SpiderCloud tees up enterprise small cell combining LTE, CBRS

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A SpiderCloud Radio Node. Image: SpiderCloud

SpiderCloud Wireless is introducing what it called the industry’s first enterprise small cell system that supports both LTE on licensed spectrum and on the 3.5 GHz band.

SpiderCloud said it has completed interoperability testing with Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Access System (SAS). Federated Wireless, along with Google, Nokia, Intel, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless, officially launched the CBRS Alliance in August to foster the ecosystem around 3.5 GHz. The FCC opened 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, also called the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, for commercial use earlier this year.

The FCC and industry are still working out how the SAS and Environmental Sensing Capabilities (ESC) will work in the 3.5 GHz band, but the plan generally calls for protecting federal and incumbent users while managing coexistence among others sharing the band.

SpiderCloud’s CBRS products will be ready for trials starting in the first quarter of 2017 and will be commercially available by the second half of 2017. Art King, SpiderCloud’s director of enterprise, said the availability of handset support is a key factor in terms of how soon an enterprise could actually use the 3.5 GHz band.

“The enterprises who have a clear business vision/need for CBRS 3.5 GHz will drive this much harder and turn over their handsets for ones with 3.5 GHz,” he told FierceWirelessTech.

The company expects both mobile operators and enterprises will be interested in buying the CBRS product, but in the beginning, it will be operator-driven and after some early market establishment, enterprises will increasingly be in the mix. Offices, university campuses, hospitals, hotels and shopping centers are some of the venues particularly suited for the kind of capacity that CBRS can provide.

SpiderCloud’s dual-mode (licensed and CBRS) system enables mobile operators and neutral host operators to build a footprint of CBRS small cells before CBRS-capable connected devices are widely available. SpiderCloud’s dual-mode small cells will offer LTE service in the licensed band on day one, and CBRS radios can be turned on via software when the business case permits.

The company said that dual-mode drives the overall LTE handset ecosystem as it removes uncertainty about the widespread availability of CBRS networks. SpiderCloud’s dual-mode system uses the Qualcomm FSM chipset.

The small cells are based on SpiderCloud’s Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) architecture where one Services Node controls a dense network of self-organizing LTE small cells that are capable of delivering coverage and capacity in indoor locations as large as 1.5 million square feet.

In February, SpiderCloud announced it was working with Verizon in a trial involving SpiderCloud’s LTE-U system, which would allow Verizon to use unlicensed spectrum to improve the network experience in high-density venues and busy enterprises.

For more:
- see the press release

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