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5G Private Networking Vendor Celona Raises $60 Million, Eyes Channel Growth

More and more customers are looking to interweave Wi-Fi and private 5G, as evidenced by HPE and Cisco's recent service launches.

James Anderson

March 29, 2022

3 Min Read
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5G LAN provider Celona has secured another $60 million in funding as it attempts to bring together Wi-Fi and wireless.

Cupertino, California-based Celona this week announced the Series C financing round, which DigitalBridge Ventures led. Celona will bolster its channel growth, expand globally more quickly and spend more on research and development.

Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, NTTVC, Qualcomm Ventures and Cervin Ventures participated in the round, which brings Celona’s total investments to $100 million.

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Celona’s Rajeev Shah

Celona co-founder and CEO Rajeev Shah said his company leads the market in 5G network adoption.

“We believe that Celona has all the right pieces in place to build upon our foundation of disruptive innovation and leadership with our 5G LAN technology, particularly with these additional resources to expand our reach and grow our capabilities,” Shah said.

In addition, Celona has appointed Robert Mustarde as its senior vice president of worldwide sales.

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Celona’s Robert Mustarde

Mustarde previously served as Versa Networks sales leader from 2018-2020. He also worked 10 years at Ruckus Wireless. His tenure at Ruckus included stints as vice president of worldwide sales and vice president of marketing. He also led Ruckus’ Xclaim SMB Wi-Fi business.

Analyst Perspective

Pablo Tomasi, principal analyst of private networks at Omdia, said Celona’s partnership with “heavyweight” partners like World Wide Technology, HPE Aruba, NTT, and most recently, Verizon, demonstrate the traction the company has gained.

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Omdia’s Pablo Tomasi

“Celona has been one of the most interesting companies driving innovation in private networks as since the beginning Celona aimed to ease the deployment and management of the private network,” Tomasi told Channel Futures. “Furthermore, the company developed its proposition with the goal to bridge the gap existing between the Wi-Fi and the cellular worlds.”

He pointed to Cisco and HPE, which have recently unveiled intentions to bring together private 5G with Wi-Fi. HPE in February unveiled a private 5G service which provides “interworking” between Wi-Fi and 5G. In addition, Cisco this week introduced a private 5G-as-a-service offering.

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Logicalis’ Bob Bailkoski

Bob Bailkoski is the CEO of Cisco partner Logicalis Group. The reseller and managed services provider is working with Cisco to deliver Cisco private 5G. Bailkoski called 5G “a milestone in wireless networking.”

“For organizations, it opens many new opportunities to evolve their business models and create a completely new type of digital infrastructure. We see strong demand in all types of sectors including manufacturing and mining facilities, the logistics and automotive industries, as well as higher education and the healthcare sector,” Bailkoski said.

Tomasi noted that 5G has not taken over the wireless networking market.

“The private 5G network market is maturing moving past trials and seeing an increasing level of competition; however, despite everyone using the term private 5G, the market is still firmly dominated by 4G LTE,” Tomasi said.

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Telarus’ Christopher Whitaker

Christopher Whitaker, who leads Telarus‘ IoT and wireless practice, said Telarus is seeing more opportunities emerge around private LTE and 5G.

“Healthcare, logistics and manufacturing are all looking for better network options,” Whitaker told Channel Futures.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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