What’s up with… Pivotal Commware, XL Axiata, broadband in India

TelecomTV Staff
By TelecomTV Staff

Feb 11, 2021

  • Pivotal Commware raises $50 million
  • Indonesian operator checks out Open RAN
  • Mobile data usage growth is rampant in India

A cash injection for a mmWave tech specialist, Open RAN action in Indonesia and interesting mobile data stats from India top today’s news bill.

  • Pivotal Commware, a Kirkland, Washington-based developer of mmWave technology that enables 5G mobile and fixed wireless access (FWA) services, has raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding. “As the telecom industry evolves globally, we believe that Pivotal is at the forefront of the next wave of telecom infrastructure providers,” said the company’s CEO, Brian Deutsch. “For 5G, ultra-wideband mmWave is the real game changer and Pivotal has built the complete solution for rapid, cost-effective deployment of these high-value networks.” For further details, see this announcement.
  • Indonesian operator XL Axiata is trialing Open RAN technology in its network on the island of Ambon with Mavenir as its technology partner, the operator announced. “We chose Ambon as the Open RAN trial location with the consideration that this area has good business potential for network expansion in the future. The successful trial run in Ambon has opened up opportunities for the implementation of Open RAN in all rural areas of Indonesia, including in Eastern Indonesia Region,” noted CTO I Gede Darmayusa. The operator plans further Open RAN trials “with other technology partners in order to get more options before implementation,” before moving to a pilot project “to further ascertain how much benefit this technology can bring.” Indonesia is something of a hot bed of Open RAN activity right now… (See Indonesian operators put Open RAN to the test.)
  • Nokia has unveiled its Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index, which finds that the country’s data traffic volumes have grown by nearly 60 times in just five years and that 99 per cent of it is now 4G traffic. Individual consumption worked out at 13.5 GB of data usage per subscriber per month in 2020, making India one of the more mature mobile markets. To generate all that traffic Indians spent about 5 hours a day on their smartphones - one of highest rates of use in the world. And the market is still growing fast. 4G subscribers surpassed 700 million in 2020, with 100 million new additions during the year. The short video format is the fastest-growing content category and is expected to grow four more times by 2025. Fixed wired broadband and fixed wireless access are expected to be the next big growth areas: There are only 22 million fixed broadband subscribers currently, leaving plenty of room for more explosive growth as India prepares to launch 5G. Nokia calculates that fixed broadband accessibility through Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and FTTx will help generate a new revenue stream for operators.
  • Vodafone is set to add Olaf Swantee, the former CEO of EE (now BT’s mobile division) and Swiss operator Sunrise, to its board from late July, subject to shareholder approval. Swantee is a well known and influential figure in the telecoms sector and is currently Executive Chairman of alternative UK broadband network operator Community Fibre. 
  • Giant Latin American operator América Móvil (287.5 million mobile customers) has joined an increasingly crowded bandwagon by announcing plans to form a new, independent company that will own and manage its towers and other passive assets. Australia's Telstra has just announced plans to sell and lease back space on its towers. 

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