Millimetre wave firm restructures

04 September 2020

Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) has spun off its African millimetre wave fixed wireless access business after going into administration. 

Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd (CBNL) was established in 2000 when 10 engineers from Cambridge University in the UK secured private equity funding for its millimetre wave (mmWave) communications technology.  

The firm raised over £99m for its point to multipoint platform called VectaStar which has been deployed in over 50 countries for mobile backhaul, small cell backhaul, enterprise access and ISP networks at 26GHz and 10.5GHz mmWave bands.

Customers include seven of the world’s top ten mobile operators. 

However, the company collapsed into administration in February 2020 owing £14m to creditors. It has now restructured as Cambridge Broadband Networks Group (CBNG) and Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Africa. 

CBNG retains the IP and manufacturing capability of CBNL as well as all the engineering, design and support know-how of the existing VectaStar product range, and will operate directly in the North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and APAC regions. It is also looking for new value added reseller (VAR) partners.

The company said it has ‘reset’ existing manufacturing and supplier relationships, and started developing a new mmWave, fixed wireless point-to-multipoint platform.

Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Africa, now a separate company, will provide VectaStar products and services directly to customers in the African region from its offices in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. 

“We are thrilled to unveil our rebrand as we build upon our world-renowned reputation for setting the bar in network resilience and support in the licensed FWA space. Our new structure enables us to continue to offer the reliable, superior FWA solutions we are known for while breaking into new markets,” said Nigel Hall, chief executive officer at CBNG, who joined CBNL in 2019 as the chief restructuring officer. “With the rollout of 5G, the emphasis is very much on ubiquitous, high-speed coverage and FWA provides a vehicle for delivering this.”