Almost to the day, a year ago, Ericsson entered the #smallcell arena with DAS DOT. Yes, not so much a #smallcell system. Very much a #DAS. However, the important thing is that @Ericsson joined in with the small cell industry (along with Radio Access Network vendors, Alcatel Lucent, @Nokia @Huawei, and now @Cisco), acknowledging to the world “Houston – we have an indoor coverage and capacity problem.” Since then, Ericsson engaged @SpiderCloud_Inc and Huawei in “slide warfare” with hopes of delaying customers’ decision-making process. This blog honors a year gone by (of “hot air combat”), and missed face-to-face panel opportunities to discuss Enterprise small cells (Ericsson has declined several invitations to be on panels with SpiderCloud and Cisco, most recently at CTIA).
It’s sort of like being a senior in high school. You’re the starting Quarterback on the football team. You’re already driving a car, and you have a steady girlfriend, and you have a date for the big prom. Then, a freshman approaches your girlfriend a few weeks before the big event and asks her to go to the prom with him, making big claims that he will take over the starting Q position on the football team, take the drivers license (before legal age) and drive her to the prom. Lots of promises! It could happen. But is it likely?
If you want to trip up an Ericsson executive, ask this simple question. How many DOTs, IRUs, DUs and cable runs are needed to provide 3G+4G coverage and capacity for an enterprise customer with 500,000 Square Feet of office space in a building with 10 floors? The answer may surprise you. Contact me to verify the answer you received from your Ericsson contact.
As you contemplate the answer, keep this in mind:
- Ericsson macro network is a pre-requisite. 3G operation requires an Ericsson Radio Network Controller.
- DAS DOT network requires dedicated fiber from the Digital Unit (DU) to the Indoor Remote Unit (IRU), and then dedicated Cat6e from the IRU to the Dot. Since each Dot supports only one band class, two Dots are required to support 3G and LTE. Two Dots mean two Cat6 cable pulls per location. All in all, a very expensive install, with no opportunity to share infrastructure with the enterprise.
- DAS DOT requires dedicated, secure, and synchronous backhaul for 3G/LTE system. There is no way to share backhaul with the enterprise or use backhaul from an Internet Services Provider.
- Need to add more Dots to increase coverage in a new wing of the building, or because you need more concentrated capacity? Well be prepared to add an IRU as well, and buy capacity licenses at the DU as well. Of course, if you expect usage to be static over the next 7-10 years, then no need to worry.
- Capacity limited; depends on baseband unit. To add capacity, you have to add baseband unit and add radio head concentrators, which is costly.
- Baseband units run on DC power (AC-DC convertor). Power-hungry: requires 300-400W per unit where multiple units are needed.
– Electricity OpEx for a DAS system could run $25-30K/year compared to $500-700 for a SpiderCloud Services Node which requires less than 100 Watt of AC power and can share the Enterprise UPS System (1 unit needed)
Recently we were told by one of our customers, with a smirk on his face (because he knows us), that he had been told by his new Ericsson sales rep that… “SpiderCloud cannot offer enough capacity for cafeterias and auditoriums.” Come again, what!? That’s #redonkulous
Let’s see, we’re the first one out with a dual-band 3G/4G Radio Node (shipping since June ’14) and also dual-carrier 4G/4G radio Node. So, 2 LTE carriers of data and 128 VoLTE calls in 5,000 ft2 is more than sufficient for a subscriber per 20 ft2! Oh wait, where is Ericsson’s scalable small cell system for enterprise (or any vendor?)? That’s right. Nowhere in sight.
When you deploy in-building wireless systems, having available capacity when and where needed, is essential. When comparing SpiderCloud to Huawei and Ericsson, (LTE comparison to be nice), there is a significant capacity advantage with a scalable small cell system approach vs. a DAS DOT shared capacity approach. After all, every small cell provides capacity to the user near the small cell and thus a great user experience!
Here are our assumptions:
- SpiderCloud Radio Node covers 1,000 m2.
- Ericsson IRU is connected to 8 Radio Dots that together cover 6,500 m2.
- Huawei Lampsite rHub is connected to 8 LTE pRRUs that together cover 8,000 m2
- One subscriber per 20 m2 & overbooking factor of 10
Please do not mistake this blog post for E-bashing. We’re simply a go-to blog for people for fact checking. Last year’s “JA DAS DOT” blog is our most popular read blog by far (ranked 40% higher than #2). So, when Ericsson celebrates one year (after announcing DOT) and still has not commercially shipped any systems and continues to claim it has a better in-building solution than our soon to be 3-year commercially proven 3G small cell system (and now 4G is shipping), then we cannot help ourselves. We simply have to bring out the Swedish Chef.
Yes, the “Meatball” theory by the Swedish Chef is still in effect.
But, at least Ericsson followed up a year later with another announcement. They do now have a true small cell (pico cells in a small cell form factor). The stand-alone small cell is for small business implementations and shops, made for Ericsson-specific networks — as an analyst points out.
“The RBS 6402 lacks enterprise-specific optimizations and applications found in some enterprise-centric small-cell offerings. The system is not designed to overlay a non-Ericsson mobile network.”
When will the new small cell ship? When will DAS DOT ship? Most likely in 2015.
What’s still missing from DAS DOT and the new small cell? Still no support for value added services or #NFV, which is inherently built into the SpiderCloud small cell platform. NFV and small cell services is increasingly important to the Small Cell Forum, as Dr. Alan Law, new chairman, points out in the recent Light Reading article.
“With the drive of standardization of equipment, that starts to open up a tremendous opportunities to take very adaptive and flexible techniques developed in the field of NFV and extend it to the edge of the network.”
* * *
“As an example, if you take SpiderCloud Wireless, for instance, and what they have with their services node, they have in essence a platform there potentially capable of running applications at the edge of the network already. In essence, you could start to exploit NFV in certain areas relatively quickly.”
Read more here “NFV lands in enterprise small cells” by Senza Fili Consulting in collaboration with RCR Wireless.
You can take the sassy DOT give-aways and sing and dance to the ABBA tune “Take a chance on me”… or you can go with the proven, scalable small cell system vendor, SpiderCloud Wireless. One scalable 3G/4G small cell system for coverage, capacity and services with reliable services for buildings up to 1.5 Million Square feet with ONE Services Node and 100 Radio Nodes – deployable in days over existing Ethernet (VLAN).
In celebration of our DAS DOT’s one-year blog anniversary we have a new DOT Video! http://youtu.be/NulhZt-43X0
And, every chance you get, ask an Ericsson executive: How many DOTs, IRUs, DUs and cable runs are needed to provide 3G+4G coverage and capacity for an enterprise customer with 500,000 Square Feet of office space in a building with 10 floors?
Send us your E-answers. We promise, we will post the correct answer on this blog within the next couple of weeks.
– Ronny Haraldsvik, SVP/CMO (@haraldsvik)
– Amit Jain, VP of Product Management