November 21, 2008

San Diego Business Journal

Nextivity Aims to Boost Indoor Cell Phone Signal

To improve coverage, Nextivity has developed a 'smart repeater' to boost indoor cell phone signals.The device consists of two pieces of equipment: one placed next to a window, which receives a signal; the second placed within a home or business.Essentially, the window unit receives the signal and relays it to the receiver, which converts it and amplifies it.Nextivity says its repeater can more than triple data transmission rates.The San Diego-based company plans to launch its first product at the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona in February.The market is huge. Of the 4.5 billion cellular subscribers worldwide, 40 percent report problems with indoor signals, says its CEO Werner Sievers.'We predict sales of over 3.5 million units over the next three years,' Sievers told investors at a Nov. 12 conference hosted by Under the Radar magazine.

The company plans to sell the device to carriers and may also sell it through retail outlets. It has not yet set a price.It will compete against other solutions such as femtocells, a small cellular base station that connects to the carrier's network via broadband.Nextivity said its repeaters are being tested by 24 European mobile network operators.Founded in 2006, Nextivity has 40 employees and in 2007 raised $17 million in second-round funding from Advanced Technology Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Express Ventures, The Founders Fund, Revolution Ventures, and WTI.Sievers was previously CEO of Zyray Wireless, which was bought by Broadcomm.Nextivity was named Outstanding Emerging Growth Company at AeA San Diego's recent High Tech Awards.The company said it plans to roll out a second device in the second quarter aimed at commercial customers.