D2E Sales Arrives

June 20, 2017


Direct to Enterprise sales of small cell RAN systems, while not new, differ from legacy approaches such as Distributed Antenna Systems, aka DAS. In past posts, we have explored the advantages of both small cell capacity and the corporate swing back to a primary operator. Those two advantages and Direct to Enterprise “D2E” sales channels drove creation of SpiderCloud’s Frequency Agile LTE SCRN-220 Radio Node for the Enterprise RAN “E-RAN” platform.

In many early D2E conversations with enterprise VARs and enterprises, the complaint of the RAN being “locked-in” (the band cannot be altered) to a particular operator was raised. In enterprises that enjoy stable long-term relationships with their operators, lock-in is not an issue. They manage their primary operator via competitive RFP every four to five years to optimize pricing and business terms, but don’t change to a different primary operator. However, it became apparent that many enterprise IT/Telecom leaders we met with wanted an agile RAN for two main reasons:

  • They believe that they can negotiate a better contract with their primary operator because the small cell RAN can be re-configured for a new primary operator instead of replaced. This reduced switching cost enables the enterprise to bargain from a better position.
  • If IT/Procurement decides to switch primary operators, the small cell RAN supporting enterprise mobility will not become a stranded asset due to its inability to be re-configured. This type of finance issue can damage the business case.

SpiderCloud has addressed the need for frequency agility in the United States D2E market with the introduction of the Frequency Agile LTE SCRN-220 Radio Node. This breakthrough Radio Node is an enterprise-grade LTE small cell that can be software configured for the major USA bands supporting the four Tier-1 mobile operators. LTE Bands supported are 2 (1900 PCS), 25 (1900 Plus), 4 (AWS-1), 66 (AWS-3), 12 (700 A) & 13 (700 C) with channel widths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 Mhz.

In summary, SpiderCloud has created the Frequency Agile LTE small cell that satisfies the requirement for that agility to the E-RAN platform. By collaborating with our mobile operators and cutting edge enterprises, we continue to innovate both the E-RAN and the Go-To-Market model in the D2E space. At the end of the day, enterprise IT customers envision their wireless ecosystem as a balanced diet of enterprise-owned Wi-Fi and LTE that seamlessly satisfies the present and future needs of the broad spectrum (pun intended) of subscribers, from IT to non-technical business leaders.

Pro-tip: ask other small cell vendors who have approached you about software reconfiguring their radios for different bands. If they can’t do it, you should look elsewhere.

SCRN-220 Press Release

– Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

Twitter: @ArtKingg
Visit our Enterprise IT site @ http://SpiderCloud.com/Enterprise


Lions and Tigers and LTE! Oh My!

February 21, 2017

SpiderCloud will be at Mobile World Congress next week. Here is a preview of what we will be discussing with customers, partners and industry analysts.


More LTE Capacity Where You Need It

It is no secret that SpiderCloud believes that one of the best ways to add capacity to mobile networks is to build LTE small cell networks inside buildings. When you move a thousand weekend shoppers to an indoor SpiderCloud network, you not only delight them, you free up the macro network to delight thousands of subscribers outdoors. Simple! Even better, enterprises and buildings want indoor cellular and welcome operators who are willing to provide it with open arms, especially operators that can offer an enterprise IT friendly SpiderCloud system. To prove it, we are heading to Barcelona with a chest full of case studies.

Operators that have experienced the ease of deployment and scalability of our system are now taking it into new applications. They are taking SpiderCloud E-RAN beyond offices to significant public venues like hospitals, hotels, universities and airports. These are venues where just a few years ago, the common wisdom was, “small cells will never satisfy the venue’s requirements.” They are also taking it to small buildings, like retail outlets and betting parlors – buildings that once were considered too small for our products.

And that is not all. In buildings where distributed antenna systems are still required (to support multiple operators, legacy technologies like GSM or CDMA, or public safety), SpiderCloud E-RAN is now being used as an alternative to pico and macro eNBs from Nokia and Ericsson. See recent story in RCR Wireless on how Verizon has asked its five DAS suppliers to partner with SpiderCloud. DAS companies finally have a low-cost, high-capacity, easy to deploy “signal source” that can help them sell more DAS systems to enterprises.

E-RAN – Now Starring Unlicensed Spectrum

We don’t plan to rest on our laurels anytime soon. At MWC 2017, we will be showcasing our new enterprise LTE small cell that aggregates licensed and unlicensed spectrum, using LTE-U and LAA. This new small cell, called SCRN-320, is first to integrate a Wi-Fi chipset that detects Wi-Fi preamble messages and informs Wi-Fi access points about its intent to use the channel. We have developed new SON technology to dynamically sense the Wi-Fi environment throughout the building, and use this information to centrally assign unlicensed channels to small cells. SpiderCloud E-RAN, now starring SCRN-320, may be the first and only system that can co-exist with ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks in large venues like shopping malls and airports, and deliver even more capacity where it is needed.

The Brave New World of Authorized Shared Spectrum

Globally, regulators are looking at ways to make underutilized spectrum available for mobile broadband while protecting the rights of incumbent users. The US FCC is leading the way by making 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band available for small cell deployment under a shared spectrum strategy called Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), and we are actively investing in building products for this spectrum.

At MWC2017, we will show a live demo of our CBRS indoor small cells, operating as 3.5 GHz LTE-TDD. We will also explain how SpiderCloud’s Services Node connects to the Spectrum Access System (SAS) as Domain Proxy and use its enhanced SON capabilities to assign CBRS channels, boosting spectrum efficiency and performance. In addition, we will discuss a wide range of use cases for CBRS, from enterprise to outdoor, and single operator to neutral host.

A Pivotal Year Ahead for Small Cells

For small cells, the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades!

After years of hype, enterprise LTE small cells are finally real. Leading operators have integrated them in their networks, and are actively deploying them. New use cases are emerging for small cells. New spectrum is becoming available for them, from unlicensed to authorized shared access. And the industry is inventing new ways to use this spectrum, from LTE-LAA to MulteFire. We are excited, and we will not be shy in saying so.


Speaking Engagements:

  • Tuesday at 9.30 am: Mike Gallagher, CEO, Interview with Mobile World Live TV
  • Tuesday at 12.15 pm: Art King, Director of Enterprise Services, panelist “Digital Enterprise & Employees” at MWC Conference in Hall 4, Auditorium
  • Tuesday at 3.20 pm: Amit Jain, VP Product Management, panelist “Business Opportunity for Cable Operators and Service Providers” at MWC Press Conference Room #1 in the Media Village. This is part of MulteFire event that runs from 2:00-4:00pm.

Glomo Awards:
SpiderCloud – USA National Rollout is nominated in Best Mobile Infrastructure Award category. Tuesday at 5.00 pm: Awards Ceremony in Hall 4, Auditorium 5. All are welcome to attend regardless of badge status.

If you’re attending MWC, we wish you success and fun in the controlled chaos.

Cheers from SpiderCloud Wireless!


Business productivity with an inside-out mobility system

August 12, 2013

Mobility drives improved efficiency and productivity.  Having the ability to work anywhere in a building is only as good as the reliability of the network. Poor indoor coverage and capacity is a growing headache.  IT managers are now turning to their mobile operator to fix the problem. In fact, 61% of IT decision makers from businesses with 250+ employees say that their businesses have struggled with indoor coverage and capacity, and of these, 73% of people had taken steps to address the issue by contacting their mobile operator.

The challenges operators faced when deploying an indoor mobile network can be broadly summarized with: time, cost and complexities.  Speed is of the essence to satisfy the business needs of customers, yet traditional methods of improving indoor coverage take too long to deploy and are too expensive.  For example, installing a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) can take months, if not years, due to local city and building approval cycles, Radio Frequency Planning, etc. It is very costly and involves high complexity, so the solution is not viable for many enterprises. Over the next 5-8 years, DAS will become less relevant for broadband connectivity inside buildings. It is an old technology approach that extends a signal inside a building with unnecessary complexity that adds excessive cost and time to network project plans.

Small cells are an increasingly attractive option for operators, as shown by recent statement partnerships like Qualcomm’s $100 million investment in Alcatel Lucent and Cisco’s even more dramatic $2 billion acquisitions spree.  However, coordinating networks and applying self-optimising network (SON) technology in a small cell environment is very different than dealing with a macro cellular environment. Nokia Siemens Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson all experienced this when they tried to convert their macro experience into an indoor environment. The experience has to be seamless, accounting for real-time factors such as network congestion and device preferences. In addition it has to be interoperable with other gateways, certified on carrier networks and highly scalable beyond a “mesh” of just 3-5 small cells.

Furthermore, dense indoor networks present several technological challenges. Experience shows the indoor Radio Frequency (RF) environment becomes increasingly complex and challenging as the density of the deployment increases. This is particularly true in multi-story buildings where mobile devices experience a three-dimensional RF environment. A single handset is able to see a very large number of small cells, some on its own floor and others from floors above and below it in buildings with open atriums and in campus areas. A device may experience as many as 3-5 handover events per minute and the radio signal inside buildings experiences flat fading, which means that even a stationary handset sees signal from individual and uncoordinated small cells fluctuate.  Without a central coordination point, or support for soft handoff, such network deployments will experience unacceptable call drop rates.

A scalable small cell system overcomes these obstacles while simplifying the installation process with self-optimizing and self-organizing software, and has the ability to scale to support 100 Multi-access small cells (up to 10,000 devices) with just one services node connection to the operator’s core network. Our very own scalable multi-access 3G, Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE small cell system allows mobile operators to deliver unprecedented cellular coverage, capacity and smart applications to enterprises. The scalable system architecture simplifies deployment and overall network configuration for mobile operators.  Overall, the system provides uninterrupted, trouble-free mobile data and voice services.

Beyond reliable indoor coverage and capacity, a scalable system also gives operators the capability to deliver hosted and managed services over its SCSN for mobility, unified communications (UC), secure access to applications, device management and integration of cloud and telephony (PBX), as well as new context-aware and location-based services.  Exact Ventures recently found that the managed mobility services market presents a $100 billion opportunity to operators, and that enterprises can save 35% a year by adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services.

Much as Wi-Fi exploded on the scene 10 years ago and over time segmented into residential and commercial markets in response to differing demands, small cells look set to follow the same trajectory.  Stand-alone small cells are made for homes and small businesses, whereas a system like SpiderCloud’s Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) is made to scale and designed to achieve high-performance mobility so vital to business productivity.

Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik

Small Cells Repeats the Enterprise Evolution Cycle

May 20, 2013

It’s remarkable, the evolution that small cells are going through right now. But, when we think back and look at history, small cells are simply repeating the enterprise evolution cycle of the LAN and Wi-Fi. Three critical technology transitions in enterprise are being paralleled by in-building mobile technology:

  • 10Base2/10Base5 to10BaseT LAN
  • Shared Ethernet to Switched Ethernet
  • Standalone Wi-Fi “Fat AP” to Controller Based Wi-Fi “Thin AP”

Why were these evolution cycles and transitions important?

10Base2/10Base5 to10BaseT LAN
10BaseT was ratified in 1990 and, along with widespread adoption of copper/fiber-optic structured cabling (EIA/TIA 568a/b), enabled enterprise IT to deploy LANs beyond a departmental level. Prior to the emergence of 10BaseT, LAN’s based on 10Base2/5 were departmentally owned/operated. They were hand crafted by specialists using expensive components and coaxial cabling. Additionally, enterprise system availability standards could not be achieved on LAN’s prior to 10BaseT. 10BaseT was the core driver that enabled networks to be deployed at-scale inside enterprises as a common transport layer for departmental and mainframe computing on a low cost, repeatable commodity infrastructure. The other component to success was the 10BaseT LAN’s technology acquisition, and installation costs being far lower than10Base2/5. In addition to rapid commoditization of the active electronic systems, a much larger pool of capable labor (telephone cable installers) to wire buildings created fierce competition.

Shared Ethernet to Switched Ethernet
Kalpana pioneered Ethernet switching in 1989. The concept of switching MAC layer packets enabled Ethernet to radically scale up, and was key to the gradual extinction of competing LAN technologies. Shared Ethernet was constructed such that every computer shared access to the cable. This, as you would expect, created contention issues for access to the network and manifested as very slow performance on large or busy networks. Ethernet switching broke networks into smaller pieces where only the computers on a segment of the switch would contend for access. In the world of today, shared Ethernet is not seen in enterprises, every network port is switched, and our computers are never prevented from transmitting because of another host on the same network.

Standalone Wi-Fi “Fat AP” to Controller Based Wi-Fi “Thin AP”
In the 2001-2002 timeframe, a number of entrepreneurs founded startups (Airespace, Aruba Networks, Trapeze Networks) targeted at resolving the scaling problems in Wi-Fi that enterprise customers were experiencing. The leading edge AP’s of that generation were termed “Fat” in that they were assumed to be standalone devices that had to hold full intelligence locally. Since they were standalone, they did not understand how to cooperate with other AP’s in the environment and each had to be manually configured and managed as single entities. It was an epic nightmare, I was there. The controller architecture was brilliant for Wi-Fi as the “Thin” AP’s installed around the network received their common configuration from the controller and it completely orchestrated all interactions amongst the AP’s. In the world of today, standalone AP’s are relegated to residential, SOHO, and SMB applications where scaling and high performance/density needs are not a requirement.

Small Cell Repeats the Enterprise Evolution Cycle with remarkable parallels.

DAS vs Enterprise Small Cells
The DAS environment is similar to the 10Base2/5 networks of the past. Specialized engineering, installation, and technology along with costs that limit its application to larger venues or very high value enterprise customers. Enterprise small cells use commodity Ethernet for transport and install like access points such that the contractor that wires and deploys office buildings for Wi-Fi can now add small cells to their bag of tricks.

Macro-network to Macro-network/small cells
The notion of densification is conceptually similar to what Ethernet switching did for shared Ethernet cables. Instead of just a 2-mile radius shared 3G/LTE radio domain, the addition of small cells takes the load off the shared macro-network. If you visualize it like Ethernet switching, small cells create lots of little switched segments that unload the larger shared network of that traffic. Every small cell is like a switch port.

Femtocells to Enterprise Small Cells
The problems with placing multiple Femtocells in office and apartment buildings such that they conflict with each other is well known. It was inevitable that a system architecture would emerge to coordinate and operate a cloud of associated small cells inside a building. Why? The Femtocell pioneers encountered the same density problems that Fat Wi-Fi AP’s did in the late 90’s. While SpiderCloud is the first to create a purpose built indoor small cell controller based architecture that solves for the problem space that the Wi-Fi guys did 10 years ago, we certainly won’t be the last. But it is apparent that enterprise is not just a market segment but it requires a “plug and play” technology that is capable of supporting high density, high performance indoor needs.

The old adage of “history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme” lines up nicely when we see the emergent small cells segmentation into Femtocell (home, SOHO, SMB) and enterprise small cells. And, it compares well with the evolution of Ethernet & Wi-Fi in the enterprise networking market. We are heading into an amazing time. Enjoy!

The important thing to remember is that “a new and more important role is emerging for mobile operators where enterprise mobility and value-added IP services is part of the ‘package.’ Mobile is the heartbeat of any organization, and wireless is the digital oxygen that our devices breathe at home and on the road.”

Small Cells are evolving with enterprises’ needs and transition from being wireless – to becoming mobile businesses.

– Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

Twitter: @EMobilityInside
Visit our Enterprise IT site @ http://SpiderCloud.com/EInsider

Addressing the mobile data explosion with small cells

April 16, 2013

Consumer femtocells and their higher power cousins, enterprise and public access femtocells, provide coverage in hard-to-reach areas. But they do not address the mobile data capacity explosion. Why? Because they cannot be used in places where the demand for mobile data is actually exploding!

Spidercloud’s Amit Jain is speaking today at the LTE LATAM 2013 conference, taking place at the Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The demand for mobile data is highest in places where hundreds or thousands of people congregate, such as large shopping centres and large office buildings. Using a single small cell, irrespective of its power or capacity, will not help operators meet the demand for data. All that the operator will get is dissatisfied subscribers, who can see five bars of coverage, but merely get a few hundred kilobits of data.

To address the mobile data explosion, operators need a small cell system that enables them to:

  • Build a dense small cell network inside buildings, with numerous small cells
  • Easily add more small cells as more smart phones and more apps come on the network
  • Provide consistently high throughout, and consistently low call drop rates
  • Deploy this small cell network in hours or days, with technicians who are not cellular gurus

This is a tall order. The indoor RF environment, especially in large multi-storey buildings is very challenging. In a dense deployment, a handset can see several small cells at the same time. Because of fast fading, a handset may handover from one cell to another several times a minute without moving at all.

So, is a dense small deployment not possible?  Yes and no. It depends on the architecture adopted. Broadly, four architectures have been proposed in the industry:

1)    Femtocells connected to a Home Node B Gateway (HNB-GW) with hard handover
2)    Small cells connected to a Home Node B Gateway (HNB-GW) with soft handover using “Iurh”
3)    Pico-cells connected to a traditional 3G Radio Network Controller (RNC)
4)    Small cells connected to a small local controller. Local controller connects to the core network as single HNB.

The first option, hard handover of femtocells, has been trialled by many operators and most agree that it is not practical to deploy more than 5-10 femtocells in a large building.

Many suppliers who initially proposed the first architecture are now moving to the second architecture. They are implementing soft handover using a variation of the Inter-RNC handover protocol called ‘Iurh’. Since soft handover requires synchronization between small cells, some suppliers are building small cells with expensive oven-controller oscillators. All handover signaling goes over the backhaul link and can become a significant expense. And there is no way for an operator to locally offload data traffic without breaking inter-small cell mobility. Products based on this architecture are currently in development.

The third option is using pico-cells connected to a RNC is another way to do soft handover between small cells. This architecture is often offered by macro cellular infrastructure suppliers, who are able to scale down their macro NodeBs and reuse existing RNCs. It can be attractive if an operator requires a small number of small cells, but in the case of high density deployments, the cost of RNC ports can add up. Further, this architecture does place very stringent requirements on backhaul, and it unclear how SON functionality will be implemented.

In the fourth architecture, all small cells in a building connect to a small local controller over Ethernet. This controller is responsible for managing mobility, interference and SON. It aggregates all the traffic and connects to a HNB gateway as a single HNB would using standard Iuh signaling. All inter-small cell mobility events stay inside the building, and do not load the backhaul link or the HNB-gateway. The local controller acts as the master-clock and synchronizes all the small cells, eliminating the need for expensive oscillators in every small cell. If an operator wants to offload data traffic locally or integrate with enterprise applications, it can do so using the local controller. Some innovative operators are working on innovative enterprise applications that use the network intelligence that can be accessed at the local controller.

SpiderCloud’s 3G small cell solution is based on the fourth architecture. Operators have used it to deploy as many as 65 small cells in a 16-storey office building, with thousand of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of inter-small cell handovers daily and the technology is now ready to provide coverage, capacity and new applications in even larger buildings.

– Amit Jain, VP of Product Management

The Sober Reality of Small Cells

March 22, 2013

Mobile operators and vendors alike are awakening to the sober reality of the complexity involved in deploying 10s and 100s of hundreds of small cells in a very dense indoor and outdoor area. One cannot simply forget about 3G and “skip” to 4G – nor forget about Wi-Fi as an integral access technology.

Beyond the marketing hype, not all “small cells” are the same. This is no different than the Wi-Fi market 10 years ago. You simply do not deploy a Linksys where you need an Aruba system, or an Airespace system where Netgear does the job. The same market segmentation that took place with Wi-Fi over a decade ago, is now taking place in the emerging market of small cells.

A mobile operator cannot afford to deploy several access points where one solution can do the job, especially when competing for the lucrative medium to large enterprise market. Enterprises show a strong willingness to switch mobile operators for better coverage. The Market Opportunity for mobile operators in US and Europe is $100 billion for enterprise services. The business case for various small cell approaches was also covered during the panel Network Offloading during MWC. The pragmatic solution for operators and medium to large enterprises is a multi-access small cell system of 3G+4G+Wi-Fi that is an integral part of a larger network that can be deployed rapidly, and easily, and guarantee reliability.

Leveraging mobile operators for services beyond basic coverage and capacity, enterprises can save 35% a year by adopting such managed and hosted services, totaling $60 Billion in cumulative IT savings between 2014-2020. Why the importance of in-building coverage? Spectrum – it is like oil, and today this valuable licensed spectrum is a largely under-utilized asset indoors. Small Cell systems can help an operator re-use up to 50% of spectrum already owned.

Our five-year+ strategic focus on small cells as a system powered by the Enterprise LAN, interference mitigation, soft-handoff, multi-mode 3G/4G+Wi-Fi, and enabling services beyond coverage and capacity – to make deployments inside medium to large enterprises possible – is now being validated as big and small players are starting to come into our market.

Making and scaling a multi-access small cell system that is an integrated part of a mobile operator’s network – is not easy. A SpiderCloud system is deployable by a mobile operator in just days using SON, and is proven to handle over 100,000 data sessions and handoffs on a daily basis while providing reliable voice and data coverage for hundreds to thousands of employees with just one connection to the mobile core network.

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 performance metrics of the SpiderCloud scalable small cell system, operators and partners are now engaging us in “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. We know the enterprise concerns, challenges and requirements. “Enterprise Insider” highlights Enterprise CIO and IT’s priorities and requests for Mobility Applications and Cloud Services (MACS) from mobile operators – as business customers transition from a wireless to a mobile enterprise.

What we do know is that multi-access Small Cells (3G+4G+Wi-Fi – as a market) is fast becoming a reality. Not all small cells are the same.

– 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

Small Cells and Enterprise Infrastructure Access (Part 1: Setting up the problem)

January 10, 2013

Many enterprise IT departments can provide resources that will enable small cell economics to be more favorable to both the mobile operator and the enterprise. The sharing of select enterprise resources can result in the quid pro quo of lower ongoing costs, enabling small cell based coverage and capacity delivered inside targeted office buildings.

This blog series assumes some familiarity with IP Network technology, and is targeted at product managers and enterprise consumers to shed some light on the opportunities. They intend to cover the issues that are relevant to both the enterprise and mobile operator. As an enterprise IT guy, I will go a little deeper on the set of tradeoffs operationally and financially that each enterprise must evaluate in the context of their environment and policies.

  1. Operations and Service Level Agreements
  2. Rack space, power, and physical access
  3. Embedded cable plant inside the building
  4. Ethernet Network
  5. Firewall
  6. Internet connection
  7. Financial Models

We’ll conclude this first entry in the series with a basic introduction to SpiderCloud Wireless’ technology. The context below is not all the details, but is a brief introduction to the architecture, and it’s fit with enterprise technology and the mobile operator core.

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  • The Radio Nodes deliver one or more radio planes of 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi into a coverage area similar to a standard Wi-Fi only AP. It is a secured Ethernet attached device that connects via Cat5e or Cat 6 cabling and leverages Power over Ethernet (PoE/PoE+) provided by an Ethernet switch or inline injector.
  • The Services Node is the brain behind the cloud of Radio Nodes installed in the building. It is also a secured Ethernet attached device that coordinates all the Radio Node in-building activity and sends any communications to the mobile core over a single connection.
  • luh Gateway is the termination point at the edge of the mobile operator’s core network, and SpiderCloud’s Service Node is interoperable with many vendors luh implementations.
  • Communications between SpiderCloud’s Radio Nodes, Service Node and the luh gateway are all based on standard IP using tamper proof technologies and IPSec to protect the security and privacy of the mobile operator’s customers.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series!

As a former Enterprise Infrastructure Architect (Mobility/Collaboration at Nike, Inc.), the opportunities for mobile operators to help address enterprise BYOD and mobility challenges for enterprise IT departments are there. Opportunities to cultivate value-added services beyond coverage and capacity in the Enterprise space are built upon strong customer relationships and a proven technical foundation. Positive mindshare and perceptions in the eyes of the enterprise buyers will create invitations to future opportunities.

A new and more important role is emerging for mobile operators where enterprise mobility and value-added IP services is part of the ‘package.’ Mobile is the heartbeat of any organization, and wireless is the digital oxygen that our devices breathe at home and on the road.

Art King, SpiderCloud Wireless, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

Visit our Enterprise IT site @ http://SpiderCloud.com/EInsider
Get on the priority list to Go Mobile with little or NO CAPEX. Is my enterprise a candidate?

Mobility @ 2020: Small Cell Networks & Services for a 2020 Mobile World

January 1, 2013

The Year of Mobility & Agile Services for the Enterprise

As we’re kicking off 2013 – we know this: mobile networks are becoming more capable and agile with the use of macro and small cell networks to better handle capacity requirements for enterprises customers.  We are in the midst of a mobile industry in transformation – the most rapid mobile network change we have seen in over 15 years. Mobility and use of spectrum (licensed) is the digital oxygen that drives productivity – our industry’s equivalent to crude oil deposits. Spectrum reuse and targeted capacity using small cells is rapidly becoming the answer to deal with networks at capacity.

We are entering years of mobility and agile network services delivered by communications providers.

But, it’s been a long haul. For almost a decade, enterprise IT has built and managed its own LAN and WAN networks, embarking on wireless to improve office and campus productivity and figuring out Unified Communication when and where it makes sense. It’s been a costly Capex and Opex undertaking. A decade later, as enterprises embark on going mobile, things have changed. Mobile friendly applications are emerging that are making it easier to adapt to mobile requirements. The device eco-system shake-up with iPhone and Android, and the emerging tablet category, is making the adoption of mobility for productivity much easier for enterprise employees and their IT departments. It’s all about reducing Capex and having a predictable Opex, as Joanie Wexler highlights in “Mobile Enterprise IT: Considering ‘Mobility as a Service’”. Software as a Service has been rapidly increasing for the last 3 years, and Virtualized Services (VLAN & VPN) are a mainstream pitch by wire line service providers, cloud providers, and system integrators. In simple terms, most non-core functions (to the enterprise) are being outsourced to help an enterprise stay agile and flexible.

In 2013 and beyond, mobile operators have an opportunity, like never before, to become trusted partners to their enterprise customers beyond minutes and Megabytes and subsidized devices.

If Apple, Google and the Bring Your Own Device and App store world have taught us one thing over the last few years, it’s that status quo is a fait accompli. Art King, in his blogs that should have been named “confessions of an IT professional”, aptly places the enterprise challenges and the opportunities for mobile operators into the context of the IT professional with a 3-blog series called “the changing role of the operator”. The net take-away is there’s a role for the mobile operator beyond free devices and long-term promises.  Helping to transition the customer from a wireless do-it-yourself world with costly Capex and Opex investment, to a mobile world with little or no Capex and a predictable Opex. It starts with reliable coverage and capacity inside to make any and all mobile devices work without any complex clients or cumbersome UC equipment. “Just make it work” as our Enterprise Advocacy Council has said for years. Going mobile (using licensed spectrum) should not be a 9 to 18 month process with a Capex of $2-3 per square foot. Add Wi-Fi with its headcount/Opex and going mobile can easily cost an enterprise $5 per square foot wherever it’s deployed. And keep in mind, that’s just for basic coverage and capacity (no Opex services on top).  There has to be better way?

Is a managed service in form of SaaS and WaaS important? Yes! More hardware and Wi-Fi vendors will start to offer such services, leaving the door open for fixed service providers to do the same. In December, Meraki was bought for $1.2B by Cisco to augment its Wi-Fi and Cloud services offerings to enterprise customers. HP recently announced its FlexNetwork Program to offer managed network solutions on a pay-per-use basis, creating new revenue opportunities for communication service providers (CSPs) without capital investment by enterprise customers. This gives enterprise customers valuable options to curtail Capex spending. The advantage for the mobile operator is that they can offer a full suite of Opex-only mobility services with reliable licensed spectrum coverage and capacity using multi-mode small cell systems that can also deliver WasS, SaaS, security and compliance services (Mobility Applications and Cloud Services – MACS). First to market with MACS has the advantage.

In a recent “A Look Ahead” Forbes article by Eric Savitz, the CEO of Webalo, a provider of enterprise mobility software, so stated:The enterprise mobility market is making that same type of evolution. It is moving from complex, slow, costly tools and processes to disruptive, easy, fast, and scalable contemporary technologies that match the speed of creation and deployment to the speed of business need.”

In 2013 enterprises will have more choices in mobile operators and the ability to curtail Capex and service mobility demands. Mobility as a Service without the headaches of Capex and additional equipment and headcounts to make things work.

Here are some interesting facts and trends to keep in mind for 2013-2020.

  1. More mobile devices become available, making the challenges of BYOD, Security, Compliance and Mobile Connectivity Inside much harder. In 2012, 39% of shipments were smartphones. 300 million smartphones were shipped in 1H12, an increase of 45% year over year. 2 billion smartphones will become 3B smartphones within the next 18 months. Enterprises rely on voice and mobility. With up to 80% of connections made inside a building, lack of reliable in-building coverage and capacity will stagnate productivity.
    1. Decisions to make: a) Do it yourself and become your own mobile operator inside, and make mobility and voice work reliably over Wi-Fi ($5 square foot). b)Partner with a Mobile Operator that can provide reliable coverage and capacity with no Capex and a predictable Opex, and fix this problem in days/weeks.
    2. Read more about MACS and overcoming BYOD issues at http://www.spidercloud.com/einsider
  2. Networks are becoming denser. In-fill networks, in the form of multi-mode small cells for outdoor hotspot and inside businesses and large venue deployments, can address coverage and capacity problems more effectively than the previous approach of Distributed Antenna System (DAS), or having the Macro network act as the main serving network inside. Today’s situation with Macro or DAS serving mobility requirements inside, does not work for almost 80% of business customers (where DAS is not a business option or poor signal coverage and capacity). It’s estimated that an average of 50% of licensed spectrum inside buildings is not properly utilized. By tapping into the underutilized licensed spectrum that resides inside a building, a mobile operator can better utilize its most valuable asset while freeing up macro resources to better service subscribers outside.  Offered by the mobile operator, with no Capex investments from the enterprise, a multi-mode small cell system (3G, LTE, Wi-Fi) is now available that can scale to support up to 10,000 connected devices in one deployment that only takes days to install. Yes, hard to believe. But, with SON (Self-Organizing Networks) capability, an operator saves time and money, and a multi-mode small cell network can be installed as easily as a Wi-Fi network. As HeavyReading puts it, “A Self-Organizing Network is one that can automatically configure and continuously optimize the parameters of its sub-elements with the aim of optimizing network performance, capacity and coverage.
    1. Goldman Sachs expects small cells to drive 18% of RAN investment by 2016 – and crucially, that 18% may be able to handle as much as 80% of all the traffic. This is good news for the enterprise.
    2. Analyst firms such as Infonetics, ABI Research, and Informa expect enterprise small cells to be the fastest growing segment of the small cell market.
    3. ABI predicts small cells for enterprise deployments will catch up with DAS by the 2016 timeframe – reaching the $2 billion mark by 2016. (August 24, 2012: http://tinyurl.com/9o8gktv) Enterprise Small Cells are estimated to reach $3 billion by 2018.
    4. Informa’s latest small cell survey illustrates that 97.5% of mobile operator respondents believe that small cells are key for the future of mobile networks. The survey results also show that capacity is becoming a major driver for the adoption and evolution of small cells. Informa’s report estimates that the number of small cells has surpassed 6 million, while there are 5.9 million macrocells deployed.
  3. LTE (4G) will start to take hold in the USA and Western Europe. By the end of 2013, it’s expected that as many as 40 networks will have some sort of LTE access in the larger cities. Overall, less than 20% of subscribers will have LTE capable devices, but this is expected to grow to 50% by 2015-16. It’s important that in-building networks can evolve to support LTE devices, when the enterprise environment is such that a significant number of employees require reliable LTE/3G mobility services inside.
  4. Upgrades to existing PBX can be costly from a Capex and Opex perspective. Mobile operators and the vendor community have options to tie into existing PBX or transition enterprise to a cloud PBX – removing Capex in favor of predictable Opex.
  5. Enterprise network access via smartphone and tablet apps (via application-specific interfaces), instead of VPN access to software platforms, will start to dominate, supported by continued cloud-network services access. More managed services options will be offered by the large Network Equipment Providers (in the business of selling hardware and software to the enterprise), in order to manage diminishing margins on hardware and control the transition to higher margin software services. Wireless as a Service (WaaS) with Wi-Fi (little or no Capex) has been taking hold over the last two years and will continue to grow.
    1. Gartner reported that 71% of businesses adopted Software as a Service (SaaS) within the past three years, with three quarters of businesses planning on increasing SaaS spending.
    2. A Forrester survey shows another reason for SaaS is “business agility”.

As we look forward, we are seeing the emergence of a common service network infrastructure where macro, micro and small cells work in close tandem with intelligent physical and virtual routing of access and services. Network as a Service (NaaS) is becoming a reality. With the proposition of FlexNetwork by HP – we are seeing the beginning of such an Opex-like service on the LAN/WAN where mobility services can help the enterprise realize its goals of becoming agile and flexible, and focus on its core business rather than spending too much time and resources on non-strategic network issues.

2013 is the year when enterprise CIOs will demand mobility services from their communications partners as part of a longer-term strategy to lower Capex costs and improve productivity and business agility. Mobile operators will start to offer true managed mobility services to the enterprise – starting with basic coverage and capacity, followed by services to include Wi-Fi, BYOD, MDM and PBX Integration – offering clientless-UC, access to mobility, applications and cloud-based services.

Happy New Year…and many more years of mobility and agile network services.

– Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO

You can follow Ronny Haraldsvik at Twitter @haraldsvik

About SpiderCloud Wireless

SpiderCloud Wireless is speaking at leading industry events, including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. See more here.

SpiderCloud Wireless develops breakthrough, small-cell network platforms that allow mobile operators to deliver unprecedented cellular coverage, capacity and smart applications to enterprises. SpiderCloud is the first company to offer a true multi-mode access system with 3G, LTE/4G and dual-band Wi-Fi for reliable mobile services indoors for enterprise customers of any size. One E-RAN can deliver unprecedented capacity and coverage to over 10,000 connected smartphones and tablets, with just one connection to the mobile operator’s core network. The scalable system architecture simplifies deployment and overall network configuration for mobile operators as they address pent-up demand for reliable mobile services* from enterprise and large venue customers. See more at the Enterprise Insider content sharing site: http://www.spidercloud.com/Einsider

In Fall 2012, Wall Street Journal ranked SpiderCloud #5 in its “Top 50 Start-Ups” in the “The Next Big Thing” report. SpiderCloud Wireless is based in San Jose, California and is backed by investors Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures. SpiderCloud Wireless is a registered trademark and SmartCloud a trademark of SpiderCloud Wireless, Inc. © 2013 SpiderCloud Wireless, Inc. For more information visit www.spidercloud.com and follow the company on Twitter http://twitter.com/spidercloud_inc.