SpiderCloud Wireless says it is working with Qualcomm Technologies (NASDAQ:QCOM) to use its chipset technology for its forthcoming LTE-U products, marking the first time it will use Qualcomm chipsets instead of Broadcom's.
"We decided to work with Qualcomm because I think they have played a leadership role in the introduction of LTE in unlicensed bands," said Amit Jain, vice president of marketing and product management at SpiderCloud, noting that Qualcomm is involved not just in LTE-U but also in MulteFire, which doesn't required licensed spectrum. "We just felt Qualcomm would be a really good partner to have as we enter this new era of running LTE in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum."
SpiderCloud has a solid partnership with Broadcom and has been building products with it for the past several years, and "we're very happy with that partnership," he said. But with the LTE-U market, "we felt that Qualcomm would be a very good partner to have."
Indeed, Qualcomm has taken a lead with operators like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in the LTE Forum, which was formed in 2014, and it has been embroiled in the debate over the introduction of LTE in unlicensed spectrum, which is something Wi-Fi advocates like Broadcom are more than a little concerned about. While Qualcomm also makes Wi-Fi products, it has been at odds with some cable and Wi-Fi interest groups when it comes to LTE-U. The Wi-Fi Alliance is currently working on developing consensus on a test regime for fair coexistence between the LTE and Wi-Fi.
"At this stage, we are very confident that the coexistence problems are solvable," Jain told FierceWirelessTech. SpiderCloud expects LTE-U to be commercially deployed by the end of this year.
SpiderCloud recently announced that it joined the MulteFire Alliance. Qualcomm promoted MulteFire technology last summer, but it later got together with Nokia to found the MulteFire Alliance, which includes sponsor members Ericsson and Intel.
SpiderCloud's competitors in the small cell space include much bigger names like Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung. "We don't see other smaller companies anymore in the small cell space," Jain told FierceWirelessTech. "I think we have emerged as the leading independent small cell company."
SpiderCloud has deployed its dual-carrier LTE in-building solution at Verizon's enterprise customer locations across the country, and Verizon recently announced that it is working with SpiderCloud on LTE-U in the 5 GHz band. Verizon will trial SpiderCloud's LTE-U system in the third quarter of 2016. Verizon also has publicly announced it is working with Samsung on LTE-U.
SpiderCloud says its systems will be among the first to seamlessly deliver LTE capacity over unlicensed spectrum in large indoor environments, such as offices, university campuses, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers and sport venues. They will be based on SpiderCloud's Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) architecture that 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.
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