Dell broadens private wireless play in pursuit of telecom biz
Dell Technologies said it has expanded its portfolio of offerings in the private wireless networking sector, a move designed to help the company sell its telecom services and equipment to enterprises building their own wireless networks.
The announcement helps to highlight the broad and growing opportunity around private wireless networking, a sector of the telecom industry that a variety of players are targeting. For example, telecom network operators like Verizon are competing with equipment vendors such as Ericsson, startups like Celona and Betacom, cloud computing behemoths such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and now Dell.
However, few companies have all the resources necessary to provide an end-to-end solution for a private wireless network, which has led to partnerships among a variety of vendors.
Along those lines, Dell today announced deals with Airspan, Expeto and Athonet to sell various products, services and hardware in support of enterprise private wireless networks.
Dell also announced its new "Dell Private Wireless Program," which the company said is a portfolio of products, "based on open architectures," that are pre-tested and validated by Dell in order to help enterprise customers build networks more quickly.
Preparing for MWC
Dell's announcements coincide with a broader push by the company into the telecom space. It is expanding a previously announced Telecom Infrastructure Blocks program through a new partnership with Red Hat technologies. In addition, Dell announced new PowerEdge servers for edge computing uses and a new Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab to support additional testing by its customers.
Dell and other big telecom vendors have accelerated announcements in the leadup to the MWC trade show in Barcelona, Spain. The event, mostly free from COVID-19 restrictions, promises to draw up to 80,000 attendees and typically is an opportunity for telecom vendors to announce new products and strategies.
In pursuing the private wireless networking space, Dell could face some difficulties. For example, executives from Verizon, AT&T, Dell'Oro Group and others have acknowledged that the sector hasn't developed as quickly as expected.
"Private LTE, when it came on the scene, there was a lot of hype and anticipation that it was going to explode," explained Chris Sambar, AT&T's networking chief, during a recent call with the media. "A lot of that did not come to fruition."
Nonetheless, some vendors like Nokia have predicted that the private wireless network market could eventually grow bigger than the market for public, commercial wireless networks.
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— Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano