CCS continues to build commercial momentum

“We’re going to need a bigger cabinet,” noted CEO Steve Greaves as he proudly added the latest trophy to CCS’ record award haul over the past year.


It’s been a celebratory time for the Cambridge-based start-up, which has grabbed the global telecom industry’s attention with its world-first, self-organising microwave backhaul system for small cells – those mini base stations that will appear on lampposts to cope with ever-increasing loads of mobile data traffic in this smartphone and smart things age.

It all started with the commercial coup of securing China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, for the first live deployment of the CCS system in a busy shopping area of Beijing. The company has since gone on to install further units for the operator in another province of China – effectively entering a new territory when you consider the scale of the Chinese market. And Greaves indicates that there further deployments in progress in the US, UK and Africa.

The labour costs involved in installing equipment below the roof line in dense urban environments brings a completely different challenge for mobile operators, which CCS has sought to overcome with a self-organising system that effectively enables plug-and-play installation by local contractors in less than 15 minutes per node.

As commercial success builds, CCS has made key additions to its team in recent months with the appointment of CFO Martin Stephenson and VP Operations Paul Williams, together with engineering and support staff in the UK, US and China.

And the key tangible evidence that business is taking off comes in the form of CCS boxes loaded on a truck ready for delivery, as the company completes its first volume production run. CCS has partnered with Microelectronic Technology Inc (MTI) to manufacture its product in its Wuxi plant in China. MTI is the market leader in manufacturing RF and microwave communications equipment and its decision to work with CCS is a clear indicator of the system's potential, and a further vote of confidence in the company.

“As with great comedy, the secret of bringing a new technology product to market is timing,” remarked Greaves. “Too early, then you’re at risk of burning through your cash before the market is ready. Too late, then you’ve already failed as a small start-up. We like to think we’ve got it just right on this one. The small cell market is taking off and we’re gearing up to capitalise on demand.”

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