AKA: Peter Jarich’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time” Nov 4. Challenge
@haraldsvik Mobile operators and vendors alike are awakening to the sober reality of the complexity involved in deploying 10s and 100s of small cells in a very dense indoor and outdoor area. Not all “small cells” are the same. Don’t hate Small Cells (Peter Jarich’s blog in Fierce Wireless), hate the game (vendors play). But, if you’re a vendor or IT professional, believing the big vendors, you may be asking “how was I supposed to know that something’ wasn’t right here?”
@artkingg As the saying goes, “they don’t know, what they don’t know.” There are (almost always) hidden challenges. For enterprise IT professionals who have been exposed to the challenges of indoor cellular, “easy” is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. If the Wi-Fi network is a scalable WLAN with controllers and access points, how can 3G simply be “strapped on” without consideration for security, scaling, and interference issues? I’m sure we soon will hear “I shouldn’t have let you go?”
@haraldsvik Why leave reason and rationale behind? IT professionals and mobile operators alike should trust years of experiences and instincts. A SpiderCloud E-RAN is an operator managed services solution, deployed and operated by the mobile operator (trust). Why is this important? 50% of enterprises would churn to an operator that could provide better in-building mobile coverage and capacity. Enterprise customers are becoming very important and want an IT friendly solution (Blog) that does not require a DAS Dot with hidden IT challenges. Which may lead to people saying “and now you’re right out of sight.”
@artkingg It’s remarkable, the evolution that small cells are going through right now. But, when we think back and look at history, small cells are simply repeating the enterprise evolution cycle of the LAN and Wi-Fi. Three critical technology transitions in enterprise are being paralleled by in-building mobile technology: 10Base2/10Base5 to 10BaseT LAN, Shared Ethernet to Switched Ethernet, Standalone Wi-Fi “Fat AP” to Controller Based Wi-Fi “Thin AP”. Don’t forget history, because it has a tendency to repeat itself. Simply ask us “show me how you want it to be, tell me.”
@haraldsvik The communications technology of yesterday (that is embodied in fixed devices, e.g. desk phone and laptop software, e.g. UC clients) must be moved to the employee’s mobile devices. The point of failure within most mobile initiatives, at present, is the lack of respect for the need of mobile device owners to have a “magic” user experience (no App to install, do nothing new, no change in user behavior). IT professionals need to know, they demand to know “Cause I need to know now.”
@artkingg Sure, they need to know for good reasons. Enterprise behavior, though influenced by consumer demand for ease-of-use, focuses on cost optimization. All actions are urgent, and/or immediate, and quality must be consistent, good, highly predictable and repeatable. IT also likes to keep things simple (devices, applications and services). If not, new cost-reducing or productivity initiatives will not be used or adopted. Most importantly, IT’s focus is to make access as secure as possible, and empower employees with high quality mobile services that work, with no limitations, wherever people are. If not, enterprise customers will be left exactly where they are today, with no mobility inside. Without mobility “My loneliness is killing me.”
@haraldsvik Hey know, Art. Simmer down. Much as Wi-Fi exploded on the scene 10 years ago, and over time segmented into residential and commercial markets in response to differing demands, small cells look set to follow the same trajectory. Stand-alone small cells are made for homes and small businesses, whereas a system like SpiderCloud's Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) is made to scale, and designed to achieve high-performance mobility so vital to business productivity. I must confess – an IT director told me just last week in Dallas, “the thought of removing desktop phones and no longer worrying about mobility and connectivity, is like a Christmas morning.”
@artkingg True enough. My years at a global sports brand taught me that a mobile operator has the ability to build trust and gain access to more managed services, if they only listened to IT’s needs more. “I still believe” (yes, still believe) it will happen some day. And, the mobile operator who first delivers, stands to gain.
@haraldsvik Indeed. Nothing halts a mobile initiative decision faster than lack of reliable coverage or capacity. Mobile operators who are trying to sell advanced services layered on top of the macro-network know this problem well. But, if the operator continues the “I’m not with you” approach, enterprises loose.
@artkingg A large percentage of the IT decision makers surveyed said that their business has had indoor mobile coverage and/or capacity problems with their mobile operators. Businesses in the US were found to be the most likely to have this issue, with as many as 61 percent of IT decision makers from businesses with 250+ employees saying their business have had this issue. Among the countries surveyed in Europe, 50 percent of IT decision makers from large businesses in Germany report having this issue, compared to just over two fifths in Spain (43%) and almost two fifths in Britain (39%). “I lose my mind” when I think about the lost opportunities.
@haraldsvik Relax Art, all will be well (in time). Remember, in many cases, the IT decision makers said their businesses had found the mobile operator unable to help, potentially leaving them with the stark choice of doing nothing or using their capex budgets to invest in their own in-building wireless solution or go somewhere else. Enterprises are simply saying to mobile operators, “give me a sign.”
@artkingg Mobile operators can indeed deliver mobility and reliability. For macro cellular networks, mobile operators demand voice call set-up success rate (CSSR) to be higher than 98 percent and voice call drop rate (CDR) to be less than 0.8 percent. E-RAN networks, with soft handoff, today show average voice call set-up success rates of 99.5 and an average call drop rate of less than 0.8 percent. The benchmark testing found that the best E-RAN deployment achieved a call setup success rate of 99.8 percent and a call drop rate below 0.4 percent.
@haraldsvik “A reason I breathe is”, like you, I know that mobile managed services are coming, and the first movers stand to gain trust and sustained revenues for years to come. Mobility is the heartbeat of any organization, and wireless is the digital oxygen that our devices breathe at home and on the road. You said so yourself in your blog.
@artkingg “You've got me blinded” with your enthusiasm. Indeed, mobility rules. When cellular broadband is available, Wi-Fi is often turned off. The shared theme is legacy infrastructure configurations and decisions are easy to work around simply by opting out to a medium that cannot be controlled by the IT organizations, best explained by Newton’s third law of motion: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Make mobile work inside and the rewards are reaped by all. I’m sure IT professionals all around the world are screaming at mobile operators “there’s nothin' that I wouldn't do.”
@haraldsvik Yes, we need to solve in-building coverage and capacity first before we start to market managed mobility services. The limitations of serving in-building coverage primarily by an outdoor macro network, and that coverage inside does not equate to sufficient capacity for an ever-growing demand for always-on broadband. With approximately 80% of all mobile voice and data traffic occurring indoors, the in-building mobile data user consumes a disproportionate amount of network resources, requiring the outdoor macro network to assign more resources relative to the outdoor mobile device for a given end-user data rate.
@artkingg But, if I’m part of the “old guard”, I’m probably saying “that's not the way I planned it.” Take Ericsson. What they announced with DAS Dot is a rehash of existing macro cellular and distributed antenna systems technologies. They are using a baseband unit borrowed from their macro base stations. This baseband unit connects to a new box called the Indoor Remote Unit (IRU) over dedicated fiber. IRUs are then connected to small indoor remote radio heads, called Dots, over dedicated Ethernet. We ask, is it really Ethernet or “something else” over a Category 5/6 cable? Each Dot can support one frequency and one access technology (i.e. 3G or LTE, not both). Though each Dot, like a radio head in a DAS system, increases coverage, the capacity delivered by the system is constrained by what the baseband unit can provide. Like a DAS, the Dot system requires dedicated cabling to the IRUs and Dots, and does not lend itself to reusing an existing LAN. Adding a second access technology requires a new overlay network build out. Somehow Ericsson has managed to get all the disadvantages of DAS, and missed out on the single most important reason DAS is deployed – DAS is multi-operator. If I’m a mobile operator who wants to sell into the enterprise, don’t be fooled. Simply ask “show me how you want it to be?”
@haraldsvik A mobilized enterprise is not a destination, but an outcome of the transition from wired and wireless at work, to always-mobile connected to the enterprise IT infrastructure, whether at work or on-the-go as part of an emerging Global Area Network (GAN). The blurring of the lines between the enterprise and service provider networks will extend the "edge" of the mobile network from the operator's core into the enterprise premise. Mobile operators and vendors need to keep 2020 in mind.
@artkingg But, IT and mobile operators are saying “I need to know now.” Nothing halts a mobile initiative decision faster than lack of reliable coverage or capacity. Mobile operators who are trying to sell advanced services layered on top of the macro-network know this problem well. Office buildings that have known significant coverage/capacity problems can be excluded from evolving, because of the steep operations expenses associated with systems engineering and provisioning. Why? Enterprise IT has to make simple decisions on technology that must be good for all employees within the enterprise. On average, an IT team moves 40% of employees annually. If a group of employees were unwired, and then moved to a location with poor coverage/capacity, not only would they be unhappy, but they would also have to be re-provisioned with wired services. The operations expense with normal technology moves is far lower than unwiring/wiring. A practical IT person will defer unwiring their organization until dependable coverage and capacity is available. Or simply put “give me a sign” and I will come join you (as a customer).
@haraldsvik Art, you and I know that a scalable small cell system overcomes these obstacles while simplifying the installation process with self-optimizing and self-organizing software, and has the ability to scale to support 100 Multi-access small cells (up to 10,000 devices) with just one services node connection to the operator’s core network. Our very own scalable multi-access 3G, Wi-Fi and 4G/LTE small cell system allows mobile operators to deliver unprecedented cellular coverage, capacity and smart applications to enterprises. The scalable system architecture simplifies deployment and overall network configuration for mobile operators. Overall, the system provides uninterrupted, trouble-free mobile data and voice services.
In conclusion, to @pnjarich we say. Don’t hate small cells :) and “Hit me baby one more time.”
Happy Thanksgiving to our USA friends.