Jio's Radisys arm bolsters FWA ops with $60m Mimosa deal

5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) services are proving a hit with end users, a trend not lost on Reliance Jio.

Nick Wood

March 10, 2023

3 Min Read
Deal Handshake

5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) services are proving a hit with end users, a trend not lost on Reliance Jio.

Radisys, a subsidiary of the Indian telco’s infrastructure arm, Jio Platforms, on Wednesday splashed out $60 million to acquire US-based Mimosa Networks from RAN equipment maker Airspan.

Mimosa offers a range of point-to-point (PTP) and point-to-multipoint (PTMP) products for use in backhaul and outdoor broadband networks. These products, which incorporate both Wi-Fi 5 and newer Wi-Fi 6E technology, also have their uses for FWA deployments.

As acquisitions go, this is not wholly unsurprising. Jio is already an Airspan customer, so it will be familiar with Mimosa’s portfolio. In fact, it is more than a customer, it is also a stakeholder and has a seat on Airspan’s board.

At its annual meeting last August, Jio announced plans to splurge $25 billion on a nationwide 5G rollout, targeting completion by the end of this year. It also announced an FWA service called JioAirFiber, which as the name suggests, promises to offer a viable wireless alternative to fixed-line broadband. It has set a target of serving 100 million homes with JioAirFiber.

Jio has a reputation for never shying away from a challenge, but a deployment of this magnitude requires the right mix of different access and backhaul network technologies, which is where the likes of Mimosa and Airspan come in.

“Over the years, our collaboration with Airspan has resulted in groundbreaking architectures for high-speed connectivity for both the end user and for backhaul applications. [The] acquisition of Mimosa will further accelerate Jio’s innovation and leadership in the production of telecom network products that deliver value to consumers and enterprises across the globe with cost-effective, rapidly deployable fixed and mobile broadband,” said Jio president Mathew Oommen, in a statement.

Buying Mimosa looks like a smart move on Jio’s part. In the elusive hunt for new 5G revenue streams, FWA seems to be a bit of a money-spinner. Juniper Research expects global FWA revenues to surge to $2.5 billion this year, up from $515 million in 2022. Ericsson in November raised its prediction for global FWA subscribers to 100 million by 2028, the vast majority of which are expected to be connected by 5G.

Earlier this week, Leichtman Research Group claimed US broadband providers added 3.17 million FWA customers last year, accounting for 90% of total net additions.

With numbers like this doing the rounds, it is little wonder that Jio is keen to push on with its FWA rollout.

Following its acquisition by Radisys – which is expected to complete in the third quarter – Mimosa will continue to operate as a separate brand. Meanwhile, Airspan will become a Mimosa reseller, and will continue to market Mimosa products to its customers.

“We are excited about this transaction,” said Airspan CEO Eric Stonestrom. “It not only puts a very capable product team with one of the world’s most innovative and transformative technology and telecommunications companies, but it also strengthens Airspan’s balance sheet enabling the company to pursue 4G and 5G private and MNO networks which have been our main focus.”


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About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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