Wifi industry consolidation as Fon acquires XCellAir

Spanish wifi aggregator Fon has acquired carrier wifi specialist XcellAir from Interdigital to boost its Fontech B2B arm.

XcellAir was launched by telecoms R&D firm InterDigital in 2015 to help operators make the most of wifi and unlicensed spectrum in general in reinforcing their LTE signals. Fontech offers software-based solutions designed to help operators and enterprise manage wifi, so there’s a clear overlap here. On top of that Fon is lauding the geographical benefits of acquiring a US-based team.

Fontech will be incorporating XCellAir’s core product, the cloud-based XCellRAN carrier wifi solution, into its portfolio. It apparently features whizzy tech such as SON and radio resource management that offer carrier-grade control and analytics for wifi.

“We have known XCellAir for a long time and have always been impressed by their product, vision, and team, which are all complementary to Fon,” said Alex Puregger, CEO of Fon. “We are very excited to welcome them to Fon. The acquisition of XCellAir will further boost our technology and product leadership in the area of operator-managed wifi.”

“We are proud to have established XCellAir as a leader in the wifi management and optimization space and, in particular, enabling operators to deliver the best home wifi experience,” said Amit Agarwal, CEO of XcellAir. “The acquisition of XCellAir by Fon enables us to take the business to the next-level, immediately increasing scale and global reach. The entire team is excited to join the Fon family.”

They don’t explicitly say so but the last quote implies Agarwal is hanging around, at least for a bit. If you haven’t tired of generic M&A canned quotes you may derive some pleasure from the video of Puregger explaining the deal below. This move will presumably concern other wifi aggregators such as Devicescape and we wouldn’t rule out further consolidation in this area.