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Rakuten, Qualcomm & Tech Mahindra Back Altiostar in $114M Round

May 9, 2019

Altiostar has closed a $114 million Series C round of financing with Rakuten coming on board as an investor. In early 2018, Qualcomm Ventures LLC and Tech Mahindra also participated in the C-round as investors. This financing will be used to expand Altiostar's virtual RAN solution to encompass 4G and 5G products allowing telecom operators to build end-to-end web-scale cloud native networks.

In their recent report, Worldwide 5G Network Infrastructure Forecast, 20182022, IDC expects the largest percentage of overall investment to be spent in the RAN portion of 5G networks, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 156.6% between 2018 and 2022. Virtualization is seen by operators as a means to convert networks into a software-defined infrastructure that can scale with the agility required to meet this explosion of devices and applications.

"A round of this magnitude, backed by global technology leaders like Rakuten, Qualcomm Ventures and Tech Mahindra, signifies the immense 5G opportunity we have in front of us as well as the progress we have made developing our virtualized RAN technology. Our unique open vRAN solution is designed to improve the quality of experience, enhance spectral efficiency and significantly reduce Total Cost of Ownership. With this funding, and these strategic partners, we're excited about our ability to deliver this breakthrough software defined solution to network operators globally as they prepare for the 5G future," said Ashraf M. Dahod, president and chief executive officer at Altiostar.

Concurrently with this financing round, Altiostar has agreements solidifying its relationship with each of its strategic partners.

Rakuten which is deploying the Altiostar solution in their mobile network and the companies are collaborating on the development of 5G solutions.

Qualcomm Technologies Inc., which has entered into a development collaboration agreement with Altiostar.
Tech Mahindra has signed a value-added-reseller/system integrator contract with Altiostar.

The Rakuten Group, headquartered in Japan, offers a variety of services in e-commerce, fintech, communications and digital content. After being granted spectrum by the Japanese government in early 2018, Rakuten plans to launch an innovative, end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network in October 2019.

"Rakuten shares Altiostar's vision of open, virtualized radio access networks: The Altiostar vRAN solution is one of the key enablers of the end-to-end cloud-native, software-defined network we will launch in Japan this year. Through our work with Altiostar, we aim to take the lead in driving RAN virtualization and disrupting the mobile industry," said Tareq Amin, CTO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc.

"Qualcomm Technologies is committed to not only developing 5G technologies to help create new experiences and transform businesses and industries, but also to investing in companies that align with our vision. Qualcomm Ventures' investment in Altiostar reflects our confidence in the ability of disaggregated RAN and vRAN architectures to transform mobile networks. We look forward to collaborating on the development of new 5G product solutions," said Brian Modoff, executive vice president, strategy and M&A, Qualcomm Incorporated.

"Tech Mahindra's network service portfolio includes all aspects of building, deploying and operating radio access networks. Tech Mahindra has extended its regional services capabilities and global reach through strategic acquisitions and has a truly global presence to help provide scale to emerging technologies like Altiostar's open vRAN solution," said Manish Vyas, President, Communications, Media & Entertainment Business, & CEO, Network Services, Tech Mahindra.

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