SpiderCloud Wireless announced the commercial availability of the Frequency Agile small cell, the SCRN-220, for its Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) platform. The SCRN-220 is a single carrier small cell that can be software configured for any of the major U.S. bands. The LTE bands supported are 2 (1900), 25 (1900), 4 (1700), 66 (2100), 12 (700) and 13 (700), with channel widths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz.
“The breakthrough is really all five bands of cellular in one radio," said Art King, director of Enterprise Services & Technologies at SpiderCloud. It’s a single carrier radio but it can be configured to any of five different frequency bands, and they will work for T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. Spidercloud is building the main product in 2, 25, 4, 66 and 12, with band 13 support more of a targeted build for IoT applications.
One of the things enterprise folks have been saying is if they’re going to make a capital investment, they don’t want to invest in a system that’s locked to one carrier. If the corporate procurement department switches contracts for the company’s mobile provider, they want to be able to reconfigure their indoor cellular radio equipment to the new carrier.
“We’ve seen customers do RFPs where they ask for a small cell building improvement allowance to be built into the RFP response,” he said, so whoever wins it has to invest a certain amount of dollars in the building. For enterprises that have smaller buildings that don’t meet the financial hurdle for the mobile operator to make an investment, there’s an opportunity to go to channel partners and ask to buy a SpiderCloud system to improve the coverage.
The other bit of news SpiderCloud announced is the commercial availability of its Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) system supporting LTE-U for enterprises and public venues. The system combines Qualcomm FSM small cell platform with SpiderCloud’s scalable small cell systems and is geared for large, densely populated indoor environments such as offices, hospitals, university campuses, sports venues, shopping centers and hotels.
It includes a Services Node controlling up to 100 self-organizing LTE small cells capable of delivering coverage and capacity in indoor locations as large as 1.5 million square feet.
The company noted that this SpiderCloud system is among the first enterprise small cell systems to receive FCC authorization to deliver LTE-U capacity in unlicensed spectrum. The Enterprise RAN with LTE-U introduces a new Radio Node, the SCRN-320, and operating system enhancements to the Services Node. On the road to commercialization, the SCRN-320 passed the testing regime defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance in the LTE-U Coexistence Test Plan, which should assure enterprise and venue owners that LTE-U will co-exist with Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi baseband chipset integrated in SCRN-320 enables it to not only sense energy in the 5 GHz (called “energy detection”) band but also to detect Wi-Fi preamble messages (called “preamble detection”), and to inform Wi-Fi access points about SCRN-320’s intent to use the channel. According to SpiderCloud, this technique offers superior co-existence with Wi-Fi system than alternatives.
The SCRN-320 features include support for LTE Band 2 (PCS) or Band 4 (AWS) and U-NII band unlicensed radio for LTE-U Supplemental Downlink. It is also software upgradeable to LTE-LAA.
SpiderCloud plans to introduce versions of the SCRN-320 that support licensed bands for European and Asian markets in the second half of 2017 along with LTE-LAA support. The SCRN-220 will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2017, and several Tier 1 operators in the U.S. are evaluating inclusion of the SCRN-220 into their Enterprise RAN strategies, according to SpiderCloud.