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Summary:

Israeli mobile networking startups are on a hot streak right now. Sprint wants to tap into that talent pool so it’s launching a new LTE acceleration lab project in Tel Aviv.

Sprint has joined the growing ranks of carriers searching for the next big mobile networking technology in Israel. Sprint is working with the Israel Mobile & Media Association (IMA) to found an LTE acceleration in Tel Aviv, where it can collaborate with emerging 4G infrastructure and application startups.

Israel has a thriving startup scene in general, but in particular it’s been a hotbed for mobile infrastructure startups, which have built off radio technologies developed by the Israeli military. The small country produced numerous broadband radio specialists like Alvarion and Ceragon Networks, but lately the startup scene has shifted its focus from building radios to developing network optimization technologies, producing companies like Intucell Systems, eVolution Networks, Flash Networks, Traffix Systems, Vasona Networks and WeFi.

The world took notice of those developments. Last week, Cisco Systems announced it is buying self-healing networking company Intucell for $475 million, while F5 Networks bought network-signaling outfit Traffix in February for an undisclosed amount. Carriers are also getting in on the action. In 2011, AT&T opened up one of its Foundry innovation centers in Ra’anana, Israel, to work directly with regional startups and developers. The IMA also is collaborating with Orange, Telefónica and Tata DoCoMo on other lab projects.

The Sprint project, however, is specifically focused on LTE. Though Sprint didn’t reveal too many details on the lab setup, it appears to be setting up a 4G test network in Tel Aviv, over which network startups can fine-tune their technology and developers can run their apps. Sprint, however, said it wouldn’t attempt to dictate what the startups do in the lab. Instead, Sprint said it is just providing the tools and network frame, while the participants are free to pursue whatever field they want.

“As a complement to our efforts to unlock innovation in the United States, this Sprint-sponsored LTE acceleration lab will allow startups and developers in Israel valuable access to dramatically speed up their time to market,” Sprint CTO Stephen Bye said in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Jim Barber

  1. I don’t know about this. Given the growing perception of Israel as a terrorist nation in the news, its kind of hard to see how mainstream will continue to expand operations in Israel. Their refusal to cooperate with the UN and their violation of the cease fire is pretty indicative of an unstable nation-state structure in the global marketplace.

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  2. Israel is an only democratic country in the middle east, and is fighting well for its existence.
    Israel is a good guy.
    Sprint did a clever move to establish its presence there, may be a bit late in the game though.

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  3. Terrorist nation? True there are many terrorists in the region. And some of them are doing some very nasty killing as we speak. But to call the victim a terrorist nation. Do you blame rape victims? If you read the news, then you know that Israel is the only democracy in the region, the only true country that gives freedom to its citizens, allows free press and respects all religions without oppression. Besides that, Israel has a record for contributing many technological advancements that make the world a better place. I think you need to check your basic values and figure out how justice got so distorted in your understanding of the news.

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  4. One of those mobile start ups is mine actually, named Meepo (Meepoapp.com).
    It’s the location based app that will bring the world that leap we’ve been waiting for.

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