“Small Cells are Essential to Increase Network Capacity in Limited Spectrum Scenario”


With smartphones and tablets getting mass adoption, it is fueling demand for large amount of mobile data. And as there is limited amount of spectrum available, operators have to look for innovative ways to increase network capacity. Deployment of Small Cells presents a unique opportunity to operators in terms of enabling them to do more with their existing network infrastructure and SpiderCloud Wireless is an organization focusing in this direction.  

Rakesh Dave, Managing Director APAC & MEA, SpiderCloud Wireless speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s key focus areas and its plans for India.


What are the top priorities for SpiderCloud Wireless today?

SpiderCloud Wireless, Inc., is a global provider of scalable small cell Enterprise Radio Access Networks (E-RAN) to mobile operators. SpiderCloud’s scalable small cell system provides real-time coordination and distributed SON capability up to 100 dual-band 3G+4G or 4G+4G access points (up to 200 sectors of capacity), enough to effectively offer reliable managed services for buildings and offices up to 1.5 million square feet.

SpiderCloud flexible and scalable Small Cell system (3G/4G or 4G only) continues to evolve with the changing needs of mobile operators as the subscribers and the network transition from 3G to 4G.

In the enterprise market, a gap exists in helping Enterprise IT address the policy issues exposed when excellent coverage and capacity is delivered throughout a building thanks to our proven and recognised Small Cells scalable systems. We continue to innovate and now, Enterprise IT teams also have an “IT Friendly” tool to enforce company IT policies and, for example, prevent objectionable content from being displayed to another employee. This is done without having to burden the Enterprise IT team with any software deployment duties.

What are your key geographies of focus today?

SpiderCloud’s solution has been selected by leading operators in Europe, United States and Latin America. Our announced customers include Vodafone, Verizon Wireless and America Movil. Moving forward, we are focused on growing our business in India, the Middle East and Asia.  

How do you look at the emerging importance of small cells today?

The demand for mobile data is doubling every year, driven by rapid adoption of smart phones. However, neither the amounts of spectrum operators have, nor the money they can invest on cap-ex is doubling every year. The only way to increase capacity in limited amount of spectrum is by making the network denser. And to do so, small cells are essential.

“How big would be the small cells market in India? What is the overall size of the opportunity?”

Based on our conversations with operators, we expect small cells to be an integral part of 3G and LTE networks in India, and millions of small cells will be deployed over the few years. As you know, the term, “small cell” is used for three kinds of products – residential femtocells, enterprise/venue small cell systems, and outdoor small cells.

Of the three, we believe that operators will get the best return on investment (ROI) by using small cells to provide capacity inside large buildings like offices, college campuses and shopping centers. Each of these buildings has thousands of users who get poor signal from the cellular network. Serving these users from the macro network is very expensive for operators and a drain a network capacity. Serving these users from an indoor small cell network not only delivers a great experience to these users, it adds capacity to the outdoor network.

Please share your go to market today?

SpiderCloud works closely with its partners to deliver its solution to partners. We have global reseller partnerships with Cisco and NEC. In addition, we also partner with several strong local system integrators.

SpiderCloud Wireless’s scalable small cell system and technologies have been adopted by AméricaMóvil/Telcel, Avea, Verizon, Vodafone UK and Netherlands and Warid Telecom, among others.

We are pleased to enjoy a nice industry momentum.  Three weeks ago we were very honoured to receive the Small Cell Forum’s excellence award for Enterprise Deployment with Vodafone UK and also Light Reading’s Leading Lights award as “Best deal maker of the year”.

Next gen operators will increasingly find themselves wrangling their way towards better profitability around 2G, 3G and 4G technologies…how can SpiderCloud help here?

To be successful, operators need networks that simple to deploy, operate and scale. SpiderCloud’s E-RAN system does exactly that. It deploys like Wi-Fi, leverages Ethernet LAN and low-cost IP backhaul, easily scales, and is self-organizing.

What are the big advantages that come with SpiderCloud today?

Commercial since June’14, the Category 5/6/VLAN Ethernet-powered dual-band Radio Node (SCRN) supports 3G+4G and 4G+4G configurations. The Services Node (SN) controls Radio Nodes and is a control point for the small cell system. The SN reduces interference and improves inter-cell coordination with SON. One system of 100 Radio Nodes (sectors) adds capacity and coverage for up to 1.5 million sq.ft. of office space. Deployed over Cat5/6/VLAN Ethernet makes indoor small cell system installation quick and easy, enabling deployment in days vs. months.

How does the company look at India? are there any trials happening in India?

We expect India to be one of the biggest markets for our technology and are currently conducting trials with operators in India.

Where is the big growth likely to happen for SpiderCloud?

SpiderCloud has been growing rapidly, as increasing number of operators adopt our solution. As I mentioned earlier, our solution has been selected by leading operators in Europe, United States and Latin America. Moving forward, we expect to grow our business in Asia, Middle East and India.

What are some of the challenges that you see in this marketplace? How can these be taken care of?

The two main challenges we see are:

  1. Industry coordination of small Cell co-existence with Wi-Fi and unlicensed LTE with enterprise stakeholders
  2. Ease of operational deployment by mobile operators and its partners (make it simpler to deploy small cells)