So, efforts to target the enterprise IT buyer by the mobile infrastructure industry received another strong validation last week. If you recall, SpiderCloud’s strategic collaboration with Cisco to deliver compelling offerings to enterprise customers was unveiled at MWC15. Well, it looks like Ericsson has finally realized that their “carrier-grade Wi-Fi” is not good enough for enterprise, and HP has realized that they cannot turn a blind-eye to licensed spectrum. So, here they are with a new press release.
17 Sep 2015 – Ericsson Press Release
- Bilateral reseller agreement opens up enterprise market opportunities beyond Ericsson’s carrier-grade Wi-Fi and provides go-to-market opportunities for Ericsson’s industry-leading small cells through HP’s global enterprise channels
- Leverages HP’s acquisition of Aruba Networks through integration of HP’s enterprise WLAN technology into Ericsson RBS 6402 picocell
There are a number of apparent gaps in the technology collaboration that appear problematic and make us ask questions, such as:
- It only covers the RBS 6402, which is a picocell product targeted at the SMB market (up to 5,000 m2 building). The medium-large building “Radio Dot” platform is visibly missing from the announcement. Is HP-Aruba Wi-Fi in-scope for the Dot, or does a parallel infrastructure need to be put in place?
- Where is support for enterprises who have HP-Aruba systems in-place now? We don’t see it. By contrast, current generation Cisco AP’s sport a modular port where our jointly developed cellular Clip-On module can be simply plugged into them. This provides for an implementation that leverages the pre-existing enterprise transport infrastructure, to quickly bring critical mobile service to the Cisco enabled buildings.
- What are the RF deployment tradeoffs for implementation to stay within the standards based PoE+ power budget? From a product perspective, will there be multiple versions of the RBS 6402 that include the different mixes of 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi radios, or only one version? And, how many radios can be active?
What’s our take on the commercial effects?
The reseller agreement validates that mobile wireless infrastructure vendors have to find a way to offer their products directly to Enterprise. We have seen this trend emerging over the last three years as mobile has become business critical, and energy efficient (metal coated) window glass rollouts are accelerating.
While this transition was started with the emergence of scalable small cells that are “IT friendly” and achieve a Wi-Fi price point, the completion of transition will be stable, operator models that facilitate “frictionless adoption” by enterprises. This change in thinking is at the vanguard of many operators whose customers are demanding better service. We documented some of the building blocks to the future in our post Enterprise Small Cell Deployment Insights as a start point for commercialization thinking about the transition.
Finally, the technology exchange involved in the agreement is not clear on the roles of each of the Wi-Fi divisions. The need to seek an external source for 802.11ac technology for the RBS 6402 raises red flags. On the RBS 6402, there are additional new questions beyond our Small Cell “Super Bass-O-Matic’76”? post that unpacked the technology realities of the first RBS announcement.
As always, nothing is simple when planning for the complex landscape we live in globally.
– Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies