein said: “I’m proud of Federated Wireless’ achievements. The company has gained share, surpassed development milestones and secured significant customer implementations moving into 2022.  Our investors are excited about the company’s market positioning, and optimistic about near-term revenue prospects as well as the growth of the market at large.”

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