RadioFrame Networks Nets $28M, Wants to Improve Cell Coverage in Your Home or Business

8/27/08Follow @gthuang

Wireless is soaring in the Seattle area. Last week it was software—SnapIn and Medio made some big deals. Today it’s hardware. Redmond, WA-based RadioFrame Networks has announced it has closed a $28 million round of Series F equity and debt financing. The round was led by Ericsson Venture, Ignition Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Plainfield Asset Management. The latest financing brings the total investment in RadioFrame to more than $100 million.

RadioFrame, which was founded in 1999 by McCaw Cellular veteran Rob Mechaley, makes cellular base stations designed for indoor coverage. If you’ve ever had your cell phone cut out while making an important call in an office, hotel, or even at home, you might appreciate RadioFrame’s efforts. Its small, indoor base stations act as transmitters and receivers and can connect to a corporate network or home Internet modem to provide cell coverage. The company produces the hardware and software to support these base stations, as well as outdoor base stations, and it says all are compatible with next-generation wireless standards.

Though home base stations are still a pretty small market, some analysts have predicted 100 million users by 2011—and that’s the type of figure that RadioFrame and its investors are banking on. “Last year we made a big commitment to design and produce our own silicon specifically for femtocell [home base station] use and that is translating into a meaningful market advantage,” said RadioFrame CEO Jeff Brown in a statement.

And as for the wireless technology surge these days, it’s not just Seattle either. Elsewhere in Xconomy land, Cambridge, MA-based Vanu just raised $32 million, as Wade reported yesterday. Do we really use our cell phones that much? I guess we do.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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