Small cells

Vodafone Deploys SpiderCloud's Small Cells

Need to provide indoor wireless coverage in a brand new major office building with just weeks to spare? Better call on SpiderCloud, says Vodafone's Dutch operation.

SpiderCloud Wireless revealed Tuesday morning that months of testing and trials with Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) in the UK and beyond has started to pay off. (See Vodafone, SpiderCloud Build Enterprise 3G Networks.)

Marcel van den Biggelaar, head of technology strategy at Vodafone Netherlands , says he will now use SpiderCloud equipment for many of the operator's enterprise in-building coverage projects. Until now, Vodafone Netherlands has typically used distributed antennas and other systems to provide such coverage for business customers.

Biggelaar says, however, that the operator was impressed by the speed and ease with which it deployed the SpiderCloud enterprise 3G and 4G small cells in an enterprise customer's greenfield facility. Vodafone was being pushed to provide coverage extremely quickly or lose the deal.

SpiderCloud and Vodafone deployed 46 of what the vendor refers to as "radio nodes" across three floors supporting 400 employees. The customer required good coverage because it has ditched traditional fixed-line phones on desktops to rely on mobiles alone.

Vodafone's van den Biggelaar says the percentage of dropped calls in the building is better than on GSM and UMTS/3G. "I think 0.2 percent," he says.

Tuesday's announcement comes after a year and a half of commercial pilots with Vodafone customers in London. The largest of those trials involved 65 radio nodes that supported 3,000 users over 16 floors.

SpiderCloud is taking on larger rivals such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) to stake its claim on the enterprise small cell market. The startup has raised $106 million in funding so far for the development of its Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) system that combines service nodes, multi-access small cells, and Self Organizing Network (SON) management software. (See SpiderCloud: Cisco 'Naïve' on Small Cells.)

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 9/17/2013 | 8:43:35 AM
Re: Enticing combination... The point they like to hammer on is that they have 18 months in trials on everyone else. Acquisition target at some point, maybe.
[email protected] 9/17/2013 | 6:49:23 AM
Enticing combination... Speedy provisioning and a distributed architecture that hangs off the enterprise LAN... that sounds like a good combo for SpiderCloud. 

the question for SpiderCloud's future is -- will a larger rival buy it to save on years of R&D or will all the larger small cell vendors develop their own similar system?
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