Unified Communication Strategies for Small Cells
In a recent test conducted by SpiderCloud Wireless, a small cell vendor, it was concluded that mobile devices are being overlooked by Unified Communications (UC) manufacturers for the enterprises. The heavy focus on Wi-Fi has been subtle, their testing shows, and mobile devices are being underused despite their potential to enhance UC strategies.
The reason for this, they say, is because the UC realm is still fixed on establishing telephony with computers in order to bypass the desk phone. In doing so, UC strategies are not considering the recent widespread adoption of mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones or the increased practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
Moreover, trying to bring UC to mobile devices does bring inherent difficulties. For one, a cell phone already has a built-in dialer subsystem and to access a separate application to handle business calls is seen as an unnecessary bother.
During SpiderCloud’s testing, they discovered that each vendor included in their pilot study gave up on the UC platform for mobile devices, choosing instead to use the built-in dialer on the iPhone. The primary reasons for this move included unsatisfactory network coverage, dropped calls, and an overly complicated software.
Yet despite the discouraging results from the pilot study, SpiderCloud is confident that an increased use of 3G and 4G LTE can ease pressure on device owners hoping to incorporate UC strategies on the mobile. According to their research, this can be accomplished through the use of scalable small cells using radio access technology (RAT). In the context of the enterprise, this would be done as an addition to the traditional UC strategy of solely using Wi-Fi.
SpiderCloud’s CMO, Ronny Haraldsvik, takes this claim to a new level with his words that “a scalable small cell system can make the complexity and the cost of UC go away.” He continues to say that mobile services for the enterprise and value-added IP services will eventually become “part of the package” and effectively make the jump from their current networks into the structure of the overall UC strategy blueprint.
SpiderCloud Wireless has already begun on this track by providing mobile operations with small cell networks to respond to their coverage and capacity requirements. Their scalable small cell system, called Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN), can support 3G, Wi-Fi, and LTE. The E-RAN is capable of controlling more than 100 small cells and has the capacity to sustain over 10,000 smartphones and tablets connected to the system.
Excel Venture’s founder of market intelligence, Greg Collins, says that this new multi-access platform for mobiles of indoor systems should ensure operators the ability to provide consistently reliable Wi-Fi and 3G coverage for many years. In his words, "indoor multi-access capitalizes on the coming architectural shift to small cells and will provide operators a platform for offering managed application and cloud services.”
SpiderCloud Wireless currently offers services to node and the small cells of 3G and 3G+Wi-Fi, but will expand to include LTE by mid-2013. (RP) Link