CommScope has resolved a dispute with Advanced Lightning Technology relating to CommScope’s stackable hanger patents that are used in CommScope’s SnapStak cable hangers.
CommScope had alleged that Advanced Lightning Technology was selling stackable hangers that infringe CommScope’s patents, specifically U.S. Patent numbers 6,354,543 and 6,899,305. As part of the resolution, Advanced Lightning Technology has agreed to immediately discontinue sales of its infringing products.
CommScope designs, manufactures and sells telecommunications solutions around the world. The company invests considerable resources designing and patenting its innovative products with improved features to provide superior value to customers. The resolution of this dispute reinforces CommScope’s commitment to protecting its investments and maintaining its differentiating product features.
CommScope has asserted the same patents in a patent infringement lawsuit previously. The parties reached a settlement, where the infringing party acknowledged its infringement of both patents and paid an undisclosed sum to the company. The settlement also required that the party cease any further production of the infringing products.
SnapStak is a registered trademark of CommScope, Inc.
CommScope is gearing up to support enterprise customers as the in-building wireless industry moves to an enterprise-owned model with IT managers and building operators taking the lead on cellular projects.
CommScope is now offering an In-building Wireless Sales Specialist authorization to current North American structured cabling installer partners in its PartnerPRO Network. In-building Wireless Sales Specialists are authorized to offer CommScope’s digital DAS solutions to customers, provide solution pricing, and design and install the supporting in-building wireless infrastructure.
“The new partner authorization is all about enabling our enterprise ecosystem— which includes hundreds of cabling installer companies—to better serve their customers by knowledgably consulting about wireless solutions,” said Koen ter Linde, vice president, Global Partners, CommScope. “CommScope has developed in-building wireless solutions specifically for the enterprise, and we expect our partner network to serve as a significant sales channel for them.”
To earn In-building Wireless Sales Specialist authorization, North American installer partners of CommScope SYSTIMAX or UNIPRISE cabling solutions must complete a training program. After being authorized, In-building Wireless Sales Specialists can identify opportunities, advise customers, and collaborate with CommScope and its in-building wireless installer partners for project scoping, network design, and system commissioning.
The most recent movements in the mergers and acquisition market don’t have anything to do with tower purchases but with fiber optics.
Yesterday, we learned that ExteNet Systems plans to acquire MetroFiber d/b/a Axiom Fiber Networks, which is a telecommunications infrastructure services provider operating in the greater New York City metropolitan region. Before the acquisition, the company had 250 route miles in New York. It will be closing in on 2,000 small cell nodes in the area by the end of the year.
Crown Castle International, which has 50,000 small cells on the air or under development, intends to acquire LighTower (LTS Group Holdings) from Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital, for, which owns or has rights to approximately 32,000 route miles of fiber located primarily in top metro markets in the Northeast. The company will cost Crown $7.1 billion in cash, which it will finance, in part, by selling $1.73 billion in senior notes.
“With a fiber footprint after the transaction that will cover 23 of the top 25 most populous U.S. markets, Crown Castle is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for mobile connectivity as network architecture continues to evolve and bandwidth demands continue to increase,” according to Crown Castle.
The transaction will double Crown Castle’s metro fiber footprint, resulting in it owning or having rights to 60,000 route miles of fiber, making it one of the largest owners of metro fiber in the United States.
The purchase of LighTower “significantly increases opportunities for small cell network deployments in top metro markets in the Northeast including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia,” according to Crown Castle.
CommScope to Acquire Cable Exchange
An example of the OEM market gearing up for the fiber-optic future in general and data centers in particular, CommScope plans to acquire Cable Exchange, a privately held quick-turn supplier of fiber optic and copper assemblies for data, voice and video communications.
Cable Exchange, headquartered in Santa Ana, California, manufactures a variety of fiber optic and copper cables, trunks and related products used in high-capacity data centers and other business enterprise applications.
“This highly complementary acquisition will deepen CommScope’s capabilities in supporting the growing market for high-capacity, multi-tenant data centers and hyperscale data centers operated by the world’s largest technology and retail companies,” CommScope said. “As more user-driven information and commerce flows through networks, operators are quickly deploying larger and more complex data centers to support growth in traffic and transactions.”
Remember, during the second-quarter of this year, Verizon announced fiber purchases from Corning and Prysmian Group in order to deliver new fiber services, including 5G, and supporting small-cell deployment.
May 10, 2017
As the protection of innovation, patents are at the core of the wireless (and really every) industry. Who has them and who doesn’t has a lot to do with deciding the winners and losers when companies are making equipment. So when competing wireless OEMs CommScope and Kathrein entered into a long-term global agreement to cross-license portions of their patent portfolios, it stands out as evidence that the wireless industry is feverishly focused on the future breakthroughs on the way to 5G.
Under the agreement, both companies will be able access and implement the other company’s patents and technologies relating to passive base station antennas, DAS and filters.
The agreement was born out of the belief that each company had something to gain from sharing access their patents, according to Ben Cardwell, senior vice president, CommScope Mobility Solutions. In fact, Kathrein is the first and only company that CommScope has licensed to its digital DAS patent portfolio, while CommScope gains access to Kathrein’s passive base station antenna and filter portfolios.
“Kathrein and CommScope are obviously strong competitors in the marketplace — two of the biggest and most innovative. We battle fiercely out there at the same time.” Cardwell said. “We respect each other’s innovations. The reason we would cross license is we both have decades of patents in antennas and filters.”
CommScope and Kathrein decide cross-license their wealth of patented technology innovation in order to focus on future innovation, Cardwell said, instead of spending time designing around each other’s innovations.
“There are enough new problems in mobile networks as they get more and more complex that it is better to spend our time solving the new challenges,” he said.
The cross-licensing agreement is emblematic of an industry effectively hitting the fast-forward button. Cardwell pointed to steep challenges that will come with 5G technology, the speed of change and the need to keep up.
“Mobile networks are evolving faster than they ever have,” he said. “5G represents the biggest challenge for our customers going forward. There is enough future challenges dealing with the complexity of the networks right now and going forward that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
Future antennas must also keep up with increase node densification, a raft of new frequencies in the centimeter and millimeter bands and network functions virtualization. Each node will have more capacity, more frequencies and will be closer to more nodes to keep up with the insatiable demand for data.
“With densification, there are more interference challenges than ever before. Those are problems we solve every day with our DAS and base station filtering products. Cardwell said.
IT professionals at major universities are challenged to keep pace with the network connectivity needs of students while addressing security concerns. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, believes it has an answer.
The Office of Information Technology of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is using CommScope’s Powered Fiber Cable System to deploy more outdoor wireless access points and security cameras across the campus. The Powered Fiber Cable System eliminates the need to run additional power lines.
The Powered Fiber Cable System helps add connectivity and security with its unique ability to deliver power over Ethernet (PoE) at distances of 30 times traditional PoE systems. That powering capability makes it possible for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to discretely install access points and cameras across campus without having to run new power lines. The IT department can deploy the network without electricians, using a centralized architecture that is concealable in lampposts and existing street works. The result is better Wi-Fi access outdoors and better security capabilities, at less cost and in a quicker timeframe.
The Powered Fiber Cable System is comprised of two main components—hybrid copper/fiber cable and the PoE Extender, an environmentally sealed closure with one PoE+ output. It also includes cable/fiber management, power transmission management, safety and overload protection as well as a universal power supply (PSU). Customers can use the PoE Distance and Voltage Calculator to determine the maximum distance and correct input voltages.