How Mavenir Transformed to a Disruptive xRAN Upstart
Mavenir was well known as the company that transformed mobile networks. The company known for helping operators deliver Rich Communication services like voice, video, and messaging over their LTE networks, is itself, transforming into a provider of software-based extensible Radio Access Network (xRAN) architecture that could make hardware-based RAN obsolete.
How did Mavenir arrive at this critical pivot point? In 2005 Mavenir Systems was formed, acquired Airwide in 2011, launched their IPO (NYSE: MVNR) in November 2013, and then acquired Stoke and Ulticom, when it was acquired in April 2015. In 2017, those assets were sold to Siris Capital Group, which then created the ‘new’ Mavenir, and merged with an adjacent company Xura - the product of two other messaging companies Comverse and Acision. On February 1, 2017, Mavenir acquired Ranzure Networks – a 5G and Cloud RAN startup – and then divested Xura’s non-core enterprise messaging business. The result is the creation of a new Mavenir dedicated to defining the future of mobile communication technology and conquering the software-based RAN marketplace. The company is headed by former Mavenir/Ranzure/Xura CEO Pardeep Kohli and is based in Richardson, Texas.
One of Mavenir’s goals is disrupt the radio piece of traditional telecom networks with cloud based software solutions. Aligned with the xRAN Foundation, a consortium formed in 2016 to promote software-based RAN, whose founding members include Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, SK Telecom, and Verizon.
Migrating away from traditional practices allows operators to operate more efficiently by using the same standardized hardware across multiple carriers. In the past, adding functionality to carrier networks required switching out base station hardware, but not anymore.
RAN software also allows operators to better utilize their network towers, which traditionally fail to effectively share hardware capacity across all endpoints. With a cloud-based solution, hardware capacity is seamlessly shared across all users, promoting infrastructure efficiency and customer satisfaction. Increased cost effectiveness and functionality allow wireless operators compete with larger network providers, who can afford to build more robust hardware based systems.
Mavenir is currently conducting trials of its new technology with operators across North America and plans to go live with its software-based RAN system next year. With the help of the xRAN Foundation, the company will continue to push for new software-based RAN standards be adopted by 3GPP governing bodies, internationally.
In March, Mavenir announced the launch of its cloud-based Rich Communication Services (RCS) Platform and Hub, further expanding its globally deployed suite of flagship RCS solutions that support tens of millions of subscribers worldwide.
The RCS Platform and Hub provides an innovative approach to quickly and efficiently deploy secure and advanced communications, while capitalizing on new monetization services but without the high costs and complexity associated with large-scale network infrastructure projects.
It can be easily deployed either directly in the operator network, as a Mavenir-hosted model or managed across a hybrid model that results in a combination of both. This unique approach, allows CSPs to decide which functionalities they want to remain in their network, such as customer data - bringing back control to the operators and expanding their role in the digital economy.