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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2018

Enabling Cellular Coverage in Areas That Cannot Be Covered Profitably With Existing Technology: Vanu

thesiliconreview-logo-vanu-18Vanu, Inc. creates a solution for places that don’t have good coverage today. Every operator would like to color in the whole coverage map, and the only reason they do not is that current technology does not make it cost effective to provide coverage in many areas such as inside of buildings, in rural areas, in tunnels, and on ships. Vanu’s solutions combine technology and business model innovation to reduce the total cost of ownership of wireless networks. The Vanu innovative solution enables profitable cellular coverage in areas that cannot be covered with existing technology

The company grew out of groundbreaking research in software radio at MIT and was founded in 1998. Vanu is the developer of the Anywave® Base Station. Anywave was the first commercial Radio Access Network (RAN) product to simultaneously support multiple cellular radio standards on the same platform and the first U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-certified software radio. In addition, it is the first Radio Access Network (RAN) product to simultaneously support multiple cellular radio standards on the same platform. Vanu’s software RAN solutions are developed through the use of Software Defined Radio (SDR).

Traditionally, wireless infrastructure manufacturers have developed single-standard, high-power, high-capacity networks to address cellular coverage needs. These dedicated networks require a large financial investment that took a long time to generate positive returns on that initial investment. As new technologies emerged, so did the need for additional investment to build a new radio access network (RAN) to support each additional standard.

Vanu, Inc. developed the first commercially available software radio access network (RAN) that lets wireless carriers operate multiple standards simultaneously on a single platform. That means GSM, CDMA, iDEN and more… all operating simultaneously from a single base station.

Vanu’s software RAN solutions have the ability to transform the wireless infrastructure industry in the same fashion the PC changed the computer industry. For decades, computers were a vertically integrated industry where a single ven­dor provided an end-to-end solution that included all components – processor, motherboard, operating system, and applications. Over time, the industry has transformed into a horizontal framework for customers to purchase each of these components from multiple vendors.

In the wireless infrastructure industry, a vertically integrated single vendor solution that included the BTS, BSC, base­band, RF head and antenna subsystems was the only choice. Through the utilization of Vanu’s software RAN solutions, an operator now has the freedom to choose how they want to do business with their vendor partners based on the best fit for their business needs. This could be purchasing an end-to-end solution from a single vendor acting as a systems integrator, purchasing each component separately from the vendor of their choice in order to build a best-in-class RAN, or any option in between.

Vanu is headquartered in Lexington, MA with two offices in India located in Gurgaon and Bangalore as well an office in Rwanda, in Kigali, Rwanda.

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

The primary barrier for creating new coverage is the operating cost of the network, not the capital cost. For example, in rural areas, the revenue per cell site is lower and the cost of operating the network is often higher due to the need for diesel generators for off-grid sites.  Similarly, the cost of the building lease and connectivity for in-building coverage solutions is often greater than the incremental revenue potential from in-building traffic. By combining innovations in technology, network architecture and business model, Vanu creates comprehensive solutions that enable operators to cost-effectively cover areas that they have not been able to address to date.

Phenomenal Products

Vanu’s products are designed to enable cellular coverage in areas that cannot be covered profitably with existing technology. As average revenue per customer user (ARPU) continues to decline, operators reduce costs to remain competitive. Vanu’s products allow carriers to reach customers in new places, both within and outside of their existing coverage areas or through branching out to under/unserved markets.

Vanu’s software RAN solutions portfolio is designed to help operators reduce both CAPEX and OPEX expenditures in order to reduce the total cost of ownership. Read more about how Vanu can help to reduce total cost of ownership with Vanu’s three solution sets – Anywave, CompactRAN Community Connect, and its In-Building Solution.

  • In-Building Solutions: The Vanu In-Building Solution (IBS) provides full Base Transceiver Station (BTS) capability indoors in a small, easy to deploy package.
  • Outdoor Solutions: Deployed in multiple countries worldwide, the Vanu outdoor solutions are the lowest power consumption base stations on the market today.
  • Portable Network System: A self-contained, solar powered, portable cellular network system.

The Leader

Andrew Beard, Chief Executive Officer: Prior to serving as CEO, Andrew served as Chief Operating Officer from the inception of the company, with responsibility for oversight of all operations, including sales, engineering, support, finance, production.  Andrew also has a lead strategy for identifying, protecting and monetizing key intellectual property assets. Andrew helped to incubate and launch ventures such as VANU Rwanda, working with carriers, regulators, and investors to define and implement strategies. Prior to joining Vanu, Inc. Mr. Beard practiced law with Foley Hoag LLP where his practice focused on corporate securities and transactional matters for technology-oriented companies. Mr. Beard has the personal distinction of serving on them-Powering Development Advisory Board for the ITU.

“We innovate to provide coverage in places without coverage today.”