Small cells

Small Cell Movers & Shakers: Update

Iyad Tarazi, former VP of network development and engineering, Sprint; now CEO, Federated Wireless

Iyad Tarazi, formerly of Sprint, now CEO at Federated Wireless
Iyad Tarazi, formerly of Sprint, now CEO at Federated Wireless

Tarazi made last year's shortlist not only because he made Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) a leader in CDMA femtocells, but also because we were anxiously waiting to see how he tackled LTE picocells, given Sprint's complex spectrum holdings. Unfortunately, he left the company before we could find out. He was one of the executives to leave in March as part of SoftBank Corp. 's executive shakeup. Tarazi took on the CEO job in September at Federated Wireless, a startup focused on maximizing use of spectrum. Now, Jay Bluhm, VP of network development and engineering, and Robert Kingsley, director of network development, are leading Sprint's small cells strategy, but a spokeswoman says the operator doesn't have any updates on its progress just now. (See Sprint Loses Its Small Cell Guru and Sprint Tests Small Cells at the Speedway.)

Johan Wibergh, head of Networks, Ericsson

Johan Wibergh, head of networks, Ericsson
Johan Wibergh, head of networks, Ericsson

Ericsson was under a lot of pressure to perform in the small cell market this year, under the leadership of Wibergh. The Networks man wasn't bullish on femtocells, but he positioned the vendor to take on the enterprise small cell opportunity through the radio access network team. It took until early December for Ericsson to announce its first customer deployment, with Vodafone, but it says there are many other customers on the brink of commercial launches or advanced in the testing phase. Wibergh said Radio Dot would go mainstream after it began trials in the second quarter of this year, but it looks like early 2015 is when we'll really see if he can keep his promise. (See Eurobites: Ericsson's Radio Dot Goes Live.)

Jason Miller, senior director of small cells, Alcatel-Lucent
While Miller is still with the vendor, focusing on deploying its lightRadio RAN portfolio of enterprise small cells, Michael Scabel, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's overall small cell market development, is the man in charge. Both executives are worth keeping an eye on, especially in the first quarter of the year, when Alcatel-Lucent says it will have its first multimode small cells commercially deployed. (See Small Cells Key to Network Capacity Expansion – Alcatel-Lucent CTO.)

Partho Mishra, former VP GM Service Provider Access Group, Cisco; now CEO, RASA Networks
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has had a rather trying year in small cells, both from a deployment and leadership perspective. Mishra, one of our small cell executives to keep an eye on, left the company in April, followed by Ed Chang, Cisco's VP of Product Marketing and Product Management, who left the company in September. Even small cell PR lead Kevin Petschow headed for the exit door in November. At the same time, Cisco's multimode small cells, first promised earlier this year, have yet to surface. Real Wireless CMO Rupert Baines, who contributed to the movers and shakers list last year, tells us -- and a Cisco spokesman confirms -- that Scott Morrison, VP and GM of Cisco's small cell technology group, is the new guy in charge, and the power is now in the UK where Morrison and Cisco subsidiary Ubiquisys is located, rather than San Jose, where efforts used to be centralized. Mishra is now CEO of RASA Networks, and Chang has yet to update his LinkedIn profile with employment details. (See Cisco's Small Cell Boss Is Gone and Cisco: Multimode Small Cells Coming Early 2014.)

Kris Rinne, former SVP of Network Product Planning, AT&T; now retired

Kris Rinne, now retired from AT&T
Kris Rinne, now retired from AT&T

Following a long and storied career at AT&T, Rinne exits our list by way of retirement: The former AT&T Labs executive and senior vice president of network and product planning officially stepped down in November. One of her final missions was to help the carrier on its way to achieving 40 million small cells deployed, something Burkes will now oversee through 2015. (See AT&T's Kris Rinne to Retire.)

Yoshihito Shimazaki, deputy division director for mobile solutions, Softbank
Softbank has ambitious plans, for both Japan and the US (with Sprint Spark small cells), and Shimazaki remains at the helm. As Prof. Simon Saunders, Technical Director at Real Wireless, told us last year (and which still holds true), "Small cells are a major part of [Softbank's] strategy, both for 3G and LTE, and it is no coincidence that they haves acquired Sprint with their shared small cell hunger. Softbank is ambitious, unconventional and exciting, and Shimazaki-san always has an impressively well-prepared presentation giving insights into those strategies." (See Softbank Asks Ericsson for Congestion Relief and Sprint's Saw: '5G' Opp Is Moving Signal Closer to Customers.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Previous Page
2 of 2

Sign In