Airspan goes public to boost 5G presence - Mobile World Live

Airspan goes public to boost 5G presence

08 MAR 2021

US equipment vendor Airspan Networks announced plans to go public through a merger with New Beginnings Acquisition (NBA), as it looks to expand its market share and enter new segments including fixed wireless access (FWA) and private 5G.

In a statement, the 5G and open RAN vendor said it would merge with special purpose acquisition company NBA in a deal expected to complete in Q3. The combined company will be listed on the NYSE.

Once the combination is complete, NBA will be renamed Airspan Network Holdings, with an enterprise value of nearly $822 million.

Airpan Networks is already backed by SoftBank Group,Reliance Jio Infocomm and chip giant Qualcomm. The equipment vendor explained it believes the wireless industry is now “poised for rapid” deployment of 5G technology, pointing to the recent $80 billion US C-band spectrum auction, which it said demonstrates significant levels of investment from operators and new market entrants.

Accelerate 5G growth
The company is now hoping to use its current equipment infrastructure, which it claimed is designed to allow maximum efficiency of wireless spectrum, to take market share from legacy providers and enter new areas including FWA and private 5G.

While Airspan Networks is small compared with rivals Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, it won deals with major operators including T-Mobile US and Rakuten Mobile in Japan.

It claims more than 1,000 customers in over 100 countries.

The combined company is expected to receive $166 million in net proceeds once the deal completes.

Airspan Networks’ existing stockholders will hold approximately 75 per cent of the combined company.

The vendor has been involved in the mobile network equipment space for around two decades, covering the emergence of wireless broadband and technologies including WiMAX.

It previously went public in 2000 at the height of the dot.com bubble, before going private in 2009.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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