CommScope: Powering Innovations on Densification, Virtualization and Optimization of Networks

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An Interview with CommScope | TelecomDrive.com

Building and managing wired and wireless networks – CommScope is one organization that has delivered disruptive innovations for more than 40 years. With its firmly entrenched market presence and trust, the company is looking forward to driving 5G evolution strategy for global telecom operators.

Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com interacts with Joseph Habib, Head of Service Providers, CommScope Middle East and Africa speaks about the company’s glorious 40 years innovative legacy and looking ahead – how it is going to power future networks with its technology and solutions.

At a time when telecom operators look to strengthen their network in order to better deal with data deluge…what are the core priorities for CommScope today?

Densification, virtualization and optimization—these are the three major trends of the wireless industry. The evolution to 5G will include more cell sites and site sectors, centralized and cloud RANs, and more fiber throughout the network.

And CommScope is well-positioned to deliver solutions that network operators need. CommScope has continued to integrate the TE Connectivity businesses (BNS) and Airvana, which greatly strengthened our solution offerings. We now have more breadth and capabilities in fiber connectivity, digital DAS and small cells than ever. We have integrated teams and business processes, re-aligned to market demand, and strengthened our global supplier and partner networks.

In 2017, we will continue to help network operators add capacity to their networks, adding new sites and frequency bands, both indoors and out. We are focused on growing our business opportunities in enterprise in-building wireless and fiber connectivity for C-RAN/backhaul, and developing the next generation of DAS and small cell solutions.

We will continue to focus on solving our customers’ challenges in deploying networks faster and more efficiently. Our 40-year history, which was celebrated in 2016, demonstrates our longstanding ability to solve customer problems with innovative solutions. We are proud to have celebrated being a substantial partner in enabling communications for 75 percent of the world’s population.

How do you look at 5G and C-RAN deployments happening across the world? How can the evolution of fibre infrastructure help operators embrace this evolution in a better way?

CommScope’s fundamental viewpoint about 5G is that it will be a “network of networks” — a convergence of wireline and wireless with deep fiber penetration in both to support the variety of 5G use cases.

Achieving the 5G vision will occur in three fundamental ways in the converged network: densification, virtualization and optimization. The road to 5G begins with the evolution of wireless networks to C-RAN. Network densification will include more small cells supporting areas with high user demand. Stadiums and large enterprise buildings will emerge as the first test beds and microcosms of the 5G network.

When we talk about 5G being a network of networks, one of those networks is LTE. Today’s evolved LTE network is going to be a cornerstone in 5G’s network of networks. LTE will be the workhorse of the wireless industry for many years to come.

We’re going to see incremental improvements in LTE capabilities on the way to 5G, and 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi will all coexist—along with some earlier wireless air-interfaces depending on the region. MNOs will use slices of different networks to address different applications and provide connectivity resources to them.

What are some of the innovative solutions that you have for adapting networks to a converged world?

As we all embrace and crave bright, shiny gadgets and consumer tech toys, we tend to overlook that there are powerful networks running behind the scenes that provide their magic. That magic is connectivity. Gaming, video streaming, photo sharing, online shopping, connected vehicles, IoT and so much more—all enabled by fast, efficient, reliable networks built through innovations from companies such as CommScope.

The 40th anniversary of CommScope’s founding was an ideal time to highlight some of the creative, groundbreaking and industry-changing technologies and solutions that the company has spawned over the past four decades. To do that, we solicited suggestions from our employees in efforts to compile a list of the Top 40 innovations that have come from CommScope or one of its acquired companies over the past 40 years. These include DAS, Structured cabling, Fiber optic connectivity, Advanced antennas just to name a few.

How the company has strengthened its channel through its PartnerPRO Network?

The PartnerPRO Network consists of thousands of CommScope certified local installers, distributors and integrators that put its high-performance solutions to work. That network continues to expand and strengthen CommScope’s position in the global enterprise market.

CommScope’s global customers have come to rely on the PartnerPRO Network as a standard for quality, reliability and consistency.

Following its acquisition of TE Connectivity’s Broadband Network Solutions (BNS) business (telecom, enterprise and wireless) in 2015, CommScope invited select partners who use the BNS Network Design & Installation (ND&I) program to join the PartnerPRO Network. The PartnerPRO Network is expected to have almost doubled in size.

New partners will have added benefits including access to the CommScope PartnerPRO Portal, a tool for partners that runs on a best-in-class, data management technology created to simplify the process of collaboration for customer projects, ultimately providing customers faster access to CommScope technology.

Today, the PartnerPRO Network has active partners in 88 countries and serves as a resource with thousands of distributors, installers, integrators and consultants worldwide.

How are you addressing the growing opportunities in the enterprise space? How do you plan to grow the enterprise business for wireless?

On the enterprise side, indoor mobility and the Internet of Things continue to drive a massive amount of new IP-based physical devices to be installed and connected. With wireless connectivity now a requirement for buildings, deploying the right infrastructure with the right design approach is critical to supporting the most demanding wireless applications.

While there are multiple ways to deploy a wireless infrastructure in buildings, the global trend is tilting toward an IT-based infrastructure that accommodates the new generations of Wi-Fi and in-building wireless (IBW) systems such distributed antenna systems (DAS) or small cells. CommScope’s Universal Connectivity Grid (UCG) provides a common architecture comprising high performance structured cabling and connectivity that enables Wi-Fi and cellular systems as well as supporting wired LANs and other applications.

How is the company’s portfolio changed or evolved following its $3 billion USD acquisition of TE Connectivity Broadband Network Solutions (BNS) businesses?

CommScope, a company 40 years old, has transformed in dynamic new ways. In 2017, the company entered the second full year of transition following one of its most transformative acquisitions – the Broadband Network Solutions (BNS) business acquired from TE Connectivity in 2015. Acquiring BNS nearly doubled CommScope’s size (by employees and revenue) and, more importantly, strengthened the capabilities and solutions. The result is an enhanced pool of talent and ability to invent and deliver in more meaningful ways.

CommScope is better positioned to accelerate industry innovation, solve more wired and wireless network challenges with an enhanced fibre portfolio, and better serve customers in more markets around the world. CommScope continues to serve customers in four major areas: wireline access and distribution networks, wireless networks (indoor and outdoor), data centres and central offices, and connected and efficient buildings.

Each area needs connectivity through network infrastructure and the delivery of more network bandwidth.