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Not Quite Super, But a SOLiD Week in Vegas

September 15th, 2014

IMG 0392 1024x764 Not Quite Super, But a SOLiD Week in VegasWe had a burning question about Super Mobility Week: If you build it (oh, and move the date and partner with a bunch of other conferences), will they come?

Last year, our friend Zoran Kehler didn’t speak glowingly about the event, likening it to a farmer’s market in Northern Virginia – ouch!

Sue Marek wondered about SMW as well.

Team SOLiD did in fact come, arriving in Vegas amidst heavy rain storms that got people talking. An omen?

Some, including RCR Wireless and PC Magazine, found SBW to be a let down.

For us, we enjoyed a productive week in which we joined FierceWireless, 4G World and Tower Summit panels, hosted meetings and hung out with the industry at our booth, meeting room, countless social engagements.

Sure, it wasn’t like 2004 when a vendor presented hourly highlights from the then-new Broadway musical Wicked. And SMW will remain a fraction of what is Mobile World Congress. But it did successfully draw the stakeholders with whom we want to do business.

As an homage to the Late Show Top Ten list, we bring you the SOLiD version…


Top Ten Things We Learned at Super Mobility Week

10) Sliders are the ultimate cocktail party food. They were served at every party we attended including those hosted by RFS and Goodman Networks (thanks for the invites) as well as some we crashed (smiles).

9) Visine and 5 Hour Energy are the best friend of the business traveler in Las Vegas.

8) Don’t confuse virtualization with 5G. Virtualization is happening now to improve wireless infrastructure network efficiency. 5G is – so we think – about a network of networks.

7) Just as there is a densification toolkit, there exists a backaul toolkit. While fiber is still the backhaul solution of choice, fiber may not be present so other technologies will be used.

6) WiFi is part of the densification toolkit. Really. Just ask Apple whose iPhone 6 will allow you to make phone calls over Wi-Fi, too.

5) The greatest impediment to widescale deployment of small cells remains a repeatable business process that includes lower costs.

4) Despite all the small cell hype, DAS continues to be the solution panelists point to as the most pragmatic solution for densifying the wireless network indoors.

3) C-RAN continues to be dismissed in North America in spite of successful deployments by Asian operators. This is largely attributed to market timing and resistance among traditional RAN infrastructure incumbents.

2) Be prepared for a steady diet of 5G agenda topics at wireless conferences going forward – even though the industry is still unsure of what 5G really means.

1) The event is still relevant. Well, relevant enough.



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Team SOLiD

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Mike Collado (VP of Marketing) draws some laughs during opening remarks at the FierceWireless “5G Roadmap” breakfast panel

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Sue Marek (FierceWireless), Kris Rinne (AT&T), Mike Haberman (Verizon), Arun Bhikshesvaran (Ericsson), Aicha Evans (Intel) & Chris Pearson (4G Americas) at the “5G Roadmap” breakfast panel

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7 AM makes for a REAL early start…

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Moderator Haig Sarkissian (Wireless 20/20) questions panelists Nivi Thadasina (Samsung), SOLiD’s Ken Sandfeld, Greg Friesen (DragonWave), Mike Schabel (ALU) & Mike Robinson (Goodman Networks) during the “Small Cell & Cloud RAN Deployment Strategies” session by 4G World

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Sharpe Smith (AGL) readies panelists Neil Manning (Corning), Lance Craft (Dali Wireless) and Fred Terhaar (Ericsson) while moderator Haig Sarkissian (Wireless 20/20) shares a laugh with SOLiD’s Ken Sandfeld before the “Charting Future In-Building Growth in Venues & the Enterprise” session

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SOLiD keeps people connected and safe through a portfolio of evolutionary and revolutionary wireless densification solution

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Playing it Safe in the Big Easy

August 6th, 2014

We’re fresh back from the heat and humidity of New Orleans which played host to the 80th APCO Annual Conference & Expo. Here are some of the highlights:


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SOLiD and Hutton Communications presidents Seth Buechley and John Walker celebrate new partnership

APCO 2014 was a fitting place to announce our new partnership with Hutton Communications. The SOLiD portfolio – including the Quad-Band Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS) with support for 700/800 and 150/450 MHz – will be available to Hutton customers that deploy in-building wireless solutions to enable cellular and public-safety communications.


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AGL Media’s Sharpe Smith explores the need for broadband public safety coverage indoors with panelists from PCIA, Safer Buildings Coalition, FirstNet and BICSI

With the bulk of emergency incidents occurring indoors and over 50% of emergency calls being made with a wireless device, the public safety industry is asking three fundamental questions: Can people communicate? Can people be notified? And can first responders communicate where the people are?

Chief Jeff Johnson (FirstNet board member), Jonathan Adelstein (PCIA CEO) and Phil Klingensmith (BICSI Master Instructor) joined Chief Alan Perdue of the Safer Buildings Coalition (SOLiD is a member) to explore how to overcome the challenges of ensuring public-safety communication which the panel agreed is a shared responsibility.


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FirstNet board member Chief Jeff Johnson discusses the need for in-building public safety communications

According to FirstNet’s Chief Johnson, wireless is essential – not optional. In an interview with Urgent Communications after the panel, Chief Johnson looks to the market to design around an ecosystem which in turn will create an economic model for stakeholder participation.

(We missed seeing Donny Jackson this year and we wish you a speed recovery from survey! Learn more here)


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SOLiD Public-Safety DAS

According to Safer Buildings Coalition executive director Chief Perdue, there is no “one size fits all” solution to ensure indoor public safety communication. Similarly, the industry is not in agreement on whether networks should be “blended” to support public safety and commercial cellular services on a single infrastructure or whether separate “parallel” networks should be deployed that are supported by solutions such as SOLiD’s quad-band700/800/150/450 MHz) solution which covers broadband and narrowband public safety services.


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Lots of interest among attendees on addressing broadband coverage indoors


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Packed room of AHJ’s at the SOLiD / Hutton cocktail reception. Honored to have hosted Pat Daniel, wife of the late Jack Daniel who pioneered the model NFPA and International Fire Code (IFC) codes requiring in-building radio coverage.


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The calm before the storm…


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Dixieland band at the APCO Block Party


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When in New Orleans, it’s cafe au lait and beignets!


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Saint Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square


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The Steamboat Natchez

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The iconic Crescent City Connection Bridge


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Stampeding in Calgary

July 12th, 2014

This past week we had the thrill to join our friends from Alliance Corporation at the annual Calgary Stampede as a sponsor for the team Alliance fielded in the chuckwagon races. What an exciting break from our daily focus!

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SOLiD Sales Director Mike Gallop and the Alliance Chuckwagon


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SOLiD Vice President of Sales Dennis Rigney


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Proud to be a sponsor. Maybe next year Mike will drive the wagon?


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Sponsorship belt buckle


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Getting ready


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Here they come!


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A close heat!


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And there they go…

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The Decade of Densification

June 18th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014 06 18 at 10.54.48 AM 1024x640 The Decade of DensificationWe recently had the privilege to present at the Small Cells World Summit.

For an overall trend recap, read our blog post as well as posts from our friends at ThinkSmallCell and Real Wireless.

At last year’s conference, Doug Alston from Sprint observed that the wireless industry transforms itself every 10 years and has unique characteristics:

  • 1980’s – 1st Generation mobile voice services
  • 1990’s – 2G voice capacity and text services
  • 2000’s – 3G rudimentary data services
  • 2010’s – 4G mobile Internet and small cells

While we agree with the first three periods, we take issue with the fourth.

Instead, we believe the 2010’s are based upon data capacity and enabling capacity where it is needed within the network.

Capacity Crunch

We are familiar with the “data tsunami” in which industry experts forecast that the consumption of mobile data will increase more than six times over the next 5 years.

But a more stunning observations gets overlooked.

Within any given geographic market, there will be super-dense urban locations where the mobile data network will be unable to meet the average level of data demand due to the congregation of large numbers of users. In these locations, the demand for mobile data will exceed the network’s capacity not by a factor of 6 but by a factor of 10, 15, or perhaps 20.

Decade of Densification

We believe the 2010’s will instead be characterized by new strategies and technologies to densify the network.

Meaning – filling the capacity holes.

In order to achieve this outcome, the wireless industry is going to rely upon a toolkit approach that consists of a heterogeneous network that includes small cells (pico, metro, micro), remote radio reads (RRH), femtocells, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and WiFi technology, along with a reengineered mobile backhaul network that is comprised of fiber and Ethernet.

In fact, we believe in certain markets we will see a change in paradigm in which the densification strategy begins with putting the cells as close to the user as possible and then working back out to the macro network.

And to solve for the challenge, the industry will deploy both evolutionary and revolutionary strategies.

We’ll discuss what this means and what those strategies may look like in our next post.


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