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Microsoft White Space Partner Neul Raises $12.8 Million

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND: Neul, a British start-up focused on TV white spaces, has secured $12.8 million (£8 million) in venture capital funding. Neul is one of the 10 companies that are members of the new Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium, initiated by Microsoft to promote its white-space data base technology. The group this week announced its first white-space “tweet.”

European VC firm DFJ Esprit led the funding round for Neul, with IQ Capital and Cambridge Angels participating. Neul said its founders and employees have made a “significant contribution” as well. The BBC, BSkyB, BT, Nokia, Samsung, Cambridge Consultants, Spectrum Bridge and TTP are members. (See “Microsoft Angle for Lighter U.S. White Space Rules With U.K. Trial.”)

Neul’s goal is to “unify the fragmented world of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with the world’s first white-space radio system and a new, open M2M communications standard.” Neul said it would soon launch the standard, dubbed “Weightless.” The company said its technology would enable “a range of services and applications, from the predicted 50 billion connected M2M devices, through smart metering to local broadband delivery, transportation and personal health devices.”

Neul said it announced its first product on June 13. It described NeulNET as “the first radio system specifically designed for TV white space that meets all FCC/Ofcom regulations. This allows networks to operate safely and legally within TV white space.”

The Cambridge Consortium was announced Monday, though Microsoft mentioned the U.K. white-space trials in filings with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The Redmond, Wash., software corporate is in the running to manage a white space data base in the United States. It urged the commission to finalize white space rules and select a data base administrator. (See “Microsoft Nudges FCC to Wrap White Spaces.”)
~ Deborah D. McAdams