Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Airband and Sparkplug Announce Merger -- Fixed Wireless Operators

Airband Communications and Sparkplug Communications have merged, creating one of the largest fixed wireless operators, serves 17 markets across the U.S. providing voice and data services for businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed. Key markets include Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Dallas; Des Moines; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Worth; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Orange County, Calif; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Antonio; San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Airband delivers data services from 1 Mbps to over GigE speeds and a full suite of VoIP services including hosted VoIP and VoIP/SIP trunking.

The new company, which will be known as Airband Communications, is headquartered in Dallas. Michael Ruley, formerly CEO of Sparkplug, becomes CEO of Airband. Tim Kinnear, formerly CEO of Airband stays on as CFO.

"Our companies share the belief that it's critical to increase market penetration in existing territories and leverage the economies of scale we will realize with our combined networks and services," said Airband CEO Michael Ruley. "As a combined entity, we will have the financial backing, network and human resources required to grow, organically and strategically, and to further enhance our competitive position in our markets."

In addition, the merged company will receive $20 million in financing as part of the transaction. Previous equity backers Ignition Partners, Key Venture Partners, M/C Venture Partners and Trilogy Equity Partners, each of which bring significant track records in telecommunications services, are leading the $11 million equity investment. In addition, Airband received $9 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank and MMV Financial. The new financing will be used to fund growth and acquisitions.

  • In April 2010, Towerstream acquired Sparkplug Communications' Chicago, Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee networks.


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