Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!
It's always good to see a startup in these cash-strapped days, especially one with a name as enticing as SpiderCloud Wireless .
The name choice, though, has more to do with marketing opportunism -- anything cloudy is hot these days, right? -- than the company's proposition. This is a collection of former Flarion (acquired by Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) in 2005), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) folk developing what is essentially a mobile network in a box. (See Qualcomm Calls on Flarion.)
So it's nothing to do with cloud services, or Spiderman. Or Spiderpig. Unfortunately.
It's also nothing to do with picocells or femtocells, though the idea behind the company is to provide enhanced cellular 3G (and later, LTE) coverage within a local, defined area, such as a building or a sports arena in much the same way as a WiFi network would, reducing the load on the macro network. And instead of hanging a number of small, localized access points off a macro network, Spidercloud's proposition is a miniature but fully formed campus network running on licensed spectrum that only sends calls out to the macro network when necessary. Calls within the local cell never leave the campus network.
The company refers to the model, based on a centralized service node (residing with other IT equipment) managing up to 50 access points, as an Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN). (See Startup Targets Enterprise Indoor Coverage.)
The company's "secret sauce," according to VP of marketing Ronny Haraldsvik, is in the RF management and its user policy control -- the network can be run as a closed, partially open, or fully open network.
The company has been a few years in gestation developing the technology, and obviously that's cost money. But even during the past few tough capital-raising years, the company has managed to raise about $40 million from the likes of Charles River Ventures , Matrix Partners , and Opus Capital .
SpiderCloud expects its technology, currently being tested by a number of European operators, to become generally available in 2010, by which time the company's marketing team might be sick to their back teeth of telling folk they haven't jumped on the cloud services bandwagon.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading