Light Reading

Sprint Starts Big Enterprise Push With WiFi

Sarah Thomas
1/3/2014
50%
50%

Sprint is working with Ruckus Wireless to offer managed WiFi to enterprises, but Ruckus executives suggest it's just the start of the carrier's much grander plans for enterprise services.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Business Managed Services Group teamed up with Ruckus Wireless Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) back in May to begin selling its full suite of Smart WiFi products to enterprises, with the most traction coming from the education and retail verticals in the past eight months. Both David Callisch, Ruckus VP of Marketing, and Joe Hlavin, Ruckus' director of carrier sales, say this is just the beginning of what Sprint has in store for the enterprise.

"On the commercial side, we're a piece of a larger offering Sprint is putting together," Hlavin says. "They have grander plans coming out for how they want to bring a competitive differentiator service offering to the enterprise."

The Ruckus men told Light Reading this around the same time reports came out that Sprint is looking to revive the defunct Nextel brand in the enterprise, offering a premium fixed and mobile broadband service as it originally did with Clearwire. Sources tell TechCrunch that Sprint's big enterprise push could start as soon as the first quarter and will also include blending its two prepaid arms, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA Inc. (NYSE: VM). (See: Nextel Drags on Sprint as 4G Push Continues.)

Callisch and Hlavin were not familiar with Sprint's branding plans -- and Sprint did not respond to a request for comment, but the timing makes sense for Sprint to go big in the enterprise to work to regain the customers it lost when it shut down Nextel. More managed services are likely to be a part of that push.

"2014 should be a good year for Sprint in that area -- managed services," Hlavin says.

Sprint has long had a presence in the enterprise market, but most of its attention of late has been focused on its Network Vision upgrades, which include deploying its multimode LTE network, Sprint Spark, and filling in the gaps with small cells from Samsung Corp. and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). Ruckus is currently only working with the carrier on the enterprise front, but Hlavin says the WiFi vendor is also talking to Sprint about building out a complementary carrier WiFi strategy. (See: Sprint Plans to Add 4G LTE Urban Heft in 2014 and Sprint Has Samsung 4G LTE Small Cells: Analyst.)

"That's why I'm in Reston [Virginia] all the time, he says. "It's where Sprint's LTE guys are."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/6/2014 | 12:04:30 PM
Re: Managed services
Think it would or should be different than the security they offer on the wireless side? Extra provisions for unlicensed spectrum?
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/4/2014 | 9:40:15 AM
Re: Managed services
Carol, you are absolutely right. With security a ongoing concern, particularly with the growing proliferation of BYOD policies, management would (or at least should) insist on some type of security protection before agreeing to any such service.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 11:17:03 AM
Re: Managed services
True. I wonder what kind of SLAs they have in place with current customers. How they respond to outages and issues is also really important, but that's true for all service providers.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 11:15:21 AM
Re: Managed services
I think WiFi as a managed service is intruguiing but it will be interesting to see what enterprises expect and what a mobile network operator like Sprint can deliver in terms of delivering on consistent quality and bandwidth for WiFi coverage. 

At minimum, an enterprise would expect top-notch site coverage and a guaranteed level of throughput for the number of expected devices, but also security for the offer, I'm thinking. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 10:11:09 AM
Managed services
Would also be good to get a discussion going around what WiFi Managed Services (or non-WIFi related) Sprint is exploring. Neither Sprint nor Ruckus is saying quite yet. What do you think makes sense for them? Looks like they offer the standard apps, MDM, and WiFi now, but what else can/should they add on?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 9:46:53 AM
Enterprise
T-Mobile has been making a bigger deal of its enterprise strategy too. I spoke with them about it back at CTIA. http://www.lightreading.com/ctia-t-mobile-takes-uncarrier-attitude-to-work/d/d-id/702842

And, AT&T is all about enterprise APIs and development. They'll be talking about it at their developers' conference on Monday for sure. 

Seems like a good time for Sprint to make more noise too.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/3/2014 | 9:45:12 AM
Ruckus & Sprint
To be clear, I spoke with the Ruckus execs right before TechCrunch reported about Sprint reviving the Nextel brand. I followed up to see if the two were connected, but they weren't familar with Sprint's plans for Nextel. Even so, I think it's pretty clear enterprise is going to be -- and should be -- a big focus for Sprint soon. I have a note in to Sprint to find out more, but if they aren't talking now, I bet they will be soon.

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Purpose Is Key to Bringing Women Into Tech
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, 2/1/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.