LONDON Networking giant Cisco has taken a stake in femtocell pioneer ip.access (Cambridge, England). Neither the value of the stake, nor how much Cisco paid, has been disclosed.
Last February ip.access raised $10 million in a funding round led by Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd. Existing investors Intel Capital Corp., Rothschild & Cie Gestion and Scottish Equity Partners participated in the financing. Motorola Ventures also has a stake in the group.
To date, ip.access has raised $27 million in venture capital funding. The company was formed several years ago as a spinoff from TTPCom.
The femtocell cracks the challenge of cost-effective 3G roll-out by using advanced femtocell technology to provide low-cost indoor coverage for consumers using existing GSM/UMTS handsets. The system comprises an access point installed in a user's home and a management system integrated with the mobile operator's core network.
"We are delighted to have Cisco as an investor," Stephen Mallinson, CEO of ip.access, said in a statement Wednesday (January 23). "As the worldwide leader in Internet Protocol-based networks, Cisco brings complementary skills and experience to address the needs of operator and consumer."
Femtocells have been gaining attention recently from big corporations. Last year, Google invested, again an undisclosed amount, in another U.K. start-up Ubiquisys (Swindon, England), and many mobile phone operators have started trials and market testing of the technology.