The private wireless networking space is not only growing but it's also showing signs of maturity: Enterprise IT managers who might be interested in adding such a network to their connectivity toolbox can now do so with a few mouse clicks.
That's because Federated Wireless, one of the major players in the burgeoning 3.5GHz CBRS industry, is today selling 4G and 5G private wireless networking options on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and the Amazon AWS Marketplace.
"It couldn't get any simpler," Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless, told Light Reading.
Tarazi explained that the private wireless sales process today often involves lengthy discussions with potential customers about spectrum bands, signal propagation, handset compatibility and technology standards. With Federated's new "Connectivity-as-as-Service" offering, enterprise IT managers who are browsing cloud computing marketplaces for their other computing needs can simply add a private wireless network to their cart and check out, no further work required.
Customers using Federated's new product can first estimate the size and scale of the network they want to build, and can then obtain budget quotes for the one-time setup cost and ongoing monthly expense of running the network.
If they choose to actually buy the network, Federated will then work with dozens of equipment suppliers and network installation providers to actually construct and manage the network. Tarazi declined to name any of Federated's partners.
"It's not positioned to be a replacement to a [commercial] wireless network. It's not positioned to be a replacement to a WiFi network" Tarazi explained, pointing to applications ranging from industrial IoT to employee communications as ideal for cellular-based private wireless networks. "What we are really offering is a managed service."
Private wireless wave
It's no surprise that Federated is expanding into the private wireless space given its core business of managing usage of the newly free 3.5GHz CBRS band. That spectrum band is quickly becoming ground zero for US private wireless networking efforts stretching from Charter to Ford to UPS and the Pantex Plant in Texas, the nation's premier nuclear disassembly plant.
Further, Federated isn't the only company eyeing the private wireless networking opportunity. Nokia, Ericsson, Verizon and others have also been talking up their offerings in the area. That's because the opportunity is clearly significant: A top Nokia executive said it could ultimately be twice as big as the traditional, commercial market for wireless services.
Driving interest in the private wireless networking trend is a growing collection of spectrum bands available to enterprises, cities, government agencies and others, coupled with increasingly inexpensive wireless transmission equipment. Such factors are key for enterprises and others that want more control over their wireless communications.