Corning MobileAccess celebrated the completing integration of the two companies this month at the International CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans.
It has been about a year since Corning bought MobileAccess, combining the cabling infrastructure giant with the small-cell wireless solutions of MobileAccess.
“Corning’s fiber solutions have changed the way systems get deployed, sped up deployment, improved the reliability. We are now applying that to the DAS space,” Bill Cune, Corning MobileAccess vice president, strategy & business development, told DAS Bulletin.
With the companies now fully assimilated, the new entity is ready to move forward with marketing of its product line. Corning MobileAccess chose the CTIA conference to introduce its new slogan “Total DAS: Where Cutting-edge DAS Design Meets Cabling Innovation.”
“With the active electronics, to be ‘Total DAS,’ you need both indoor and outdoor solutions. You need low, medium and high power solutions,” Cune said. “You must also be able to leverage existing cabling, whether it is all fiber, hybrid fiber/coax and hybrid fiber/CAT 5.”
Accordingly, Corning MobileAccess announced a high-power node to its portfolio, the MobileAccessGX, which provides 40 Watts (46 dBm) high-power remote outdoor coverage. The fiber-fed, multi-frequency, multi-operator remote is designed to complement the company’s lower power solutions, the MobileAccess1000 and MobileAccess2000.
“It provides a good package for the carriers to deploy on all their bands. It rounds out our solution set,” Cune said. “We believe that you need all of these solutions in your toolbox. Carriers and integrators need to be able to look at a situation and pull out the right tool. What we are talking about with ‘Total DAS’ is that we have all the tools now.”
Corning MobileAccess received a lot of interest in the MobileAccessGX at CTIA and at last week’s DAS Congress, according to a company spokesman, and has set up two trials, in a baseball stadium and the other on a higher education campus, so far.
While other DAS systems have been designed for outdoor spaces, Solid Technologies’ wireless systems have been hard at work in buildings serving verticals, such as the health care and hospitality industries and serving public safety in large venues. But that is changing. The line dividing in-building wireless and outdoor DAS is blurring, and that calls for higher power DAS units that integrate with in-building systems.
“In the past there has been this premise that you can build an outdoor DAS and blast the signal inside of buildings and then augment the areas that appear to be underserved among third-party DAS owner or operators,” Seth Buechley told DAS Bulletin at the International Wireless CTIA 2012. “The outdoor-in philosophy, I think, is proving thin.”
To wit, Solid has introduced the Titan 5 watt and 20 watt remote DAS units to provide expanded coverage area and capacity both inside and outside of buildings. Titan integrates with the Solid Alliance multi-operator and Express single-operator head-ends.
“What we find is that the end users themselves have an immediate in-building need that often drives the whole discussion,” Buechley said. “If there is a way to solve their in-building need and then leverage that investment toward covering some of their outdoor challenges, that is a win.”
Titan allows Solid to play in the expanded outdoor coverage space, parking lots, stadiums and subways, Buechley said. “Throughout a campus where you can have a common head end that serves both the indoor and outdoor nodes under a common management system,” he said.
Buechley said Titan serves as an intermediate step toward the goal of heterogeneous networks.
“Macro cellular networks, indoor wireless networks and everything in between — eventually they all need to be using the same network intelligence,” Buechley said. The industry is waiting for the Ericssons, Alcatels the NSNs of the world to a leadership role before it will happen. The gap between indoor wireless and macrocellular needs to be bridged through heterogeneous networks.”
The Titan product line closes that gap a little bit, because it employs outdoor nodes that are part of the same network management platform as Solid’s indoor multi-carrier products. Operators will be able to deploy an indoor system that will be able to drive elements that are located outside, allowing greater QOS management insight.
“Everything has to be one system, eventually,” Buechley said. “Between now and the time when small cell heterogeneous architecture become a reality, we will have iterative steps. Our Titan product line is one of those iterative steps.”