Dropping the Call: Why Isn't Wireless Investment Soaring?
May 22, 2014
As the end-user desire for faster wireless connection speeds at any time, in every space and with every device becomes a seemingly unquenchable thirst, it seems natural that investment in U.S.-based wireless and broadband technologies would grow. The fact that the total venture capital invested into the wireless communications equipment industry dropped off suddenly in 2013, then, comes as a surprise. From the beginning of 2009 through 2012, the amount of capital invested each year stayed constant, according to the PitchBook Platform, dropping no lower than $216 million and rising no higher than $227 million. In 2013, however, total capital invested fell sharply to $149 million (with $50 million of that total coming in a Series C for Kymeta), even as the deal count stayed on par with the previous four years. 2014 hasn’t gotten off to a stellar start either, as deal count stood at only five with just over $60 million invested, before Mimosa Networks announced its latest financing, a $20 million round.
The debate over net-neutrality rules and internet service providers' possible command over connection speeds is heating up on Capitol Hill, with Verizon recently claiming that the rules "would lead to years of legal and regulatory uncertainty and would jeopardize investment in innovation in broadband." The question becomes where does this leave the wireless communications equipment industry in the U.S. and abroad? Hopefully industry investment can stage a speedy rebound, without any interference.