Google Funds Ubiquisys’s Femtocells

    July 20, 2007

Ubiquisys just secured $25 million in funding, and though you may not recognize that company’s name (or be able to pronounce it), you’ll know one of its backers: Google.

First, some background information.  Ubiquisys calls itself a “pioneer of intelligent 3G femtocell access points for the residential market,” and that is, by all accounts, an accurate description.  Now, for an explanation of that phrase, “The ZoneGate femtocell is a small ‘zero-touch’ plug-and-play device that plugs into a home broadband connection and provides high-quality 3G coverage in the home.  Unlike WiFi, ZoneGate allows people to use their usual 3G cell phones to access services.”

All of this is taking place in the UK (Ubiquisys is based in Oxford), so don’t feel too bad if you haven’t heard of it.  You’ve probably heard of Google’s disappointing earnings, though, and may think that now isn’t the best time for the company to be throwing cash around.  Yet The Register’s Bill Ray writes, “Ubiquisys isn’t the only player in the market, but as market leader it’s probably a good investment if femtocells live up to even a proportion of their potential.”

Chris Gilbert, the CEO of Ubiquisys, addressed that issue in a press release.  “We’re delighted by the confidence our investors have shown in our technology and its ability to deliver innovative applications via ZoneGate’s unique services platform,” he stated.

Details are scarce, but because the release doesn’t boast that Google led the round of funding, the search giant likely chipped in less than $10 million.