SpiderCloud Claims Nokia as Partner; Nokia Disagrees. In This Public Spat, Neither Company Wins.

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

• SpiderCloud’s CEO recently claimed Nokia as a reseller partner along with Cisco and NEC

• Nokia disputed this characterization, saying the arrangement was specific to a single operator engagement

If you ended up confused this week about whether or not SpiderCloud Wireless and Nokia Networks are partners, you’re not alone.

In an interview with news publication Light Reading, SpiderCloud Wireless CEO Mike Gallagher claimed a partnership with Nokia Networks wherein Nokia had been reselling SpiderCloud’s multi-mode 3G/4G enterprise small-cell solutions since February. Nokia responded by publicly denying any partnership between the two firms, adding that Nokia had supplied SpiderCloud’s solutions to a single specific customer and citing confidentiality agreements with the customer that prevent any further disclosure on the matter. A few tense online comments were exchanged. Continue reading “SpiderCloud Claims Nokia as Partner; Nokia Disagrees. In This Public Spat, Neither Company Wins.”

The Challenge Facing Enterprise Small Cells: Changing Minds

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Overcoming enterprise small-cell obstacles requires changing existing paradigms and business models.
  • Some vendors and operators have already begun accepting new business models, but convincing enterprises, venue owners – even some operators – could be tough.

You have to sympathize with enterprise small-cell vendors. Who knows how many months they have dedicated to R&D, product management, standards work, testing, trialing, marketing – all promising operators the prospect of bringing coverage and capacity to a place where a huge portion of human communication begins and ends. And yet, when operators approach enterprises with these innovative solutions, in many cases they’re likely to be met with just four frustrating words: “We’ve already got WiFi.” Continue reading “The Challenge Facing Enterprise Small Cells: Changing Minds”

Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile access infrastructure vendors are increasingly pushing location-based services for indoor/enterprise networks.
  • It’s a logical concept but one that hasn’t shown much traction yet.
  • Such services face serious challenges, including finding killer apps despite a somewhat fractured market.

Enterprise small-cell deployments haven’t exactly spread like wild fire yet (the latest market information from the Small Cell Forum shows most shipments are still residential). Yet, vendors are talking more than ever about applying location-based services (LBS) and analytics to indoor enterprise networks including small cells and WiFi access points. Continue reading “Small Cells & Location-Based Services (LBS) – Why Vendors Will Have to Push Harder”

MWC 2015: Who’s Ready to Play MWC Buzzword Bingo?

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • RAN vendors are sure to repeat key buzzwords at MWC, including C-RAN, license-assisted access and 5G.
  • Vendors need to strike the right balance between getting attention and demonstrating credibility.

With Mobile World Congress almost upon us, exhibitors are fine-tuning the messages they plan to emphasize at the show. Trust us, we’ve been having a lot of these conversations lately. For RAN vendors, it can be pretty challenging to craft messages that not only rise above the din of competing announcements, but also attract attention in general at a show where devices and applications often hog the spotlight. Continue reading “MWC 2015: Who’s Ready to Play MWC Buzzword Bingo?”

Positioning License-Assisted Access (LAA) Relative to WiFi

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • License-assisted access (LAA) poses messaging/positioning challenges for RAN vendors.
  • Each vendor’s LAA positioning may vary based on their position in WiFi, devices and other factors.

This month, Ericsson has been heavily promoting the concept of license-assisted access (using LTE in unlicensed spectrum as a supplement to LTE in licensed spectrum), with press releases, videos and so forth, demonstrating some of the challenges that other RAN vendors will need to navigate as the technology becomes more prominent. Continue reading “Positioning License-Assisted Access (LAA) Relative to WiFi”

The Trouble with Being ‘Early’ to the Small Cell Market

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • The small-cell market has taken longer to take off than many anticipated.
  • This dynamic requires vendors to think a bit differently about what it means to be ‘early’ or ‘late.’

You don’t want to be late to market, do you? Of course not. Equipment vendors often get criticized for being late to market, sometimes by me. Where small cells are concerned, however, what it means to be ‘late to market’ is a bit more complicated. Continue reading “The Trouble with Being ‘Early’ to the Small Cell Market”

Do Small-Cell Vendors Have WiFi Deployment Envy?

Ed Gubbins
Ed Gubbins

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises are likely to base small-cell deployment expectations on the ease of WiFi AP intalls.
  • Vendors may approach this issue differently based on their services-business strategies.

“Base stations are deployed by RF engineers. WiFi is deployed by interior decorators.”

I don’t know who said that first; I know I heard it first from Teclo Networks’ Jane Walerud.

In any case, the distinction expressed in that quote comes up a lot these days in discussions about deploying small cells, especially since small cells often double as WiFi APs and, in some cases, even plug into existing APs. The tasks of RF engineering and interior decorating are increasingly falling upon the same people. Much has been said about the challenges of deploying small cells outdoors. When it comes to deploying them indoors, folks in the WiFi world, who are generally more accustomed to indoor environments, could offer some advice. That advice is: Whether you are trying to penetrate homes or businesses, if you’re trying to deploy small cells indoors, they need to be very easy to deploy. This is partly because even enterprise IT folks have been spoiled by the ease of deploying WiFi. Small cells can’t help but be compared to their more easy-going cousin. Continue reading “Do Small-Cell Vendors Have WiFi Deployment Envy?”