Wednesday, March 19, 2014

REMEC acquires BridgeWave Assets...The Big News in the Wireless Biz – that you Never Heard.

I recently learned that the assets of BridgeWave Communications were acquired last December by REMEC Broadband Wireless. This is Big news – capital “B”, for the wireless telecom business; for carriers, integrators and especially microwave vendors. Yet as of this writing, you won’t find an announcement in REMEC’s news page, and you also won’t find one in BridgeWave’s press release list. In fact, you won’t find news of it anywhere on the Internet before this posting. Interesting… 

BridgeWave is a leading worldwide provider of point-to-point microwave for cellular and backhaul applications, founded in 1999. They pioneered radios in the millimeter space (60 & 80GHz) and were first to support a full gig throughput. 

REMEC has been manufacturing Bridgewave radios since a deal was struck in August, 2008. REMEC also makes radios for lots of other microwave vendors, perhaps as many as twenty, supplying, in their words, “the only commercially successful "off-the-shelf" ODU product on the market today.” And I believe it, because I see their ODUs everywhere, packaged by one microwave vendor after another, each saving a fortune in R&D and manufacturing, enjoying a solid, state of the art product for a good price (maybe too good for REMEC). REMEC’s web site says one of their ODUs is being installed every two minutes, somewhere in the world. 

BridgeWave radios have been sold direct and through distribution, but as far as I know, all of REMEC’s ODUs are moved by OEMs who private label them, which is why even some industry veterans don’t know about REMEC. No microwave company is a household name, but I’ll bet that REMEC has been one of the more obscure names, but perhaps not for long. 

So... What do you think REMEC’s purchase of BridgeWave assets means to the market? Will REMEC be gaining BridgeWave's sales and marketing channels? This can’t be good news for all those vendors who rely on REMEC engines (ODUs) for their product lines, can it? 

As it is, other vendors have been cutting like Emo’s wanting attention, hacking at prices and bleeding discounts and more incentives. Frankly, I think the problem with microwave has never been high cost. I routinely see paybacks of under a year versus leased lines or fiber. So I wonder if REMEC will better establish microwave’s value proposition or will they commoditize microwave more by driving prices further down? Will there be fewer microwave vendors a year from now or more?


Here's the inside of a REMEC ODU, the kind you see behind parabolic dishes on a lot of vendor literature. The ODU is everything - transmitter and receiver, in many cases, delivering fiber or cat5 straight to the network switch. REMEC's form factor defines how the ODU connects with the antenna and has become an industry standard mechanical interface. 

#remecbuysbridgewave #brigewaveacquiredbyremec #remecbridgewavedeal #microwaveradio #microwavecommunications #wirelessindustrynews

1 comment:

  1. I think REMEC's BridgeWave play is the start of a blood-letting in the PTP wireless (microwave) business. Prices will fall, as they have been, and OEMs will be squeezed out.

    Carrier business will shrink in the U.S. as microwave bandwidth can never keep pace and meanwhile, the enterprise market, which should be MUCH bigger, has been largely ignored. (They're still getting croaked for leased gig circuits.) But they may finally respond, regardless, when you can get a free wireless link with a tank of gas at Sunoco.