Airband and Sparkplug Communications Announce Merger, Creating the Largest Fixed-Wireless Company in the U.S. Serving Busi
Equity investment and debt financing totaling $20 million in funding to fuel further market expansion
DALLAS & SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fixed-wireless companies Airband Communications and Sparkplug Communications today announced they have merged, creating the largest fixed-wireless company for businesses in the U.S., providing a full suite of voice and data services in 17 markets.
Airband and Sparkplug customers will continue to benefit from the flexible and highly scalable voice and data services delivered over the company’s wholly owned, fixed-wireless last-mile network which bypasses the wireline local loop, thereby creating cost savings for business customers. 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 combined company operates as Airband Communications, 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 to Ruley and Kinnear, Airband’s executive team consists of Jeff Owens, chief technology officer; Jim DaBramo, executive vice president of sales; Jennifer Mao, vice president of marketing; and Daman Wood, vice president of wholesale markets.
“This transaction supports Airband’s goal of deepening our service coverage and capabilities so more businesses have access to high-bandwidth data and enterprise-class voice services,” said Airband CFO Tim Kinnear. “The merger will create significant technology and operational efficiencies as we scale our service delivery capabilities to serve customers in our high-growth markets.”
The combined company covers markets including 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.
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.
The companies completed the merger on Aug. 18, 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed.
[Editors’ note: Photos of Airband executives are available upon request.]
The Bank Street Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Airband Communications in connection with this transaction.
Airband Communications, Inc., is the largest fixed-wireless broadband provider for businesses in the U.S. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of high-speed data, Voice over IP, security and other managed solutions – delivered over one of the industry’s most scalable last-mile networks. Airband bypasses the local phone company to provide faster provisioning intervals, immediate scalability and complete redundancy for its customers. Thousands of businesses nationwide already count on Airband for their broadband service. For more information, please visit www.airband.com.
Sparkplug is a leading fixed-wireless broadband service provider currently operating networks across five states, including the metropolitan markets of Des Moines, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The company offers a suite of high-speed data, voice over IP, and other managed services over its own network to business, education and government customers. All enjoy the benefits of fast, scalable and easy-to-deploy broadband service. Customers can choose from a complete range of symmetrical bandwidth service options starting at 2 Mbps with speeds up to 1 Gbps at a fraction of the typical cost. The company also provides high capacity data services and transport to many of the nation’s leading telecommunications providers. For more information, visit www.sparkplug.net.
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KEYWORDS: United States North America Texas
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Technology Internet Networks Telecommunications VoIP