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Vodafone Launches Small Cell Service in UK

Ray Le Maistre
1/31/2014

Having already deployed SpiderCloud's enterprise small cells in the Netherlands, Vodafone is now installing them in the UK to support an enhanced, in-building mobile coverage service called Sure Signal Premium. (See Vodafone UK Launches Sure Signal Premium and Vodafone Deploys SpiderCloud's Small Cells.)

The 3G service, based on technology developed for Vodafone UK by partners SpiderCloud Wireless and NEC Europe , is targeted at businesses with more than 320 staff and more than 3,200 square meters of floor space. Vodafone says the service can be installed "as quickly as WiFi," and that a 4G service will be available this summer. (See SpiderCloud Eyes LTE Enterprise Small Cells in 2014.)

The demand from businesses for quality in-building coverage is growing as more companies rely on mobile/wireless services to provide in-building and nomadic connectivity to their staff: In addition, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend creates a growing need for better in-building coverage to enable employees to work to their optimum levels and (dare we even suggest it!) boost staff morale.

And the potential pay-off for service providers investing in such infrastructure could be manyfold: Not only do they immediately attract network usage from the employees of their enterprise customers, but anecdotal evidence suggests those employees churn to the small cell service provider to gain better at-work connectivity for their own devices.

For SpiderCloud in particular, this is another feather in its cap in what is an increasingly competitive market for enterprise small cells, with rivals such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ip.access Ltd. , among others, all fighting to be deployed inside businesses, shopping malls, airports, and other prime locations. (See Ericsson Expects Smooth Sailing for Radio Dot , Who's Moving & Shaking in Small Cells?, Ericsson Boasts Small Cell Breakthrough, and SpiderCloud: Cisco 'Naïve' on Small Cells.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Mcgyver7
Mcgyver7
2/1/2014 | 9:16:51 AM
BM of Vodafone UK
Can anybody tell me the BM of Vodafone UK Sure Signal Premium?

Does Vodafone UK get the extra money from enterprise customers for the supplying Sure Signal Premium service?

 

Or, does Vodafone UK install enterprise small cell in free just for enhancement of inbuiding coverage and data offload?

 

Please let me know....

 
DanJones
DanJones
1/31/2014 | 6:20:11 PM
Re: Small cells
Similar but not the same. The Spidercloud system combines the small cells with a management element, somewhat akin to the Aruba managed enterprise WiFi idea.

They also have an smartphone app that can do some basic RF planning before a customer starts installation. They're really pushing the idea of how much quicker this is for a carrier to deploy than a DAS system.

I bet Voda will learn lessons from enterprise deployments that they can carry over into public access, even if public access *is* more challenging.
RitchBlasi
RitchBlasi
1/31/2014 | 1:38:22 PM
Small cells
I think it will be more interesting to see Voda deploying small cells into the macro networks in the public domain in addition to controlled environments.  These enterprise deployments sound similar to in-building pico cells or DAS system solutions.
pdonegan67
pdonegan67
1/31/2014 | 10:50:01 AM
Sans New Backhaul
Yes the enterprise-oriented model sans new backhaul is seeing a good amount of traction right now.
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