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Jul 01, 2013

Altair Raises $25M for Single-Mode LTE – Light Reading Mobile

Light Reading Mobile

July 1, 2013

By Sarah Reedy

Single-mode LTE chipset maker Altair Semicondutor has raised US$25 million in funding that it plans to use to support high-volume product deployments from its largest customers.

The funding, announced Monday, comes from Altair’s existing investors Bessemer, BRM, Giza, JVP and Pacific Technology.

Why this matters
Altair already has a big deployment of single-mode LTE chips with Yota in Russia and is seeing heightened demand from Verizon Wireless in the U.S., Chee Kwan, Altair’s VP of worldwide sales, told Light Reading in a CTIA interview. (See CTIA: Verizon Pushes for Single-Mode LTE.)

Its chips are in more than 100 devices, including tablets, mobile hotspots, routers and a number of higher-end machine-to-machine (M2M) gadgets, but operators are just now starting to think about dropping the 3G in smartphones. Understandably, too, given the LTE network’s need for voice fallback and the infancy of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE). This round of funding comes just a few days after Verizon confirmed it would begin offer single-mode LTE smartphones at the end of 2015 when it has VoLTE widely deployed. This funding will help Altair be prepared when it and other operators take that plunge. (See Verizon’s 5 Step LTE Program.)