& cplSiteName &

WiFi: Small Cells' Trojan Horse?

Sarah Thomas
2/25/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- Obtaining the rights for public-access small cells is one of the biggest impediments to deployments, but Ruckus Wireless CEO Selina Lo has a plan: let WiFi be small cells' Trojan horse.

Her theory is that if a network operator starts with WiFi in a city, they'll have a much better shot of deploying a small cell in the same spot at a later date. The rights process is much easier with WiFi, but it's a significant challenge to small cells.

In fact, according to 23% of the Light Reading community, obtaining rights from the city to install small cells is the single biggest challenge in public access deployments. It was voted second only to deploying new backhaul, which 35% of the community chose. (See Small Cells in the City .)

So, here's where the Ruckus Wireless Inc. chief's plan comes into play. Operators don't have the time or resources to spend negotiating with local governments for rights to their "city furniture," typically lampposts or traffic lights on which they can attach their small cells. But, there has been a resurgence in municipal WiFi of late. Lo said that cities recognize connectivity as a need, and it's a need they want to fulfill, preferably with partners.

"For a lot of service providers, this is another means to acquire sites, using WiFi as a Trojan horse," Lo told Light Reading in Barcelona. "WiFi is well understood; cities understand it, but a city could not implement small cells. By giving the city WiFi, they may let them attach small cells on the same post."

Ruckus is already working with the likes of San Francisco and San Jose, where it is creating its own goodwill by donating thousands of WiFi access points to provide connectivity in busy outdoor areas. These deployments didn't actually start with a network operator -- the cities decided not to wait but are open to leasing their networks to operators after the fact. But they are also just the start of what could be the resurgence in muni-WiFi. (See San Fran Taps Ruckus to Unwire its Outdoors, O2 Brings a Wi-Fi Ruckus to the Wharf, and Ruckus Eyes Carrier Deals After $126M IPO.)

"Now that the city has recognized [connectivity] as a need, it will be good for operators," Lo said. "They can really negotiate. The city has the need. If they can give them terms that are acceptable, it's a win-win."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danny_be
50%
50%
danny_be,
User Rank: Lightning
3/3/2014 | 9:31:31 AM
Re: Missed opportunity?
There is no dought that small cells are essential for enhancing capacity. To ilustrate that, look at this chart thaken from NGMN and Small Cell Forum releases:

mhhf1ve
100%
0%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 7:07:20 PM
What's the business model for municipal WiFi?
There have been several proposed WiFi project for cities over the years, and I'm not sure any of them had a really good business model. Giving away free internet access, and then inserting ads or hoping that foot traffic to businesses would increase municipla revenues is a pretty big stretch.

The limited coverage of WiFi also makes it a bit difficult to see a profit model -- because a city needs to deploy access points every few hundred yards to get decent reliability of service. 

Am I missing something? What's really changed in the WiFi landscape? The demand for broadband connectivity has always existed, but is it really that much higher now? And if it is, isn't it being supplied by wireless telcos?
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/25/2014 | 1:52:58 PM
Re: Missed opportunity?
Telco's are blocking small cell deploymnets because their business model is based on over subscription and they only consider small cells for coverage in extreme cases.  There is no business case for any hardware maker to make small cells for Telco, but with dedicated spectrum small cells for Enterprise is a huge market.
Sarah Thomas
100%
0%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 8:43:32 AM
Re: Missed opportunity?
I think the difference between current muni-WiFi and failures of the past is, for one thing, the appetite for WiFi is much stronger now. People think it's their right to be connected. Also, companies like Ruckus are donating all the APs, so the upfront investment is minimal for the city. They just have to allow it on their furniture. Monetization comes after from services, ads, premium service, etc.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 8:42:02 AM
Re: Missed opportunity?
Telcos are anxious to count both as customers. How do you think they're preventing it? Pricing?
gk998
50%
50%
gk998,
User Rank: Lightning
2/25/2014 | 8:15:28 AM
Re: Missed opportunity?
Not sure I see any business case for any Municipal/Local Authority (MLA) to bear the cost of a standalone WiFi deployment (there have been several cases where public cash has been spent but the deployment has been woeful or failed entirely).
I do see a case where an Operator can entice the MLA to be a proactive facilitator WRT the deployment, this is done by deploying Small Cells with integral Wifi capability.  the trade off is that the Operator provides the WiFi aspects FoC (i.e. HW & Integration services) and the MLA grants the rights to the sites (including power and assistance with the initial backhaul section).  OK so not all the locations desired by each party will match up but there should be sufficient to cover the interest of both parties.
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/25/2014 | 6:58:37 AM
Re: Missed opportunity?
Small cells have to have a defined spectrum like wifi. The problem is not the politician, the problem is the Telco monopoly on the spectrum. The businesses are hungry for having an open channel for localized ads to the customers smart phone, and the customers are hungry for free voice and data wherever possible, it is the Telco that is preventing that.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 5:35:53 AM
Missed opportunity?
I wonder how many more cities will follow the trend of deploying WiFi without an operator partner. They may want to get on work on getting in with the cities beforhand rather than after. Seems like they might have more wiggle room that way.
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
Can Mushroom Sprout in Crowded SD-WAN Field?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/18/2017
AI Will Be Ubiquitous in 2020 but Overhyped in 2017 – Gartner
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 7/18/2017
Facing the Facebook Video Threat
Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer, Amdocs, 7/17/2017
Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Fuzzy Quick Fix Click Here
If you can't access it, is it really broken?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.