What the heck is MEC?

October 13, 2015

cowboyFor those who have been following our posts for the last few years, we have been discussing three emergent trends:

  1. The blurring of the lines between mobile operator and enterprise infrastructure.
  2. The reversal of common IT platform services spend from 80% capex/20% opex to 20% capex/80% opex.
  3. The innovation opportunity created by mobility and the immense untapped capability of mobile operating systems to transform business.

Each trend is discussed in the context of computing needs in the cloud services offerings and, in the near future, edge processing inside the enterprise. The use of edge processing has been slow to emerge due to a lack of standards and the need to accumulate enough interest to catalyze the mobile operator market.

In the last year, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute “ETSI” kicked off an initiative to more fully develop Mobile Edge Computing “MEC” (pronounced MECk) and create a common technical landscape. This will allow the Independent Software Developer “ISV” community to more easily develop packages that are portable to any RAN vendor’s MEC hardware platform. You can learn more here. This is exciting to us as it’s a further proof point that the journey that SpiderCloud has been on to create an awesome customer experience along with critical services has been embraced by mobile operators and their key suppliers.

SpiderCloud spoke at the first MEC Congress, in London on 29-30 Sept 2015, about our early prototypes and experiences with our E-RAN in learning about the market and technology potential in the past five years. While many of the present considerations around MEC are focused on foundations for 5G services, SpiderCloud has been showing enterprise-focused services targeted at increasing revenue directly, or as feeder service that must be performed locally.

A few examples could be helpful to illustrate them:

  • Increasing revenue: Unified Communications tying the native interfaces on a mobile device to the enterprise’s infrastructure have drawn interest from enterprises that wish to integrate and simplify the lives of their business customers who are highly mobile. This reduces the need to build “enterprise OTT”, and simplifies day-to-day usage.
  • Feeder Service: Location Based Services raw events are capable of generating a very large stream and can impact backhaul if it’s sent in raw form to a cloud service. We collaborated withVodafone and HP to build an on-board x86 Services Blade and App for the E-RAN’s Services Node. The process of events stream into UE locations could easily be handed to an external application using the context of UE locations to make better decisions within an equipped facility. The edge service was necessary due to both time critical events, and the sheer volume.

The E-RAN’s ability to conduct many of these early prototypes is directly related to the Services Node aggregating the cloud of radios in the building. All mobility events are “in front” of the x86 Services Blade such that mobility event handling and context switching don’t need to be incorporated into the macro-network. Further, the cost of x86 processing capacity is amortized across all the Radio Nodes in the building. This makes the business case work. If every small cell needed an onboard processor, edge computing could easily be cost prohibitive for most applications.

And, finally, 451 Research’s Ken Rehbehn moderated a webinar on MEC development with Intel’s Caroline Chan, McAfee’s Dan Frey, and SpiderCloud on 8 Oct that is available for replay here. It explored MEC concepts, SpiderCloud’s early edge cloud experiences, a deep dive into operating the McAfee NG-FW as an enterprise service, and a number of audience questions about MEC.

So, we welcome ETSI MEC as yet another proof point that the trail we are blazing with our early mobile operators in both R&D and deployment is going in the correct direction. As MEC applications hosting and use cases develop, we suggest that Product Managers in mobile operators pay attention to the indoor applications market as it’s very unique and potentially far more profitable, relative to MEC in the macro-cellular.

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

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


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


What’s Around the Corner? “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer”

December 22, 2014

Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Walking home from our house Christmas Eve. You can say there’s no such thing as Santa, but as for me and grandpa we believe.” There are many songs for the Holidays, but this one gets me into the right mood (for many reasons). :-)

As we start to enjoy our Holiday break with friends and family and recharge our batteries for 2015, we can reflect back on an exciting year in the wireless world.

In 2014, mobile innovations brought us the early days of wearable devices, and the beginnings of the connected home. Apple and Samsung continued to push the size limits of mobile devices. Mobile consolidation efforts continued with Softbank and Sprint, plus T-Mobile USA brought us low-low pricing battles.

For SpiderCloud, 2014 was a breakthrough year for many reasons. We saw customer adoption and traction for our dual-band Radio, and the industry awarded us with many awards:

2015 has the earmark for more monumental shifts in the mobile landscape. Overall, we should expect a continued focus on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) in enterprise and mobile networks, edge and cloud services and Software Defined Networking (SDN) to drive network transformation as the industry moves from CapEx to OpEx.

Big Data will grow as enterprise IT vendors and mobile carriers alike leverage data analysis for localization content, context and services for advertising and brand loyalty. There will be continued focus on data security for data center services, as well as in the enterprise and at home. Mobile network evolution to LTE and beyond continues, especially as ‘wearables’ and the growth of the “Internet of Things” make the case for improved use of higher spectrum for last mile access to enhance our quest for an “always-on” experience.

Here are my predictions for 2015 for the mobile space (Note: these predictions are my own personal views and not SpiderCloud Wireless’s point of view, nor company opinions).

Mobile macro networks will see OpEx spend match CapEx spend by years end. 

Network infrastructure spending is expected to be flat, but thanks to the rise of cloud services over the last few years, 2015 will mark the year that OpEx overtakes CapEx and never looks back. Even Deutsche Bank is eyeing this trend, as both carrier and enterprise IT is looking to cloud; SaaS; subscriptions and service contracts will make up the majority of spending in the year ahead.

Expect small cells and software to dominate network build out to handle the need for mobile capacity.

Flat macro-cellular spending means the shift is going to be on small cell build-outs and services rather than the traditional macro-focused infrastructure spending we’ve seen in the past. Mobile carriers will be looking for ways to enhance coverage in high-density areas using small cell networks. Expect to see in-building Enterprise services to become the new battleground for mobile carriers by years end.

The move from 3G to 4G and then 5G, is a long journey.

Unlike the previous mobile telephony generations that were defined by technology, 5G hopefully will soon be officially defined by service levels. Personally, I do not expect 5G to not be about the air link or access method, speed or spectrum, rather it will be about service level and quality of service. 3G has a long tail and will co-exist with 4G for another decade.

BYOD and DIY mobile in the enterprise “rightsize”.

Businesses realize that BYOD is a misdiagnosis of a larger problem when trying to solve in-building mobility issues and security concerns. Originally trumpeted as a smart fiscal move, CIOs and CFOs begin to realize that without the relationships and economies of scale, enterprises begin to see its employees are treated like regular consumers. CIOs realize that corporate IT are security savvy, but not mobility experts, and lean on mobile operators to fix mobility problems. For large enterprises, Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) devices with secure application containers becomes the preferred methods to deal with mobility, security and cost-containment by corporate IT, CIOs and professionals alike.

Smart Buildings become a strong trend in the Enterprise.

The expected increase in wearable and connected devices, due in part by significantly lower prices as companies fight for adoption, will add a significant strain on the already-strained enterprise Wi-Fi networks, creating opportunities for 3G/4G in-building mobility solutions and services from mobile operators and computing partners. Within the next 2 years, wireless and mobile traffic demands inside the enterprise will double. This will mean IT departments will need help to better cope with dynamic capacity demands while focusing on security. Simply banning non-essential devices is not a move that works as early adopters always find work-around methods. Rather, the savvy enterprise IT team will look for ways to prioritize application usage and/or cloud-source a large majority of network functions.

Gigabit Consumption becomes the norm, as we look ahead.

100-Gigabit mobile family usage plans and Ethernet-to-the-home to become the norm. By the end of 2015, individual usage will start to reach 2 Gb on average and 3-5 Gb for the top 10%. By 2018, when you hear 100 Gb pricing plans, you won’t blink an eye.

Ethernet-to-the-home (ETTH) will be favored over fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in major metropolitan areas. ETTH not only addressed the growing bandwidth demands of the consumer, but it better favors business deployments making it a more cost-effective way to bring a big pipe to over 75% of highly populated areas. This broad coverage translates to around 10% of all deployment areas giving carriers a one-two punch on both consumer and enterprise deployments.

The “big surprise” in 2015?

A space Odyssey: Should we be surprised if a company like Google acquires a space company to compete with SpaceX and Virgin Galactic for space travel and exploration?

Enjoy your Holidays. See you in the New Year. And, be careful out there. Who knows what Santa’s been drinking as he travels the globe with his merry reindeers.

“I’ve warned all my friends and neighbors. Better watch out for yourselves, they should never give a license to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves.”

Happy New Year.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO

Twitter: haraldsvik
spidercloud_inc


Our Very Own “Solsbury Hill”?

June 6, 2014

“Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, I could see the city light, Wind was blowing, time stood still. Eagle flew out of the night.”

Last weekend I enjoyed watching the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of some great rock bands like Kiss, E-Street Band and one of my all-time favorites, Peter Gabriel. Interestingly enough, our (soon-to-be) 12 year-old son and daughter were mesmerized by the old folks on stage and the cool music. My son loves Kiss, and both of them have heard me work out to Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” more than a few times.

Besides the spiritual meaning of the song, climbing any hill is an accomplishment for a person, a team or a company. This week, we have done exactly that. We climbed a major hill together, our very own “Solsbury Hill” you may say. On June 4, we announced findings from our LTE trials using our award-winning SCRN-310 dual-band 3G/LTE Radio Node. One year ago, on the same day (June 4, 2013), we announced our 3G KPI. The findings of the new LTE trials show performance reliability results consistent with similar 3G small cell test results released 12 months ago.

  • Average Call Setup Success Rate of 99.5%
  • Call Drop Rate 0.4%
  • Intra-E-RAN Hand-over Success Rate 99.9%

With our dual-band Radio Node, operators enable better access capacity for its enterprise subscribers, and therefore create an overall better user experience in the small cell network. Since each Radio Node has its own dedicated capacity for fast user access, the E-RAN system with dual-band Radio Nodes will need fewer Radio Nodes to connect more devices more often, as say compared to a shared antenna system.

We have already started to ship commercial orders of the multi-band 310 Radio Node to select customers. And, later this summer we’ll kick off trials of the dual-band LTE version.

Maybe we did not climb a hill, but a big mountain with this announcement?

Next week we’ll be at the Small Cell Summit & Small Cell Forum for four days of meetings in London. We’re looking forward to the June 11 award night. We’re honored by the industry and peer recognition bestowed upon SpiderCloud Wireless, HP, Intel and Vodafone. SpiderCloud is nominated for 3 awards:

  • “Small cell innovation leadership”: SpiderCloud & Intel. Intel’s Edge Cloud Processing with SpiderCloud’s E-RAN
  • “Small cell access point design and technology innovation”: SpiderCloud Wireless Enterprise Dual-Band 3G/LTE Radio Node
  • “Small cell network element design and technology innovation”: Vodafone, HP and SpiderCloud – Enabling Context Aware Applications for People and Internet of Things

Earlier this year, SpiderCloud and Vodafone UK won the “2014 Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award” for “Wireless Network Infrastructure Innovation” for Vodafone’s Sure Signal Premium, a reliable indoor mobile coverage and capacity service using SpiderCloud Wireless’ scalable small cell system connected to NEC’s security gateways in Vodafone’s network.

After London, SpiderCloud is off to Singapore for CommunicAsia and to Chicago for LightReading’s The Big Telecom Event to speak about Enterprise Small Cells.

In Chicago, SpiderCloud is nominated for 2 awards in LightReading 10th annual “Leading Lights” Awards taking place on June 17.

  • “Private Company of the Year” Awarded to the privately held firm that stands out from it competitors, innovates constantly, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy” SpiderCloud Wireless is one of eight companies nominated.
  • “Best New Product for Mobile” Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading product that, through engineering and technical excellence, enables the deployment of profitable next-generation mobile services. SpiderCloud’s award-winning dual-band Radio Node (SCRN-310) is one of eight products nominated.

After Chicago, we’re off to Amsterdam on June 23-24 for Informa’s LTE World Summit where we are also nominated for Telecoms.com’s “Most Innovative LTE Application/Service” award for our E-RAN Estimator Application.

This summer, find your own hill or mountain to climb. And, if you need a highly motivating song to help you, fire up Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.”

A big thank you to our investors: Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures.  Have a safe and sound summer.

Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO

Twitter: haraldsvik
spidercloud_inc


A Breakthrough Year!

December 23, 2013

2013 was the year industry momentum for small cells in the enterprise really kicked off. The year was clearly marked by operator deployments, Small Cell Forum’s significant focus on enterprise needs, and industry award recognition for SpiderCloud’s work on scalable small cell systems and LTE.

As we look back, 2013 is the year the industry agreed to solve Enterprise requirements for reliable coverage and capacity. After all, research conducted in the US, UK, Germany and Spain by YouGov, a market research firm, revealed that over 61% of IT decision makers from businesses in the US, with over 250 employees, said their business has had major issues with indoor coverage. In Germany this stood at 50%, in Spain it was 43% and in the UK it was 39%.

The industry’s focus on enterprise small cells led to 10 notable ‘events’

  1. Exact Ventures releases its report outlining the revenue opportunity for mobile operators – and cost savings potential for enterprises. Enterprise managed mobility services to exceed $100B by 2020.
  2. Cisco bought Ubiquisys and targets the “Pub market” (under 50 subs) with its most expensive and high-end large enterprise Wi-Fi Access points ($1500-1800) with a “strap-on” 3G or 4G module.
  3. Small Cell Forum awards Vodafone and SpiderCloud for innovation in scalable small cell system for medium to large enterprises. KPI data release unveiled performance reliability of the E-RAN system of 99.5 percent, making it suitable for most communications needs inside an enterprise.
  4. Qualcomm invests over $100m in Alcatel Lucent’s small cell business and ALU will use Qualcomm’s small cell SoC for all next generation small cells.
  5. Vodafone Netherlands announced it is using SpiderCloud’s system to address reliable coverage and capacity for medium to large enterprise customers.
  6. Ericsson enters the small cell market and announces a new and more sexy DAS system (that will come to market by Q4, 2014). Pac-Man (video) becomes cool again.
  7. SpiderCloud announces the industry’s first Dual-band 3G and LTE small cell (using Broadcom) as part of the Enterprise radio Access Network (E-RAN), a year after the first generation LTE small cell was announced (6 LTE trials).
  8. Small Cell Forum announced that 56 mobile operators have deployed small cells, of which 26 are using small cells targeted at the enterprise market. And, that by 2018, over 10 million small cells will be deployed.
  9. Intel buys Mindspeed’s small cell business.
  10. SpiderCloud’s Behrooz Parsay, SVP Engineering and Operations, was recognized as one of six small cell industry “movers and shakers” by Lightreading.com.

We appreciate the recognition. Six years of hard work from our engineers and field engineering teams led to several deals signed, and winning four industry awards (an additional five further short-listings) for our enterprise small cell innovations. Behrooz Parsay summarizes it nicely:  “For almost six years, we have worked hard to enable mobile operators with flexibility, ease of deployment and scalability, as well as reliability and performance for enterprise customers and in 2013, we showed the entire industry that we deliver on these requirements.”

As we look to next year, we believe 2014 will be the year mobile networks start to converge with Enterprise IT needs. 2014 will be the beginning of a seven-year enterprise transition from 80% Capex to 80% Opex spending on mobility, opening the door to a $100 billion mobile managed services opportunity for mobile operators.

Why? There is very clear demand on equipment vendors to reduce the cost of networks, both for mobile operators and their enterprise customers, using cloud and application services and virtualized network capabilities. This trend is having a dramatic impact on the network spend on hardware-only products and services in medium to large enterprise customers, opening the market for software-based applications and services, which reside on “white label” servers in third-party data center operations. The move towards more opex-oriented services will have a dramatic impact on established routing/switching “box” vendors.

Indeed, in 2014, we may see mobile-enabled devices surpassing laptops and desktop phones as the preferred method for enterprise communication. And, leading enterprise customers’ RFPs will start to demand vendors to offer multi-access Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE connectivity for reliable access and services.

Next year, leading mobile operators in the USA, Europe and Latin America will start to offer in-building coverage and capacity solutions, followed by managed mobile services.

We thank all of you for your support and continued encouragement. Next year will be an even bigger year for enterprise small cells.  Follow us on Twitter @SpiderCloud_Inc and meet us at many industry events. Our next big event is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 24-28, 2014. Request a meeting with executives by sending an email to: mwc14@spidercloud.com

We wish you all happy and safe Holiday celebrations, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


Challenges Confronting Enterprise CIOs and Mobility Leaders in Moving Enterprises from Wireless to Mobile Productivity

September 19, 2013

The goal of CIO’s and enterprise architects is to unwire their organizations and make them more productive by any means necessary – by focusing on the core business of the enterprise. Rather than making IT bigger, the CIO’s focus is to make the business more agile and flexible, doing more with less. The use of mobility, cloud, applications and managed services help them achieve the enterprise goals.

The communications technology of yesterday (that is embodied in fixed devices, e.g. desk phone and laptop software, e.g. UC clients) must be moved to the employee’s mobile devices. The point of failure within most mobile initiatives, at present, is the lack of respect for the need of mobile device owners to have a “magic” user experience (no App to install, do nothing new, no change in user behavior). The differences between a consumer and enterprise behavior, and requirements are significant.

Normal consumer behavior is to cost optimize as much as possible with a goal of a free service (such as Skype), and defer certain broadband behavior or actions (use of free Wi-Fi hotspots to offset impact on plans). And finally, unpredictable quality is acceptable.

Enterprise behavior, though influenced by consumer demand for ease-of-use, focuses on cost optimization. All actions are urgent, and/or immediate, and quality must be consistent, good, highly predictable and repeatable. IT also likes to keep things simple (devices, applications and services). If not, new cost-reducing or productivity initiatives will not be used or adopted. Most importantly, IT’s focus is to make access as secure as possible, and empower employees with high quality mobile services that work, with no limitations, wherever people are.

Sounds easy, right?

Deploying new tools, and getting their usage ingrained into an organization is one of the hardest tasks in enterprise IT. If the OTT tool replicates a consumer grade communication feature of the mobile device, and is not a mandatory part of daily workflow in the person’s role, chances of success are low.

There may be ‘islands’ of OTT, but moving everyone onto one platform is extremely hard. The right philosophy to enterprise services, in context of Unified Communication, is that the experience should become a “Clientless UC” experience where the consumer experience of “just make it work” is integrated to the enterprise platform. By taking this path, enterprise IT significantly reduces its OTT support burdens, and greatly increases the chance of success vs. the present UC strategies. Many enterprise device owners will continue to be very resistant to adopting multiple tools. Enterprise IT, when presented with service packages that allow the consumer interfaces to accomplish functions that OTT solves for, will approve those packages instead of using Capex funding to build and run the OTT services themselves.

The Pre-Requisite: Dependable Coverage and Capacity

Nothing halts a mobile initiative decision faster than lack of reliable coverage or capacity. Mobile operators who are trying to sell advanced services layered on top of the macro-network know this problem well. Office buildings that have known significant coverage/capacity problems can be excluded from evolving, because of the steep operations expenses associated with systems engineering and provisioning. Why? Enterprise IT has to make simple decisions on technology that must be good for all employees within the enterprise. On average, an IT team moves 40% of employees annually. If a group of employees were unwired, and then moved to a location with poor coverage/capacity, not only would they be unhappy, but they would also have to be re-provisioned with wired services. The operations expense with normal technology moves is far lower than unwiring/wiring. A practical IT person will defer unwiring their organization until dependable coverage and capacity is available. As new energy efficient buildings and remodeling gradually eliminate the ability of the macro-network to penetrate with reliable signals indoors, providing coverage and capacity from the inside-out is becoming a big problem for mobile operators.

To succeed in the enterprise, we need to mirror the consumer mobile experience with enterprise devices and applications.

Earlier this week, Vodafone did exactly that. Vodafone is the world’s first mobile operator to offer a system that can deliver reliable mobile services indoors, for enterprise customers of any size, using a highly scalable system.

“We can now, more rapidly than ever, address the needs of thousands of enterprise customers who rely on mobile connectivity and services for business productivity” – Marcel van den Biggelaar, Head of Technology Strategy, Vodafone Netherlands.

Vodafone Netherlands is empowering enterprise CIO and IT teams with a mobile experience without the need to change user behavior, or take a crash-course in becoming a mobile operator overnight (placing themselves in harm’s way for IT trouble tickets).

Why is this important? 50% of enterprises would churn to an operator that could provide better in-building mobile coverage.

So, who else will take the bold step to fix the problem with mobility inside? Industry insiders are speculating “SpiderCloud expects to also announce US and South American customers between now and Mobile World Congress.” If you are a CIO or IT team leader for mobility, we know what you are hoping for. By the way, we can be of help, and visit our Enterprise Insider for insights.

So who else can do what we do? Very few, fewer than you’d think. See Maravedis/Rethink Wireless “Small Cells Inside the Enterprise: The Who What  & Where”.

Next, we will cover more problem areas in enterprise as we transition from a wireless to a mobile enterprise, and the mobile operator data center opportunity.

Stay tuned; mobility inside is coming your way.

Ronny Haraldsvik, SVP/CMO 
Twitter: @haraldsvik
Art King, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies
 Twitter: @EMobilityInside



Can a Small Cell System Handle All Enterprise Voice and Broadband Needs?

June 3, 2013

We think this is possible. We have been collecting 18-months of system performance data from the network deployments, and the data shows a 99.5% reliability. Performance metrics are collected by our SpiderNet system, a centralized configuration, fault, and performance management system that allows our customers to rapidly provision, deploy and monitor E-RAN deployments. Keep in mind two key metrics (KPI) for how macro cellular and Small Cell networks are measured by mobile operators:

  • Voice call set-up success rate (CCSR) must be at 98% or better
  • Voice call drop rate (CDR) to be less than 0.8%

The average performance data for voice call set-up success rate, voice and data sessions and handoffs events, were collected from scalable network deployments ranging from 7 to 65 radio nodes and supporting 500 to 3,000 people, each powered by one Services Node.

SpiderCloud’s E-RAN networks, with soft handoff, today show average voice call set-up success rates of 99.5% and an average call drop rate less than 0.8%, where the best network deployment shows a call setup success rate of 99.8% and call drop rates below 0.4%.

Each deployment handles thousands of voice calls every day, ranging from 300 in enterprises where mobile devices complement desk phones to over 3,100 in enterprises where only mobile devices are used, and the Small Cell system handles all broadband communications needs. Each of the networks manage hundreds of thousands of data and handoff sessions every day, with the largest deployment experiencing over 500,000 daily sessions.

With these performance metrics, we have shown scalable Small Cell systems installed to support small to large enterprises, can indeed handle all of the voice and data needs of an enterprise.

In comparison, individual or “mesh” Small Cells using hard-handoff, experience voice call drop rates upward or 5% or more. Why is that?

Dense indoor networks present several challenging technology obstacles. 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 (3D) 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 by 6-8 dB. Without a central coordination point or support for soft handoff, such network deployments will experience an unacceptable call drop rate of 5%.

In brief, different solutions fit in different places. See what I mean in Art King’s recent blog – Small Cells Repeats the Enterprise Evolution Cycle.

So how do you achieve 99.5% reliability?
One Services Node can control up to 100 multi-access 3G/Wi-Fi/LTE Radio Nodes. Our E-RAN system overcomes these obstacles while simplifying the installation process greatly compared to traditional methods. 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.

Can a Small Cell System Handle All Enterprise Voice and Broadband Needs?
If the system can scale and support soft-handoff and SON – You betcha! More importantly, Enterprise customers already 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.

SpiderCloud Wireless will be at the Small Cell World Summit in London this week.

Ronny Haraldsvik SVP/CMO
Twitter: haraldsvik


From Outside-In to Inside-Out

September 3, 2012

Small Networks and Digital Oxygen, Big Enterprise Services Future for Mobile Operators

What a difference a couple of years can make. We’re in the midst of a mobile industry in transformation – the most rapid change we have seen from the RAN equipment and services players since the move to CDMA/WCDMA over a decade ago. With the inclusion of Wi-Fi as part of outdoor macro networks and coffee and retail shops and Femto cells as a useful stand-alone access point for residential and small businesses, “small” is here to stay. Small, as in small cells, which embed 3G, Wi-Fi and LTE access functionalities into a small cell form factor as part of the overall macro network, lovingly referred to as HetNet (Heterogeneous Networks), is growing in importance as Small Cells are in strong consideration as infill networks for dense metropolitan areas where they complement the bigger Macro network. Since Mobile World Congress 2011, Deutsche Bank Securities has called for an answer to the “densification problem.” And we are “getting there” as an industry.

As we look to 2020 and ignore some of the ‘noise’ in between now and then, the pragmatic view is mobile networks will become more capable and agile with the use of Macro and Small Cell networks to better handle capacity requirements from consumers and enterprises. Since we will likely not see a 3GPP ‘5G’ term, we’re talking about a common service network infrastructure where Macro/Micro/Small Cells work in close tandem with intelligent physical and virtual routing of access and services.  In simple terms, vendors will help operators make better use of what they have, to deliver more capacity, when and where it’s needed.

Goldman Sachs expects small cells to drive 18% of RAN investment by 2016. The profound statement here is that the 18% may be able to handle as much as 80% of all the traffic. For proper context, keep in mind that indoor/outdoor multi-mode Wi-Fi/3G/LTE is part of this equation.

Scalable small cell systems are in the early days of making a bigger impact in metropolitan public access markets, and evolving to include all access technologies in various form factors. The next battleground is for sustainable ARPU and the enterprise markets.

Multi-Mode, Multi-Access Small Cells that can Scale to Demands of the Enterprise

Mobile operators want to acquire and retain valuable enterprise customers. For the next few years, ARPU growth for Western and USA operators will come from the medium to large enterprise segments. In many countries, ARPU for enterprise subscribers is twice as much as the ARPU for consumers.  Employees of mid-to-large sized enterprises constitute 15% of subscribers at major mobile operators like Vodafone, and contribute as much as 30% of their revenue. These enterprise customers are not only the most loyal and profitable customers that mobile operators have, but also the most demanding. They expect the mobile operator to deliver seamless wireless coverage in their facilities, to stay ahead of the rapidly growing demand for wireless capacity, and to offer innovative ways to solve business problems.

Often, enterprise subscribers are willing to purchase new services from operators, ranging from international roaming plans to mobile device management. However, to win these customers, mobile operators must provide high-capacity networks where business customers spend more than 80% of their working hours – indoors.

Enterprise small cells have emerged as the most promising technology to deliver high-capacity and 3G coverage inside offices. Analyst firms such as Infonetics, ABI Research, and Informa expect enterprise small cells to be the fastest growing segment of the small cell market. Infonetics Research expects enterprise small cells to grow fastest, contributing to over 50% of small cell investment by 2016. http://tinyurl.com/6ngeo83

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). The inside enterprise opportunity with a lower cost and more flexible system that can be deployed by-enterprise, by-floor, in days and not 9+ months, also means that operators are making better use of licensed spectrum indoors which have a positive impact on resources used by the outside macro. Our findings show that as many as 90% of medium to large enterprises in a metro area have cellular indoor coverage and capacity problems – which currently cannot be addressed cost effectively by mobile operators.

When properly accessed with a lower cost and scalable small cell solution, the amounts of pockets of un-used licensed spectrum inside metropolitan and campus office buildings in New York, San Francisco, London, Beijing, Singapore, Paris and Barcelona alone…could mirror the importance of discovering and utilizing the world’s largest crude oil deposits in Ghawar (Saudi Arabia) in 1948. Mobility spectrum (licensed) is the digital oxygen, and our industry’s equivalent to crude oil deposits.

But, scalable enterprise small cells cannot fulfill their potential without a deployment architecture that meets the performance expectations of enterprises and the business requirements of mobile operators. Enterprises expect small cell systems to provide seamless voice coverage, LAN-comparable mobile data throughput, and integration with local applications. Mobile operators need a solution that can be rapidly deployed, minimizes operating costs, is easy to manage, and scales – from small offices to huge multi-story buildings.

SpiderCloud’s small cell architecture, called E-RAN (Enterprise Radio Access Network), is designed from the ground up to meet the performance expectations of enterprises and larger venues (V-RAN) and the business requirements of mobile operators.

What makes a scalable small cell RAN different?

  • Seamless voice coverage, with make before break handovers
  • Consistently high data throughput, by managing inter-small cell interference
  • Policy-based integration with Enterprise Intranet and voice applications
  • Rapid deployment, with self organizing and self-optimizing algorithms
  • Enterprise-centered management
  • Lower operating costs through efficient use of backhaul
  • Scalability – from small enterprises to very large

SpiderCloud Wireless E-RAN systems are deployed in commercial networks. With 65 Radio Nodes and one Services Node deployed using SON over 16 floors in one green building in the heart of London, SpiderCloud is proud to lay claim to the world’s largest (consecutive and SON connected Radio Nodes) and most capable in-building small cell network for voice and data services, where the foundation for services is already in place. The world of mobile is indeed turning itself inside out and Digital Oxygen may be as valuable as crude oil by 2020. ?

Stay tuned, as we share more progress and adoption of the SpiderCloud Wireless small cell systems for scalable deployments inside enterprises and large venues.  You can request a meeting with us at any of these upcoming industry events.

You can also follow our progress at twitter spidercloud_inc and haraldsvik.
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Ronny Haraldsvik
SVP/CMO
SpiderCloud Wireless


SpiderCloud Live With Vodafone

February 24, 2012

At SpiderCloud, we have been very quiet for the last year, but very busy. Keeping our heads down and working closely with Vodafone, we have managed to solve a problem that no one else has managed to solve – building a small-cell network inside a large office building. Our solution is now live with Vodafone.

Many companies have built consumer femtocells and some of them have “enterprise” versions of consumer femtocells that offer higher power and capacity. Still, these enterprise femtocells work as isolated cells. Carefully deployed, an operator can use two or three of them in a building, but no one has managed to build out a building with even five of them working together. One femtocell company has proposed a “femtocells grid” but the grid requires two 5 MHz channels to operate, making it unattractive to any major mobile operator. According to Informa, almost two million femtocells were shipped by the end of 2011, yet hardly any of them is solving the problem of providing coverage and capacity to buildings larger than ten thousand square feet.

SpiderCloud is making small cells work for busy office buildings, with its unique controller-based architecture. Our commercial deployment support

  • Thousands of calls per day with hundreds of thousands of handovers, and <1% call drops
  • Self-organizing dense deployments, in multi-storey buildings with open floor plans
  • Enterprise-friendly installation, with just one IPSec tunnel to mobile operator’s core
  • Single point of provisioning and ongoing, remote, management
  • Integration with the enterprise’s intranet
  • Plus, a comprehensive set of features that makes it possible for mobile devices to select the small cell system when they enter, to handout to GSM/3G networks, get service priority and more…

SpiderCloud’s largest commercial deployment today has almost 60 small cells, covers over 450,000 square feet and supports thousands of commercial users every day. Learn more about our breakthrough technology at www.spidercloud.com, or feel free to contact us.

Amit Jain
VP, Product Management.