Up until five years ago, indoor cellular services were improved by constructing a parallel network inside the location that had no relation to the private infrastructure used by the enterprise occupant(s) of that location. While this was good for it’s time, the solution was limited to very large and important buildings due to its cost.
SpiderCloud’s pioneering Enterprise Radio Access Network “E-RAN” platform emerged five years ago, and demonstrated a new way to build large indoor cellular networks, using small cells connected via existing Ethernet LANs. This was revolutionary.
But, why was it revolutionary? Because E-RAN was both the first platform to use the well understood “enterprise technology stack” in a mobile RAN application, and shifting analog RF processing to the very edge of the network.
As with most revolutionary technologies, there was hesitation in adopting this new architecture. Once the adoption decision had been made, the system posed transport implementation choices for network engineers that ranged from:
- Mobile operator must build dedicated networks and own all network elements.
- Mobile operator reuses existing enterprise transport network inside the location.
Our early adopter mobile operators, who have matured their own deployment processes, have gone from owning every element in the beginning to ~75% of the installations reusing the existing enterprise transport now.
At the same time as we were commercialized, look-alike products to E-RAN appeared on the market, products that claimed to use Ethernet, but were merely using Cat5/6/7 cables. Yet, as long as operators built dedicated LANs for SpiderCloud, these look-alike products seemed to offer the same economics as SpiderCloud.
The purpose of this series is to re-open the discussion on how indoor cellular should be built.
- 70% of cellular usage is indoors.
- Demand for mobile data is increasing, revenue is not.
- Indoor LTE (and 5G) must have a Wi-Fi like economics.
- Operators can’t keep offloading subscribers to Wi-Fi without risking their long-term value proposition.
But how? That is what this series will explore. We welcome you to sign-up to our blog, follow-us on twitter, and send in your questions and comments.
Here are some of the topics we will discuss:
- Physical layer – Cabling (copper and fiberoptic)
- What is Ethernet?
- Inband and VLAN Sharing
- Watch that capacity!
- Managing the Cloud RAN Split
- Practical Enterprise lessons
- Enterprise Partnership
– Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies
Other posts from the Enterprise Deployment Series:
- Enterprise Deployment – Setting the Stage
- Enterprise Deployment – Ethernet and the Physical Layer
- Enterprise Deployment – Telecommunications Room
- Enterprise Deployment – Telecommunications Room Interconnection
- Enterprise Deployment – Equipment Room
- Enterprise Deployment – Backhaul
- Enterprise Deployment – Summary