April 15, 2015 — Some in the industry wondered if iBwave Solutions will lose its objectivity after Corning announced its acquisition of the Montreal-based creator of design software and services for in-building wireless solutions. The terms of the acquisition agreement were not released.
iBwave Solutions will operate under its current name as a wholly owned subsidiary of Corning, reporting to Corning’s Optical Communications business segment, Corning said in its press release. It will maintain its Canadian headquarters under its current leadership. But that did not keep some from worrying about how Corning’s ownership will affect the popular DAS design software company, in comments made on LinkedIn.
John Celentano, Skyline Marketing, said that iBwave Solutions is the standard for DAS designers and carriers and he worried that it might lose it neutral position in the industry as a subsidiary of a major DAS OEM.
“My concern is whether iBwave Solutions tools will still be able to be used in an unbiased fashion by DAS designers, meaning that Corning products in the iBwave Solutions database simply are included and presented along with all the other vendor products,” Celentano said. “Alternatively, will the iBwave Solutions DAS planning tools exhibit a weighting toward Corning products over time? Then iBwave Solutions loses its objectivity. Then what?”
Don Mills, wireless broadband system engineer, warned Corning against either attempting a culture change at iBwave Solutions or “favoring its own products in the design software (e.g., providing better support for MobileAccess components).”
Showing the importance of social media, Nathalie Robitaille, VP marketing at iBwave Solutions, responded, “It is very important that iBwave keeps its neutrality; it is our core value and that is not changing.”
Seth Buechley, president at SOLiD Technologies, whose company is a direct competitor to Corning, said he is not worried about the new, combined company.
“It will be incumbent upon team iBwave Solutions to define what the real corporate firewalls are for the benefit of those that have legit concerns. I see this as a sign of a maturing industry. We’ve been sharing confidential info with iBwave Solutions for years without a single issue. I am in the ‘have no fear’ camp,” Buechley wrote.
Mario Bouchard, president and CEO at iBwave Solutions, agreed with Buechley’s comment. “Seth, you hit the nail on the head. Remaining vendor neutral and maintaining the trust of our customers is paramount to us, and Corning is imposing a mandatory firewall. We will communicate the details on this with the industry shortly,” Bouchard wrote.