December - 2014 - Special issue > si 50 Fastest Growing Companies

Airvana: Enjoying Small Cell Market Leadership with Vast Experience, Customer Exposure & Revolutionary technology

Kavitha G.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Kavitha G.
Communication technology is no longer an enabler, but has seized a much more responsible position of survival-must ingredient of everyone's existence today. According to the recent U.N. Broadband Commission Worldwide report, the mobile broadband over Smartphones and tablets has become the fastest growing technology in human history. Today, it is an unarguable fact that through the rapidly breeding technology like 3G and 4G, information can be accessed anywhere anytime at any speed. But rewinding a decade back where the idea of using a mobile phone to access data was considered beyond the bounds of possibility, it was company named Airvana with product development in Bangalore who endeavoured to foray into the bright future of the present era and the same early understanding of the market needs led to the strategic growth of the company over the years.

Airvana was founded in 2000 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. 3G EV-DO channel cards and RNCs, the company's very first product for macro cell mobile broadband itself, crowned Airvana as a market leader, since these innovative platforms were adopted by Verizon, Sprint and 90 other mobile network operators across the globe. Being the only OEM partner for pioneers of 3G CGMA equipments, Airvana was the backbone to those solutions. Around 2006, Airvana foresaw the necessity for increased bandwidth and realized that their macro network won't be able to suffice that need. Despite the surging business opportunities brought by macro mobile broadband, addicted to leading the world with ground-breaking innovations, the company entered into the small cell technology arena. "Small cell is nine-fold more cost-effective than DAS market that runs in billions. Hence, there is no reason not to switch, as long as we can demonstrate that this works better then DAS. Being in the latest and greatest 4G technology, obviously our innovations will continue," says Sriram Sankaran, Director, Airvana.

Airvana, the global market share leader in small cells (sometimes known as femtocells), is also celebrated for OneCell - a unique, aesthetically-pleasing, multi-operator solution - that fits perfectly into the cost-conscious Indian market. OneCell provides tenfold improvement rate and data rates along with impressive economics for operator vis-a-vis macro for LTE (4G mobile communications standard). Using futuristic cloud RAN architecture, the OneCell Baseband Controller and multiple Radio Points forms a single 'super' cell that eliminates small cell handovers and interference issues. Thus, it creates a high-performing splendid LTE experience for end-users; justifying the name '5 Bars' with unprecedented coverage.

A founding member of Small Cell Forum, Airvana instigated commercial small cell shipments in 2010. Having already earned the trust of numerous enterprises worldwide with vast experience in macro, unsurprisingly Airvana took the lead in overall small cell market as well within 2011, mainly due to the rapid adoption by tier-1 customers and higher average revenue per user. In 2011, Airvana was listed as market share leader after meticulous independent analysis by two market research firms, Infonetics and ABI. Having shipped over 1.5 million small cells and serving 2.5 million users daily, the company is now moving towards residential and enterprise 4G small cell cloud RAN solutions.

The company has also been honored with several awards and recognitions including the coveted CTIA Emerging Technology Award-2014 and named as visionary in Gartner's magic quadrant for OneCell. Most recently, at Mobile World Congress 2015, Airvana's OneCell won the GSMA's Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough Award, given to the most significant breakthrough technology in the entire mobile ecosystem, and the Outstanding Overall Technology CTO's Choice award, that was chosen from among the winners of all six Best Technology categories by a panel of CTOs from sixteen leading mobile network operators from around the world, making it the top technology honor at the prestigious industry awards.

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