Sprint’s small cell solution, which relies upon Corning SpiderCloud, was recently awarded “Overall Wireless Broadband Solution and Next-Gen Wi-Fi Operator Deployment of the Year” by Mobile Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top global wireless companies, technologies and products.
“Wireless operators are seeking to create a better experience for cellular users in enterprise buildings and public venues,” said Mike Collado, Director of Marketing for In-Building Wireless at Corning. “The SpiderCloud small cell offers flexible deployment options over fiber-deep networks, existing LANs or by clipping-on to existing Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure, as well as scalable capacity and seamless coverage within myriad building types.” Corning acquired SpiderCloud in July 2017 to broaden its in-building wireless offering.
The small cell solution was chosen from 2,200 nominations for the 2018 Mobile Breakthrough Awards program, which were evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the wireless industry. The award is Sprint’s second in as many years. Last year, Sprint Magic Box won Mobile Breakthrough Awards’ “Small Cell Technology Innovation of the Year” Award. The unit was an indoor, all-wireless, self-configuring small cell aimed at enterprises, which required no implementation, labor, or rental costs.
How Did this Relationship with Sprint Begin?
SpiderCloud’s relationship with Sprint began about two years ago as the carrier was looking for a cost-effective signal source to address medium-sized buildings. The relationship has since been developed by Corning as a way to provide better indoor service to enterprise customers.
“As we know, 80 percent of network traffic is generated from indoors. Similarly, the enterprise is an underserved market where the need for fourth utility connectivity is growing,” said Collado. “Combined, Corning’s Small Cell and DAS portfolio is a great fit to deliver cellular indoors to Sprint’s customers.”
More than Just a Handshake
Prior to its acquisition, SpiderCloud developed the TDD-LTE radio required for Sprint’s Band 41, core integration, VoLTE qualification, and all the sales materials needed for the carrier’s business development teams.
Additionally, Corning’s LTE-LAA 120-140 Mbps downlink, which uses a 5-megahertz-wide FDD-LTE channel, fits nicely into Sprint’s national piece of FDD-LTE spectrum that is 5-megahertz wide. It could be used as high-performance second channel for indoor coverage when coupled with LTE-LAA.
Sprint’s Go-to-Market Strategy
Sprint’s enterprise account managers will offer Corning direct to the enterprise for larger accounts. For smaller accounts where the business case does not work for Sprint to fund a system, Corning’s national channel partners (VARs/Distribution) will be authorized to sell and integrate a system into structures and venues that need it.
Sprint is one of several U.S. mobile operators to adopt Corning’s SpiderCloud small cell platform, including Verizon. Also, the platform is used by international mobile operators in Europe and Latin America from both the Vodafone and the America Movil groups.