By J. Sharpe Smith —
Five years ago nearly all of the enterprise and venue deployments were funded by carriers, which demanded total control over these systems that used their precious spectrum and also conveyed the carrier’s image for coverage and capacity before millions of patrons every year. But two things are changing as the enterprise wireless market evolves: enterprises want more control of wireless on their premises and carriers are more open to having someone else foot the bill.
“The enterprises have become savvier,” Stephen Kowal, vice president, Global Partners, CommScope, told AGL Small Cell Link. “They don’t want to regenerate just one carrier’s signal, so they implemented systems that are neutral host. With demand for public safety and first responder in-building coverage because of changes in local building codes, the in-building systems became more complicated.”
Additionally, as increased smart phone use makes BYOD policies a must, enterprises are demanding more control over those systems, according to Kowal.
Traditionally, CommScope has sold directly to the carriers for in-building systems in the enterprise space. In response to the market evolution toward enterprise-funded in-building wireless, CommScope developed an installation partnership program known as PartnerPro Network and 30 systems integrators have been added during the last 18 months.
“It became evident that the carriers were becoming more open to different funding mechanisms, allowing enterprise owners to pay for their own wireless in-building networks, we realized quickly that you have to address that differently,” said Kowal, who heads up CommScope’s post-manufacturing supply chain.
Supply chain characteristics have changed dramatically as the manufacturer sells to the enterprise, he said. Carriers are likely to plan deployments at a number of venues during a certain period of time, giving the manufacturer a good forecast for its equipment production.
“Going from a small list of carriers to thousands of end users, you have to deal with stocking issues through the distribution channels,” Kowal said. “You have to deal with the education process of the enterprise owner, concerning BYOD and public safety issues, there is a lot of mystery in that. You also have to do things the right way to get the carrier to allow you to use their spectrum over the system.”
CommScope Names First Companies to Expanded In-Building Wireless Partner Network
To help venue owners and wireless operators find system integrators, CommScope has expanded its in-building wireless partner network to include Black Box Network Services, DAS Simplified and RF Connect and designated them as In-Building Wireless Premier Partners because of their ability to commission and optimize a CommScope DAS solution, managing a project from start to finish.
“We decided to differentiate ten percent of our partners, which have hit this high, high level of skill where we see the repeatable quality from them,” Kowal said. “The ability to work with multiple parties including venue owners and network operators while deploying a technologically complex in-building wireless system is a refined skill, which some companies do better than others.” CommScope is willing to stand behind these premier installation partners, adding a second year of warranty on the equipment.