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Parallel Wireless lays off significant number of employees

Open RAN vendor Parallel Wireless has laid off a significant number of employees, the company’s CEO told Light Reading.

“We are making adjustments to right size given the realities of global economic conditions, Covid supply chain constrained world, and the pace of adoption of open RAN,” Steve Papa, the company’s chief executive, said on Wednesday.

He declined to say how many employees were affected. However, a source close to the company suggested as many as half of Parallel Wireless’ employees have been culled.

Late last year, FierceWireless reported the company had around 700 employees and had planned to double that figure this year. The company in recent weeks moved into a new headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, according to its own social media posts.

“My heart goes out to all my colleagues across the globe that have been impacted by a mass layoff at Parallel Wireless, including yes, myself. I was one of the affected as well,” Eugina Jordan, the former VP of marketing at Parallel Wireless, wrote on LinkedIn.

A number of other Parallel employees issued similar posts on LinkedIn.

A slow-moving market
Parallel Wireless was formed in 2012 and, late last year, suggested it has “experienced tremendous momentum and success over the last nine years.” Parallel has been an early and noisy cheerleader for open RAN, a technology that promises to create open interfaces between various wireless networking components with the goal of allowing new vendors to provide pieces of equipment that previously were only available through large suppliers like Ericsson and Nokia.

Parallel boasts open RAN deals with operators including Orange, Millicom, Vodafone Ireland, Inland Cellular and IpT.

According to research firm Dell’Oro Group, open RAN in general is gaining traction on the global stage, and is set to account for around 15% of the overall 2G-5G radio access network (RAN) market by 2026.

However, a number of bigger operators – including many of those in the US – have been slow to adopt open RAN. Dish Network is in the process of building an open RAN 5G network in the US, but Parallel is not among its lengthy list of vendors. LightReading

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