Tower Cloud gets $17M in new funding, expands its Georgia network presence

Tower Cloud, an emerging alternative wireless backhaul specialist, has secured $17 million in its latest funding round.

Led by a new investor--the Florida Opportunity Fund--the provider will use the new round of equity to pay for its ongoing expansion throughout four southern U.S. states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.

Since last October, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based provider has raised over $66 million in equity funding. At that time, it secured $49 million from its existing set of investors.

Along with the Florida Opportunity Fund, other investors include Sutter Hill Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, The Burton Partnership, Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL), The Florida Growth Fund, Ballast Point Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, ITC Partners Fund, Noro-Moseley Partners and CLR Partners.   

Already, Tower Cloud's expansion effort is underway in Georgia, where it completed a new fiber-based backhaul network in Columbus and LaGrange. The network serves 84 cell sites via more than 252 route miles of fiber.

The service provider built out the network leveraging utility rights of way and related infrastructure from local utility Diverse Power. Given the challenges with securing rights of way and permits in any given market, having a partnership with a power company can help accelerate the process in building out a fiber-based backhaul network.

While all of the major wireless operators typically purchase fiber and Ethernet-based backhaul circuits from large Tier 1 telcos, new players such as Tower Cloud are increasingly becoming part of the mix of solutions they are adding to the respective backhaul toolbox.

For more:
- see funding release
- see the network release

On the Hot Seat: Taking a new look at wireless backhaul with Ron Mudry of Tower Cloud

Related articles:
Tower Cloud rakes in $49M in funding, expands Atlanta backhaul network
Broadband Forum introduces MPLS wireless backhaul network specification
Sizing up the competitive shifts at COMPTEL Fall 2011

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