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

belikejones 12/5/2012 | 3:53:08 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!

1. so is it like a centralized controller with wifi access ponts, or

2. a centralized controller with gsm nodes for access (RAN), or

3. they are being deliberately vague but then they shouldn't be talking to  you


spc_rayella 12/5/2012 | 3:53:07 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud! It's a mini cellular network -- the reference to WiFi is to get across an idea of the physical topology, lots of radio access points managed by a central service node.
eurichardson 12/5/2012 | 3:53:07 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!

SpiderCloud's business model is not very clear. Do they plan to sell this to mobile operators, who in turn will sell to enterprises? What is the business case for enterprises to invest in this solution?

spc_rayella 12/5/2012 | 3:53:06 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!

They're selling to the mobile operators, who use the system to provide capacity and coverage in high usage hot spots.


eurichardson 12/5/2012 | 3:53:05 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!

Maybe I am mistaken, but if you read their website, the solution is clearly targeted at enterprises ("Enterprises benefit from a private and highly secure indoor mobile broadband network that enables corporate-owned mobile devices to extend the reach of the enterprise infrastructure"). The product itself is called Enterprise RAN. So, clearly the solution is targeted at enterprises.

Today, there are lot of femtocell, in-builiding and other products (such as Divitas) that compete for the same business. Not clear (a) why mobile operators will prefer the Spidercloud solution, and (b) how the mobile operators will sell this solution to enterprises.

On the other hand, if mobile operators are using this solution for hotspot coverage, it is not clear if there is a compelling case for this solution over femtocell or other existing standards based solutions.

mobileinsider 12/5/2012 | 3:53:04 PM
re: Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!

You made me look! On the web page that you refer you, it clearly says "Soon you can outsource Anything Wireless to the Mobile Operator. “ In reading the home page,  ‘company’ section, press release, Wall Street Journal and Unstrung – it’s clear  that they sell to the operators.

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