Bankrupt millimetre wave supplier restructures, new lease of life

Bankrupt millimetre wave supplier restructures, new lease of life

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd (CBNL) was established in 2000 when ten engineers from Cambridge University in the UK secured private equity funding for its millimetre wave (mmWave) communications technology. It had raised over £99m for its point to multipoint platform called VectaStar which has been deployed in over 50 countries for mobile backhaul, small cell backhaul, enterprise access and ISP networks at 26GHz and 10.5GHz mmWave bands. Customers include seven of the world’s top ten mobile operators.

But company collapsed into administration in February 2020 owing £14m to creditors. It has now restructured as Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) Ltd and Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Africa.

CBNG retains the IP and manufacturing capability of CBNL as well as all the engineering, design and support know-how of the existing VectaStar product range, and will operate directly in the North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and APAC regions. It is also looking for new value added reseller (VAR) partners.

The company says it has ‘reset’ existing manufacturing and supplier relationships, and started developing a new millimetre wave, fixed wireless point-to-multipoint platform.

Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Africa, now a separate company, will provide VectaStar products and services directly customers in the African region from its offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

“We are thrilled to unveil our rebrand as we build upon our world-renowned reputation for setting the bar in network resilience and support in the licensed FWA space. Our new structure enables us to continue to offer the reliable, superior FWA solutions we are known for while breaking into new markets,” said Nigel Hall, Chief Executive Officer at CBNG, who joined CBNL in 2019 as the chief restructuring officer.

“With the rollout of 5G, the emphasis is very much on ubiquitous, high-speed coverage and FWA provides a vehicle for delivering this. We are looking forward to meeting the new challenges that this new era of connectivity presents and providing cost-effective solutions for the future of FWA,” he said.

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