GIC invests in US firm behind spectrum controller

Federated Wireless closes $57m funding round with support from industry players

Sovereign wealth fund GIC is among investors who have injected US$42 million (S$57 million) into a United States telecommunications service provider.

Yesterday's announcement by Virginia-based Federated Wireless came as it unveiled a cloud-based software solution that will let multiple parties use a specific radio-frequency band simultaneously.

With the boom in wireless communication, "shared spectrum" has been floated as a way to address the limited amount of available electromagnetic spectrum frequencies.

The new product is touted as being able to boost the availability of frequencies and bands that meet the LTE standard for high-speed wireless communication.

Chief executive Iyad Tarazi said customers can now use it for field trials and commercial deployments ahead of the full green light from regulators expected early next year.

Mr Bryan Yeo, GIC's chief investment officer for public equities, said dynamic sharing of the spectrum "is an innovative and leading method of addressing the future need for bandwidth by data-intensive applications".

"We are confident in the long- term potential of dynamic sharing... leading to a more efficient utilisation of scarce spectrum resources, better indoor coverage, more innovative services... as well as the provision of wireless broadband access by a greater number of players."

Federated Wireless clinched the multimillion-dollar sum in a Series B funding round that included US cable operator Charter Communications, TV and Internet technology provider Arris International, and communications real estate player American Tower Corporation.

Mr Tarazi, who was network development and engineering vice- president at American telco Sprint, said: "Spectrum sharing will dramatically reduce the cost of delivering wireless services, with our technology serving as the on-ramp."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2017, with the headline GIC invests in US firm behind spectrum controller. Subscribe