While 5G networks are being deployed globally and mobile tech adoption is at an all-time high, Cellwize, which develops an AI-powered radio access network platform to automate 5G network deployment, announced the completion of a $32 million Series B funding round.
Among the trove of investors, we find a few tech market giants, with Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures - both fierce rivals - leading the investment. Along with existing investors, Verizon Ventures and Samsung Next also got in on the round to help Cellwize penetrate the 5G market.
Connecting antennas to the network within minutes, rather than weeks
While talking to Geektime, COO Dan Weil explains that the platform that Cellwize developed enables automation for cellular networks: “The platform enables deployment, operation, and optimization of multi-technological networks in an open and automated manner. This provides a clear cut solution for these challenges by automating processes relevant to the future of network technologies, which will accelerate operators’ time-to-market and save on extensive human resource recruiting as the network grows.”
For example, when a cellular operator sets up a new site (new antenna), this is where Cellwize’s technology comes into play by connecting the new site to the network within a few minutes, instead of the previous manual connection method that can take weeks. “The platform’s automation includes advanced analysis of thousands of different parameters, deployment of ML algorithms, geographical and physical models that enable quick and competitive network and antenna deployments,” says Weil.
In addition, the system can change network performance based on changing consumer patterns. This means that when the world starts acting “normal” again that massive festivals or traffic jams won’t cause the network to crash, but rather adapt to the usage in a designated area.
The technology was successful in garnering the attention of some of the biggest players in the cellular and chip markets. Weil notes that the company has previously worked on Verizon’s 5G network, which offers proof-of-concept of its technological efficiency. “The investing companies also operate in the network sphere, each from their own angle, and together they have recognized the technology and company as an avant-garde in the field, and as part of the process meetings were held with tech companies related to the investors, where they tested the technology and its fit in the investing parties strategic plans,” says Weil.
Cellwize was founded in 2012 by Sasi Geva and Daniel Dribinski, two serial entrepreneurs that sprouted from the cellular communications garden. Ofir Zemer has held the CEO position since 2013, and Dan Weil operates as the COO. The company employs 150 workers, with 100 of them based in the Israeli R&D center.