The way we build telecommunication networks is changing. We are witnessing the end of a model dependent on a selected few vendor of hardware and a rise of open solutions and growing competition. The difficulty is finding exceptional enterprises willing to enter the market – assesses Wojciech Burkot, Partner at the Bitspiration Booster Venture Capital, investing in IS-Wireless, a company, and technology based on Open RAN architecture.
According to Wojciech Burkot, while discussing the significance of an open models in deploying 5G networks, one must consider the magnitude of hope it brings for entrepreneurs and users. As he explains, the previous model allowed a selected few vendor to dictate ownership of telecom networks, by stating stiff, costly solutions, effectively excluding smaller players from the market. – Open RAN however lowers the entry threshold in the market, which used to be extremely hermetic. Separating the hardware and the software offers a chance for smaller enterprises, so far locked out of the telecom services market, to grow and provide telco software. The open model allows them to freely create networks while offering solutions customized for their customers. And the customers show growing interest in the capabilities of private networks. As an effect, the market becomes diverse and grows, and while the competition goes up, the prices go down – said Wojciech Burkot during the #5GMadeTogether conference devoted to discussing deployment of the 5G network, hosted by the Polish company IS-Wireless.
In his opinion, this technological revolution in the way we build our telecom networks will benefit the users. – By providing freedom to customize networks according to specific enterprises’ needs, Open RAN will allow them to create services and solutions for their own clients, which could not be built with the traditional model of network architecture and the monopoly of the giants – he argued.
An opportunity for investors
Wojciech Burkot assessed that from a Venture Capital fund’s point of view, a strategy should be developed with the highest possible number of investments in mind. – It is worthwhile to split the resources and maximize the number of investments. It might seem like the success and return of any investment made in upcoming enterprises is ruled by pure chance. However, some of the projects in the 5G sector are almost guaranteed to succeed – he noticed.
Partner at Bitspiration Booster reminded about past cases of breakthrough technologies shifting the landscape of business models, by granting an almost unfair advantage. – When back in the early ‘80s, telecom companies were predicting the size of their sector in the 2000s, AT & T estimated that by the year 2000, 700 000 cell phones will be operating globally. Motorola’s prediction was 270 000 devices. Meanwhile, in the United States alone, more than one hundred million cell phones were sold in the year 2000. – the speaker said. In his opinion, we are facing a very similar situation today, and VC funds may use the massive opportunity, decide to invest in Open RAN technology, and see great returns thanks to the incoming revolution of the market. – We are in a similar position with one exception: no one tries to predict, how the market will look like in e.g., 2034. It cannot be done due to the incoming surge of new services facilitated by Open RAN – he added.
Representative of Bitspiration Booster VC looks to the open model of 5G deployment for a revolution comparable to the introduction of smartphones during the 3G implementation. – As a VC fund we must take a close look at this solution and find opportunities for successful investments in the field of open model networks. What VC funds are really interested in, is the chance for a real breakthrough in the economy and the end of the current paradigm, that this technology offers. Open RAN will make new enterprises enter the market, effectively introducing new services, which we could not even dream about today – he highlighted.
IS-Wireless – an investment of Bitspiration Booster
Bitspiration Booster VC fund invests in high-tech enterprises. The fund invests in IS-Wireless, a company specialised in providing network solutions. Back in April, the enterprise announced that during the second half of the year, the first 5G network based on Polish technology will be deployed. IS-Wireless will also implement Polish solution all over the world. The company sets a strategic goal of claiming as much as 5 percent of the Open RAN market over the next three years. IS-Wireless has also initiated an international #5GMadeTogether project in May, which aims to cooperate for global deployment of 5G network in an open model.