América Móvil and Telcel go Big with Small Cell Systems from SpiderCloud

April 7, 2015

Following a successful launch in June 2014, Telcel and América Móvil was kind enough to let us share the news at Informa’s LTE LatAm event taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this week — where SpiderCloud’s own Amit Jain is speaking.

This is a significant announcement for SpiderCloud and our business partners. And, unlike Ericsson – is not a “pilot” in a single building (“Ericsson Radio Dot installed at commercial building…”).

Small Cell systems have already been deployed and “turned on” for dozens of enterprise customers, with hundreds more planned. Gerardo Aguirre, director of network engineering with Telcel places the importance of this commercial rollout into context:

Our largest customers in Mexico demand and expect a superior mobile network experience at all times. With SpiderCloud as our go-to in-building network solution, Mexico’s business, education and government customers are experiencing the leading edge of in-building mobility as part of our continued commitment to deliver a superior mobile experience.”

Together with our business partners in the region (Cisco, NEC and one more major player), we will work with Telcel and América Móvil to bring in-building services to major metropolitan areas in South America.

SpiderCloud is fast becoming the recognized leader for scalable small cell systems. According to Infonetics (March 2015),SpiderCloud leads the enterprise small cell market as a result of an early focus on the medium-to-large enterprise segment, followed by Alcatel-Lucent.”

SpiderCloud’s system has been deployed by leading operators such as: América Móvil, Verizon, Vodafone UK, Netherlands, EE in United Kingdom (Cisco), Telcel in Mexico, Avea in Turkey (NEC), Warid Telecom in Pakistan, and several more undisclosed operators.

Why SpiderCloud?  We continue to innovate, and the dual-band 3G/LTE and LTE/LTE system with 200 Sectors is the industry’s most flexible and scalable small cell system. Last month we announced the additions of Beacons, Carrier Aggregation use of flexible spectrum bandwidth, and support for Multiple Operators – all part of the same easy-to-deploy over Cat/5/6 Ethernet system (see news) The innovations will help drive down the carrier’s total cost of ownership for large, scalable, indoor small cell deployments.

Another significant move, announced in Barcelona at MWC’15, was Cisco’s news that the #1 enterprise systems provider will resell SpiderCloud’s portfolio (USC 8000 Series). We also developed a radio “snap on” attachment for Cisco’s existing Aironet 3600/3700 Wi-Fi access points (the most popular enterprise Wi-Fi in the world), thus integrating radio access with existing Wi-Fi infrastructure – giving Cisco the ability to target all of its existing Wi-Fi deployments with a simple 3G/4G radio upgrade, thus driving more customer adoption for mobile operators worldwide.

SpiderCloud’s technology is the only small cell system that’s successfully competing, innovating and winning against Ericsson and Huawei for large-scale in-building coverage and capacity solutions — sold to mobile operators. With our partners, it’s now pedal to the metal. Catch up if you can, or give us a call to partner.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO
SpiderCloud Wireless
Twitter: @haraldsvik


Small Cell Suspense and “Edge of Innovation” at #MWC15

March 2, 2015

At Mobile World Congress (#MWC15), Cisco today announced commercial availability of its new Universal Small Cell (USC) 8000 Series designed for large enterprises and venues. This solution is the result of collaboration between Cisco and SpiderCloud Wireless, and will be offered to Cisco’s enterprise customers and channel partners. The global agreement includes Cisco reselling SpiderCloud’s entire small cell portfolio under the USC 8000 Series brand.  In addition, SpiderCloud will develop custom small cell technology for Cisco to include 3G and 4G radio modules into the Aironet 3600/3700 Wi-Fi access points.

This is indeed big news! Scott Morrison, VP/GM for Cisco’s Small Cell Technology Group summarized it nicely:

“Partnering with SpiderCloud, Cisco now has an unsurpassed and complete end-to-end small cell and Wi-Fi solution for mobile operators and their enterprise customers. Working with Vodafone enables us to give enterprise customers a complete, high-quality mobile experience in every building, helping them transform the role of mobility in their business.”

So, look out Ericsson and Huawei, as products in the new small cell portfolio are available immediately, including Cisco’s USC 8088 Controller which provides real-time coordination and distributed SON capability for up to 100-sector LTE/3G radios, enough to effectively cover the largest of enterprise customers and buildings.  Vodafone is the first service provider to have its enterprise customers benefit from the global agreement.

“Working with Cisco and SpiderCloud, we will be able to offer our enterprise customers a highly flexible small cell system that can be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively to enhance the quality of the mobile and Wi-Fi coverage our customers rely on to run their businesses.”
–  Matt Beal, Director of Innovation and Architecture, Vodafone Group.

As our CEO (Mike Gallagher) puts it, this is a “market changer! “Our partnership with Cisco will speed up small cell deployments to benefit large enterprise customers worldwide.”

The beneficiaries of this global agreement are mobile operators who are serious about providing mobile in-building coverage, capacity and managed services to enterprise customers and venue owners. With Cisco’s existing enterprise customers and channel partners, mobile operators now have access to a complete end-to-end small cell and Wi-Fi solution, and access to a new enterprise customer base.

At #MWC15, we are showcasing how enterprise customers benefit from a scalable small cell system.

  • Improved Performance for Coverage and Capacity
    – Carrier Aggregation: New Dual-band radio nodes, designed to offer simultaneous 3G/LTE service or dual-carrier LTE service, are software upgradeable to support Carrier Aggregation with peak rates up to 300 Mbps.
  • Pre and Post Installation Capabilities
    – Radio Nodes with Integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon, improve an already easy installation process, improve inventory management, and ease post-installation system maintenance, driving down the carrier’s total cost of ownership for large, scalable indoor small cell deployments. Radio Nodes with integrated Bluetooth beacons works in conjunction with SpiderCloud’s award-winning E-RAN iOS and Android app.
  • New Managed Services Opportunities
    – Virtualized functions and hosted services on the Services Node. SpiderCloud will demonstrate enterprise-specific content filtering and group/individual policy examples with Intel Security. These policies make it possible for enterprise IT to deploy a high-capacity LTE system without compromising its acceptable use policies.
    – New Radio Node with Low Energy Bluetooth beacons opens the door for localization and context services within large enterprise offices, malls and venues.
  • Multi-Operator Support
    – New dual-band LTE Radio Nodes can be shared by two operators via a software upgrade. Dual-band LTE radios support 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz channels, with peak rates of 150 Mbps per band, and VoLTE. Operators will have option to share their dual-band SpiderCloud LTE system with partner operators (multi-operator RAN), while maintaining strict separation of traffic and services, through a software upgrade.

See and read more about fast innovations and small cell installations on our newly refreshed web site www.spidercloud.com

Today, SpiderCloud’s partner NEC also announced that Avea in Turkey is rolling out a scalable small cell system with solutions from NEC and Spidercloud. And most recently, SpiderCloud with Emtel, announced that Warid Telecom in Pakistan is bringing 4G to its customers.

With our partners, we will continue to innovate and bring scalable small cell systems, with access to cloud-enabled services, to our customers. We are indeed at the “Edge of Innovation” – this year’s theme at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO
SpiderCloud Wireless
Twitter: @haraldsvik


“And Then There Were Three”…

March 7, 2014

(Aka, “One got fuddled, and then there were three”). SpiderCloud’s MWC’14 Recap and Commentary

The Genesis album from ’78 is a classic. The title is from an old children’s rhyme (10 little Indians). From our perspective, in the market segments that we play, “and then there were three” summarizes Small Cells at Mobile World Congress.

Before we go on, we have to congratulate GSMA for another banner event in Barcelona. This year there was a record attendance of 85,000 (last year 72,000 attended). The big difference this year was the notable presence of computing companies such as IBM, HP, Oracle, EMC and VMWare. The lines between mobile and enterprise networks are blurring (see blog). The big themes this year focused on wearable technologies, LTE, NFV/SDN, Big Data (analytics) and Small Cells.  GSMA’s Michael O’Hara and his team did a great job, as did Justin Springham and his Mobile World Daily & Live TV teams. See the “Show Wrap Up” and video recaps here.

Small Cells Moving from Hype to Reality

One analyst summarized as follows: “The indoor, enterprise space has notoriously been one where it was hard for operators to add value beyond providing bundles of voice minutes and devices. That is all changing and, as in-building coverage and capacity requirements become urgent, carriers see the chance for new business. That meant there was very heavy emphasis on indoor wireless at MWC, with vendors from all segments – Wi-Fi, small cells, DAS and macrocells – converging on the chief area of growth in usage and revenue.”

The sentiment is very accurate. Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire. The in-building market is heating up and the DAS and Wi-Fi vendors want a seat at the table which is why we saw many DAS and Wi-Fi “We are Small Cell” related press releases before and during MWC. This is all good.

As for deployments of in-building systems that can scale from hundreds to thousands of employees, the sentiment now is “…and then there were three.”

SpiderCloud Wireless, Huawei and Ericsson are now recognized as the three vendors who have (or will have) systems that can scale to address medium to large enterprise in-building mobile coverage and capacity needs for mobile operator customers.

  1. Huawei has a solution they call Lampsite that deploys like a DAS system, for coverage and capacity inside very large buildings. First deployment includes it’s own HQ in the greater London area.
  2. Ericsson is coming to market with its DAS Dot macro cellular system for single-band 3G or 4G coverage (only) using dedicated CIPRI over Cat 5/6 cabling system in 2015. Ericsson’s CTO on Small Cells, Cloud and more (video).
  3. SpiderCloud has been commercial for over 2 years and is proven with large-scale small cell deployments using existing enterprise Ethernet/VLAN.  In addition, the system includes a platform to enable cloud and applications services. Services beyond basic coverage and capacity were showcased by Vodafone, Intel, NEC, IBM, Seguna and Tango Networks during this year’s MWC. See SpiderCloud RCR interview and Mobile World Live TV panel with Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T.

Beyond Coverage and Capacity, it’s all about services

We enjoyed a lot of interest in our platform’s x86 services module. SpiderCloud’s Services Node (SCSN) provides a trusted connection to the Radio Nodes and a logical view into all devices on the E-RAN, to enable secure services to any mobile device on the network. The SCSN enables mobile operator managed cloud and application services, such as MDM, BYOD, caching, analytics, location and context-aware, security and IP-PBX services. The SCSN services module includes a 64-bit Intel Xeon processor that uses Intel Quick Assist Technology and a 120GB solid-state HDD, offering a virtualized environment for a wide range of applications.  Services examples and demonstrations at MWC included:

  • Intel/McAfee Virtualized Network Security Platform (NSP) to identify and prevent network security threats at the edge of the mobile network, before such threats can reach the core network, by blocking malicious packets sent by a mobile device. NSP protects a device from malicious packets sent by a server on the Internet.
  • Saguna Networks’ demonstrated the benefits of backhaul savings and user experience benefits of a centralized content cache on the SCSN as part of a scalable small cell system for large campus, venues and shopping malls.
  • Ineoquest showed Quality of Experience (QoE) demonstration of mobile video performance by using probes on the small cell network using the SCSN.
  • IBM location and detection virtual machine hosted on the SCSN showed handset-to-location video and advertising “push” services for use at venues and shopping malls. The OTA demonstration included SpiderCloud’s UMTS Radio Node.
  • Tango Networks’ demonstration used the SCSN and Radio Node to show how mobile operators can extend enterprise UC, PBX and mobile call recording services to their entire network, inside and outside the enterprise LAN using any mobile phone via Tango’s Virtualized Accelerator on the SCSN, based on policies configured on the virtual machine on the SCSN.

Small Cells, “there’s an APP for that” (article quote)

Making Deployments easier with EASY-30. Just before MWC, we launched a ground-breaking initiative to help mobile operators and enterprise customers identify, verify and deploy a scalable in-building small cell system in 30 days or less.  The EASY-30 smartphone application enables sales teams to swiftly identify customer requirements for in-building small cell systems and fulfill verification and approval between the operator and its enterprise customer.  The system can then be rapidly deployed over Ethernet and automatically configured via Self Organizing Networks (SON), all within 30 days of the first conversation between operator and enterprise.

Finally, “…one got fuddled”

Cisco is focusing its small cell efforts on the “pub market” (coverage/capacity for 50 subscribers or less) with its small business and residential system portfolio. Time and investments will tell if they’ll put technology efforts into going after the medium and large enterprise market.

Growing Interest in the Enterprise Small Cell Market

“For all the noise from these new product introductions, we would note that privately held SpiderCloud offers a sophisticated indoor coverage system, which it has already been deploying commercially for almost two years. SpiderCloud’s system effectively with its own controller and using SON (self-optimizing network) technology for network optimization, appears to have a solution that has lower up-front costs and is faster to deploy than most DAS system and has been being commercially deployed with partner Vodafone for almost two years.” Needham Co.

SpiderCloud is a key player in the small cell space – even hosting them on one of our tech talks last year. The company continues to grow quickly, deploying their solution in the UK (and elsewhere) as part of Vodafone’s densification/in-building coverage effort.  After discussions with management, we believe the year is setting up nicely for the company, and with multiple operators trialing or deploying their solution and work being done on a multi-operator solution, we believe the future remains bright.” Deutsche Bank, “Signals to Noise”, March 2, 2014

If you’d like to read more about MWC, we recommend:

Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


“I’m Only A Dolphin, Ma’am” (Barcelona: beware of Lamps and Meatballs)

February 10, 2014

If you’re old enough to remember, “Land shark” you will not be fooled by “lamps” and “meatballs” disguised as something else. As the ’75 SNL skit goes “Candygram, my foot! You get out of here before I call the police! You’re the shark, and you know it! (Shark) Wait.  I-I’m only a dolphin, ma’am. (Woman) A dolphin?”

It takes more than smoke and mirrors to get on the roadmaps of some of the largest mobile operators in the world. You may want to watch this brief video to see what we mean.

2013 was a proving year for SpiderCloud, coupled with an industry wave of support for enterprise small cells led by Gordon Mansfield and the Small Cell Forum. Going to Barcelona in just 2 weeks’ time, we’re proud of momentum and support from the Small Cell Forum, and it’s recognition of SpiderCloud with an award for ‘Transforming the Cellular Service Offering in Enterprises’ as well as Telecoms.com ‘Best LTE RAN product’ award for the industry’s first Dual-band UMTS/LTE small cell (or dual band LTE).  SpiderCloud has an almost full “dance card”. Much of the interest is driven by the company’s proven ability to scale small cell systems for deployments inside buildings for large financial companies and global brands, and our latest small cell. SpiderCloud’s Dual-band small cell is nominated for ‘Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough”, by GSMA, using Broadcom’s latest SoC coupled with our proprietary software.

Beyond coverage and capacity, SpiderCloud together with IBM, Intel, and NEC – will showcase SON and enabling cloud and application services. SpiderCloud’s Services Node (SCSN) provides a trusted connection to the Radio Nodes and a logical view into all devices on the E-RAN, to enable secure services to any mobile device on the network. The SCSN enables mobile operator managed cloud and application services, such as MDM, BYOD, location and context-aware, security, and IP-PBX services. The SCSN includes a 64-bit Intel Xeon processor services module that offers a virtualized environment for a wide range of applications.

Intel (Hall 3, D30) is showing the benefits of running virtual machines and applications on the SCSN, using a SpiderCloud UMTS Radio Node. Demonstrations include:

  • McAfee Virtualized Network Security Platform (NSP) to identify and prevent network security threats at the edge of the mobile network, before such threats can reach the core network, by blocking malicious packets sent by a mobile device. NSP protects a device from malicious packets sent by a server on the Internet.
  • Saguna Networks’ demonstration of the backhaul savings and user experience benefits of a centralized content cache on the SCSN as part of a scalable small cell system for large campus, venues and shopping malls.
  • Ineoquest Quality of Experience (QoE) demonstration of mobile video performance by using probes on the small cell network using the SCSN.

IBM will show location and detection virtual machine hosted on the SCSN showing handset-to-location video and advertising “push” services for use at venues and shopping malls. The demonstration includes SpiderCloud’s UMTS Radio Node.

SpiderCloud and Tango Networks demonstration shows how mobile operators can extend enterprise UC, PBX and mobile call recording services to their entire network, inside and outside the enterprise LAN using any mobile phone via Tango’s Virtualized Accelerator on the SCSN, based on policies configured on the virtual machine on the SCSN.

In Barcelona we will also discuss how a scalable small cell system can be put inside a business customer’s premise in 30 days or less with our “EASY-30” approach. Unlike costly and complex in-building antenna systems that require months of planning and Radio Frequency expert teams, building approval, optical cables and single-band system, SpiderCloud’s EASY model enables identification, verification and installation of scalable small cell systems for medium and large enterprise customers and venues in 30 days or less, from start to finish, using Ethernet, a pre-sales application, SON and mutual buy-in from mobile operator and the enterprise for a speedy process.

If you want to see or hear more, SpiderCloud has several presentations and panel participation at Mobile World Congress:

  • Monday, 24th February, 13:30 to 14:00: ‘Best practices for installations of E-RAN and examples of enterprise managed services’ at Small Cell Forum’s booth in Hall 7, F61
  • Tuesday, 25th February, 12:30 to 13:30: ‘2014: The year of small cells (finally)?’ Mobile World Live TV
  • Tuesday, 25th February, 11:00 to 11:30: ‘Best practices for installations of E-RAN and examples of enterprise managed services’ at Small Cell Forum’s booth in Hall 7, F61
  • Wednesday, 26th February, 14:00 to 15:30: ‘Complementing Coverage with Small Cells and Wi-Fi’ in Hall 4, Auditorium 4

To request a meeting with us, send an email to: mwc14@spidercloud.com or stop by our small but effective booth in Hall 2 East (H2S3), next to Ericsson. Beware of lamps and meatballs. :-)

See you in Barcelona!

Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


Around the World… in 88 Meetings

March 8, 2013

Last week, SpiderCloud Wireless attended, and actively participated, at the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Though we miss the old location at Fira Montjuic, the new conference facility at Fira Gran Via proved itself a worthy venue. GSMA put on an impressive event again. Our hats off to Mike O’Hara and team!  See the Wrap Up Video.

We hosted 88 meetings and engagements during the 4 days. In addition, SpiderCloud Wireless was part of a fortunate few private companies invited to speak. We had 3 speaker slots on Tuesday, February 26:

  • Network Offloading” panel @ Mobile World Live TV
  • “What Enterprise IT Wants…” @ Small Cell Forum Pavilion
  • “Smaller But Smarter” small cell CEO panel (Mike)

Several themes emerged from MWC13.

1. The physical borders between mobile and service provider networks and enterprise IT networks are starting to “blur.” Ericsson, Juniper, Intel, IBM and Cisco were among the big firms positioning SDN and virtualization initiatives (including DPI, policy, optimization, etc.)

2. A new round of Smartphone OS wars are emerging. Mozilla, Ubuntu and Jolla are coming on strong and see an opportunity to disrupt a growing duopoly of Apple iOS and Google Android. Mozilla Firefox received support by 23 operators and partners.

3. Small Cell Networks and Integration of Wi-Fi also dominated the topics.  Small cells are now viewed as more mature and becoming a real market. As Needham Co. puts it: “small cells and hetnets remain one of the most popular topics at MWC, there is also a welcome sense of sobriety to hetnet discussions, following two years of relatively limited deployments. The complex reality of deploying hundreds, if not thousands of small cells in a geographically constrained area, as well as the lack of capacity constraints on many early stage 4G networks, has resulted in the small cell market generally moving slower than envisioned, when the hype cycle began two years ago.”

Rethink Wireless & Maravedis commented: “Most operators are interested in the elements involved and making active preparations, so this year saw the debate move from theory and hardware, to real world implementation issues such as self-optimizing networks, Wi-Fi integration and optimized back office platforms.” There was also the recognition that SON will have a critical role when it comes to the deployment of small cells, especially on a large-scale basis.

Signals Research Group stated: “In-building deployments will need SON/HetNet on steroids since in addition to managing the relationships and interference coordination between adjacent cells on the same floor, SON/HetNet will need to work in the vertical plane, or between two or multiple floors.”

“Challenges that are being addressed by equipment providers include how to backhaul the cells, site acquisition challenges, how to manage interference between both small cells and the macro network, or if fresh spectrum needs to be allocated to small cells, and integration of small-cells with Wi-Fi. Privately held SpiderCloud offers a smart small-cell alternative (focused mainly on indoor coverage applications) with its controller-based self-optimizing network architecture.”

It’s clear that there is tremendous interest and traction for multi-mode access using a scalable small cell system (>100 small cells with soft handoff and central coordination) to deliver reliable mobile services indoors for enterprise customers of any size.  In addition to showcasing our performance metrics with the scalable small cell system, many meetings also focused on scaling requirements for small cell deployments and “beyond coverage and capacity” planning with enterprise services focused on PBX and Cloud-based PBX integration, context-aware and location applications, security and compliance, and Wi-Fi as a service.

In their MWC wrap up, Deutsche Bank commented: “The challenges solved by SpiderCloud are much greater for multi-story buildings, given that interference issues are three dimensional instead of two dimensional, as with traditional layouts. Given the increase in efficiency seen by Vodafone and the significantly lower total cost of SpiderCloud¹s solution compared to that of a traditional DAS system, we think the company could see a meaningful ramp in deployments with carriers this year.”

Besides scalability and services, of great interest, was also the findings from 3 recent studies:

  • Valuable licensed spectrum is a largely under-utilized asset indoors: Quantifying the in-building coverage and capacity constraints of an outdoor macro network that is used to provide in-building mobile data services – a research report by Signals Research Group. read more >
  • Enterprise Mobility Services: Market Opportunity for Mobile Service Providers – a market analysis by Exact Ventures that highlights a $100 billion 2020 emerging market opportunity for mobile operators. The research shows that enterprises can save 35% a year by adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services, totaling $60 Billion in cumulative savings between 2014-2020. read more >
  • Enterprise IT Coverage & Capacity UK satisfaction survey, which identified concerns with in-building service and willingness to switch mobile operators for better coverage. read more >

We enjoyed positive coverage from our time in Barcelona, and look forward to meeting customers, partners and our industry friends at one of our upcoming industry engagements.

As for us, we already look forward to Mobile World Congress 2014 and continued success for all the small cell vendors.

– Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


Tapas, Small Cells & Services

February 12, 2013

“Carrier Wi-Fi Offload” was all the rage at last year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. But a year later, network priorities have changed. As I mentioned during last year’s Mobile World Live TV panel – “Next year will be all about multi-access small cells.” At this year’s annual gathering of some of the smartest and most innovative people and companies in mobile, MWC13 (February 25-28), will serve up ever-delightful Tapas, followed by multi-access Small Cells and enterprise managed services as two of the main dishes at this year’s big event.

MWC13 is where mobile operators and vendors jointly start to look beyond small cells for coverage and capacity, to revenue-generating mobility services for larger venues and enterprise customers. Why now, and which type of services?

It starts with a reliable in-building coverage and capacity system that can scale

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, 35% of IT managers whose businesses have a mobile operator say their business is prepared to move to a wireless carrier that could guarantee a better indoor solution. Almost half (47%) reported interest in Mobile Device Management as an operator-hosted service to manage, monitor, secure and support mobile devices in the enterprise, and 40% demonstrated an interest in Wi-Fi as a service from their operator.

These findings support a recent report by Exact Ventures, Enterprise Mobility Services are Market Opportunity for Mobile Service Providers, which concludes that managed mobility services represent a $100 billion market opportunity for mobile operators, and a savings of 35% a year for enterprises adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services.

As the leading innovator of scalable small cell Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) systems for mobile operators, SpiderCloud Wireless is finding itself at the intersection of the densification of networks, applications and cloud-based mobility services. Just over five years ago, the founding team and its investors accurately predicted that small cells needed the ability to scale, just like Wi-Fi systems inside an enterprise, beyond wireless access.

At this year’s MWC13, SpiderCloud Wireless is part of a fortunate few private companies invited to speak. SpiderCloud Wireless has three speaker slots on Tuesday, February 26

  • 9:15am: Ronny Haraldsvik, CMO, “Network Offloading” panel, Mobile World Live TV
  • 10:30am: Art King, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies, “Beyond Coverage & Capacity: What Enterprise IT Wants in form of Services from Mobile Operators,” Small Cell Forum Pavilion (Hall 7, G74)
  • 2:00pm: Michael Gallagher, CEO “Smaller But Smarter: Making a Success of Small Cell Networks” panel, Conference Village in Hall 4, Auditorium 3

SpiderCloud Wireless is sharing findings from 3 studies concluded in February:

  • Valuable licensed spectrum is a largely under-utilized asset indoors: Quantifying the in-building coverage and capacity constraints of an outdoor macro network that is used to provide in-building mobile data services – research report by Signals Research Group.
  • Enterprise Mobility Services: Market Opportunity for Mobile Service Providers – a market analysis by Exact Ventures that highlights a $100 billion 2020 emerging market opportunity for mobile operators. The research shows that enterprises can save 35% a year by adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services, totaling $60 Billion in cumulative savings between 2014-2020.
  • Enterprise IT Coverage & Capacity satisfaction survey by market research agency YouGov that identifies concerns with in-building service and willingness to switch mobile operators for better coverage and capacity, and to adopt cloud and applications, mobile device management and Wi-Fi services delivered by a mobile operator.

SpiderCloud Wireless is hosting Meetings in Hall 2, A130. SpiderCloud will discuss and showcase enterprise services examples such as PBX and Cloud-based PBX integration, context-aware and location applications, security and compliance, and Wi-Fi as a service. Enablement of such services starts with the deployment of a multi-access small cell system that includes 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi, and the ability to scale the system to 100 small cells with soft handoff and central coordination to deliver reliable mobile services indoors for enterprise customers of any size. To request a meeting, email meetingrequest@spidercloud.com or visit http://www.spidercloud.com/news/events

Check out the new venue and GSMA’s analyst device preview to MWC13 (Follow on Twitter @ #MWC13)

See you at the congress. Go Barcelona!

– Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


“The Rain in Spain…”

July 21, 2011

Last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was well attended with over 49,000 people making the trek through the many halls and meeting rooms at La Fira. And yes, it was rainy and cold in Barcelona!

SpiderCloud Wireless conducted many meetings with industry insiders, from operators to media, analysts and vendors. We were also fortunate to have our CEO (Michael Gallagher) speak on a panel with Cisco, Huawei and Telia-Sonera — moderated by Chris Lewis from IDC, addressing network challenges as we bring cellular services inside to the Enterprise.

There were several themes that emerged during the days at La Fira. Regardless of our market focus, it’s safe to say that “network capacity” (or lack thereof, as a result of the emergence of iPhone, Android-powered and Blackberry smartphones) was the big theme and focus. As Deutsche Bank put it in their most recent report (Feb 22, 2010) – “…the industry is just getting to grips with what it will mean.” To back up this statement, note that out of 1.2B phones sold in 2009, smartphone sales reached 172.4 million units in 2009, which is a 23.8% increase from 2008 (Source: Gartner). Surely, 2010 is promising to be the “year of the smartphone.”

With greater functionalities on devices and capabilities of networks, the net result is consumption. Subscribers will consume all available bandwidth (we speak from experience). In some European countries you can purchase 5Gb plans for as little as $20-25 per month. But, that’s nothing compared to the “unlimited plans” for $65-75 where some subscribers may consume up to 60Gb per month. Yes, the 80/20 rule prevails. Or, in some cases, as little as 5% of subscribers consume 90% of all traffic.

Nokia Siemens Networks predicts that “mobile data from smart devices will increase 10,000% by 2015” — which means that “network capacity” is a clear and present issue for operators and vendors alike for years to come.

Cisco research projects that annual global mobile data traffic will reach 3.6 Exabyte per month or an annual run rate of 40 Exabyte by 2014. This is a 39-fold increase from 2009 to 2014.

Furthermore, Cisco predicts “mobile video will represent 66 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2014.”

Peer-to-peer video and one-to-many video communication and downloads is sure to have a serious impact on networks in the coming year and likely the core theme for next year’s Mobile World Congress.

So what do we have to do (operators and vendors) to solve the capacity problem? Marketing terms like “data offload” is sure to get some attention. Wi-Fi will be of great help, but as the smartphone numbers outline, we still have a couple of years to go before we even reach 30% penetration of smartphones in the global marketplace (the predominant category where there’s embedded Wi-Fi). The way things are today, mobile networks built for voice will not scale to future demands for data and video applications. The constant 24/7 data application drain on networks built for voice “busy hour” — requires a different RAN architecture approach to scaling, traffic shaping, as well as the demarcation of where the network edge and core begins and ends.

Deutsche Bank puts it very succinctly: “…for years, carriers built their networks around the concept of peak hour traffic, and busy hour attempts to make phone connections. That concept has been obliterated. Now mobile data is being driven less by voice and more by video or other data. One carrier told us that in major cities, they are seeing 70% of smartphone users on the network 20 hours of the day.”

In simple terms, the Macro RAN has to extend itself seamlessly with the use of smaller micro RANs for dense urban areas and for indoor deployments* (what we refer to as the “Enterprise RAN”). Wi-Fi and Cellular networks will have to work together without undue burden on devices and subscriber intervention, in a secure and seamless manner.

“Mobile data growth is creating significant network challenges across access, backhaul and edge/core networks for wireless carriers, but solving this is not a simple problem, and will require big changes to network architectures.” Brian Modoff, Deutsche Bank

As a final thought, we’d like to call your attention to the “1Goal” effort supported by GSMA and led by her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. Mobile phones & networks can help play in big role in supporting the goal to provide education to the children of Africa. Learn more at www.join1goal.org

The best part of going to MWC is the many ad-hoc meetings that take place anywhere on La Fira. And, after attending 3GSM/MWC for almost 10 years, it is safe to say that this year’s congress was the best managed event in many years (but we still miss the restaurants in Cannes). We look forward to next year’s Mobile World Congress.

Ronny A. Haraldsvik
Vice President of Marketing


IM, Twitter, Facebook and the Signaling Impact on 3G Networks and Capacity

July 21, 2011

As the industry prepares for the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 15-18, we are seeing an uptick in press announcements and articles with regard to the issues of network capacity crunch how to solve these challenges. As some industry insider are (accurately) predicting, “data offload” will be a hot topic at this event, CTIA, and other events later this year.

Though the issues of network capacity are related to many facets of a network (backhaul, core, number of active “heavy bandwidth” 3G devices, software upgrades, etc) – the impact of low-bandwidth applications have gone relatively unnoticed until now. We may think that a small number of subscribers are taking up all the bandwidth in small metro area with the latest and greatest 3G devices, but as one long-time industry expert points out, application “signaling” traffic may be taking up more capacity than earlier anticipated.

Have you really considered the impact of signaling (and thus capacity impact) of active/passive subscribers’ use of Twitter®, Facebook®, and Instant messaging (IM over Yahoo, MSN, Skype) on network resources? Just think about that for a second. How many applications do you have on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android-powered device? How many of them pull down scores (Sports), weather, peer-to-peer IM and other “thin app” data? If you add it all up, the impact on capacity far outweighs the impact of some heavy data download/upload by 3 to 5% of subscribers.

Connection attempts may take up as much as 60% on the RNC processing power whereas 40% is dedicated for actual throughput. This data suggest that backhaul alone may not solve the capacity crunch.

In his latest report (“The Trouble with Twitters”*), Michael Thelander, founder and ceo of Signals Research Group, states: “Without question we have demonstrated that smartphones generate a disproportionate amount of signaling traffic, even when the smartphones are not being used. The question then becomes what can be done to combat this problem – a problem that will only intensify with the increasing popularity of smartphones and social networking websites and services.”

SRG Quote Feb '10

He goes on to say that there are many ways to solve the problem (You have to buy or subscribe to SRG to see his proposed solutions). As it relates to indoor wireless system, he reflects that… “Interestingly, picocells wouldn’t do much to address the issue of smartphone signaling, since, unlike femtocells, they connect directly to the RNC via the Iub interface. Picocells would, however, help offload data traffic from the network.” Though we did not partake in the research study, Signals Research Group notes that SpiderCloud Wireless and our E-RAN approach may play a role in the solution.

“The impact of smartphone data and signaling traffic on macro network capacity has strong ties to enterprise usage or usage from other large indoor locations where people congregate. In this case, a “mini-RAN” approach may be a more appropriate solution since additional intelligence would be needed for cell handovers and to minimize the interference from a large number of access points. Further, to the extent that voice calls or IMs are remaining within the enterprise, a “mini-RAN” solution, such as what is being promoted by SpiderCloud Wireless, would be able to keep the traffic within the “mini-RAN” and completely removed from the operator’s core network. The same can also be said for social networking services.”

As noted in our previous blog from 2 weeks ago, “3G does not have a coverage problem (….it’s a capacity issue!) ” – we conclude that “The net impact of the success of smartphones means that network operators must find ways to handle data offload with and without licensed spectrum and leverage Ethernet LAN where it’s feasible.”

See you in Barcelona.

Ronny A. Haraldsvik
Vice President of Marketing

*Report mention and quotes reprinted with permission from Signals Research Group.