Airspan Networks, which bills itself as a pioneer in the open Radio Access Network (RAN) space, is encouraged by the CHIPS Act that President Joe Biden signed on Tuesday, but supply chain constraints continue to bog it down in the near term.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based company, whose history dates back to the WiMAX era, reported revenue of $46.9 million in the second quarter, a 12% increase year over year. Its net loss was $21 million compared with a net loss of $10.4 million in the second quarter of 2021.
“We continue to execute our growth plan and see healthy demand for our innovative products and solutions,” said Airspan Chairman and CEO Eric Stonestrom in a statement. “Furthermore, we are encouraged by concrete government action on the CHIPS Act, which currently allocates $1.5B for Open RAN technology development, an area of Airspan focus and differentiation. However, the supply chain environment continues to impact sales and margin as seen in the near-term outlook.”
During a conference call with investment analysts, Stonestrom said revenue increased 25% compared to the first quarter and gross margin improved 8 percentage points to 40.2%.
Airspan specializes in building the wireless technology that connects users to the cloud and new use cases like neutral host microcells, to be used instead of distributed antenna systems (DAS), continue to expand its addressable market, he said. Its largest in-building customer for neutral host microcells ordered a record volume of product in the quarter to more than double the number of buildings covered.
The company also is seeing good progress in the cable market, in both bookings and revenue, with a large deployment with an unnamed Tier 1 operator in the U.S., said Airspan President and COO Glenn Laxdal.
As the market shifts from primarily macro cell to micro cell deployment, the company sees growth in millimeter wave deployments in Asia and CBRS deployments in the U.S., Laxdal said.
In the first half of the year, it added more than 120 private networks across 4G and 5G, bringing its total to over 300 private network deployments. Of those, about half are 5G.
Laxdal also called out the company’s progress with a fixed wireless access (FWA) solution that’s currently being tested. He said it will be first to market to address both 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands in a single product. It’s achieving 4.5 Gbps in the field with multi-user MIMO, he said.
Delays with Gogo
During the first-quarter earnings call, Airspan called out its outdoor private network build with Gogo as particularly important. It’s supplying the radio hardware, software and air interfaces for what they believe will be the largest private network build in the world — covering North America.
But delays associated with its Gogo 5G deployment surfaced last week during Gogo’s Q2 conference call, as LightReading reported.
Airspan is about two-thirds of the way through the ground station deployment with Gogo,and will complete the total 150 ground station deployment in the third quarter. It’s also shipping 4G aircards that go into the airplane and it’s currently developing the 5G aircards that go into the planes.
It was expecting to get the chipset that populates the 5G aircard right about now, and that chipset has been delayed by about six months, so now it’s shifting the deployment that was expected in the last part of the fourth quarter to the first half of 2023.
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