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HetNet News: Dual-mode small cells from SpiderCloud; InfoVista aquires Aexio

SpiderCloud Wireless has launched an enterprise small cell that simultaneously offers both UMTS and LTE service. One of the limitations on small cells thus far has been that most offerings have been single mode, so carriers would have to roll out multiple small cell networks in order to serve both their LTE and legacy networks. The new SCRN-310 combines an integrated 3G/LTE baseband SoC from Broadcom with software from SpiderCloud, and SpiderCloud said the cell can be software-upgraded to operate in two LTE spectrum bands once an operator starts re-farming 3G spectrum for LTE use.

“As mobile data usage migrates from 3G to LTE in the next five years, SCRN-310 provides mobile operators with the flexibility they need and protects their investment in small cells,” said Amit Jain, vice president of product management for SpiderCloud Wireless. “Our partnership with Broadcom allows us to introduce the first flexible multi-access small cell to market.”

The SCRN-310 is part of SpiderCloud’s Enterprise RAN (E-RAN) solution, which consists of a Services Node that can control more than 100 3G, Wi-Fi and LTE small cells. The new dual-mode small cell supports 32 HSPA+ channels, 32 active LTE users and 128 LTE connected users, as well as supporting Voice Over LTE, according to SpiderCloud.

The initial launch in the second quarter of 2014 will include two models, with one operating at 1900 MHz and AWS; and the second operating at 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz. The company plans support for additional bands in the second half of next year.

“Mobile operators need flexibility as they migrate their networks indoors and seek to enable in-building small cell services to medium and large enterprise customers,” said Peter Jarich, vice president of consumer and infrastructure with Current Analysis. “At the same time, supporting both 3G and LTE access is critical for investment protection while leveraging the Ethernet-powering helps to address deployment concerns.”

InfoVista, which specialized in software for IP and RF planning, assurance and optimization, has acquired Malaysia-based network optimization company Aexio. This comes almost a year after InfoVista’s acquisition of Mentum and follows its strategy for enabling service providers to improve and monetize their networks — particularly mobile operators.

Aexio was founded in 2005 and has seen particularly good uptake of its software providing live network measurements to improve performance. InfoVista said it anticipated using Aexio’s expertise in subscriber geo-analytics, RF optimization and confirmation management to broaden data collection and turn that big data into actionable network intelligence for improving customer quality of experience. One example of applying data, the company said, is in improving the return on investment for HetNet deployments.

Aruba Networks is providing new Wi-Fi access at the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers NBA team. The team has a newly redesigned mobile app to accompany the upgraded Wi-Fi connectivity at the 20,000-seat venue. The local Toyota Dealers Assocation is sponsoring the “Toyota Free Wi-Fi” for fans, and the app launched last Friday includes an option for live in-game video feeds, replays and highlights — an option only available in the arena.

The upgraded Wi-Fi includes high concentrations of coverage in the arena bowl, the suites, and premium court-side seating. Aruba said that more than 400 access points and antennas are being deployed at the Moda Center — not just for Wi-Fi, but for planned future telecom upgrades and a concerted effort from multiple vendors, including Crown Castle International, Structured Communications and Christenson Electric.

“Our strategy has multiple moving parts – the first of which is the full activation of a truly robust WiFi connection inside the Moda Center,” said Mike Janes, the Trail Blazers’ VP of engineering and technology. “The tech savvy of Trail Blazers fans motivated our decision to construct an interactive network to enhance their experience at home games. This is just the beginning of an approach that will change the face and function of our in-arena technology.”

–DAS vendor ExteNet Systems Inc. has a new $210 million line of credit that it plans to use for refinancing existing debt as well as investments in new networks and network expansions.

The credit facility includes a $140 million term loan, $60 million delayed draw term loan, and $10 million revolving fund.




Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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