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Posts Tagged ‘ middleprise ’

New Problems Require New Thinking

By Mike Collado
July 7th, 2016

Mike Rosato – GIANT Solutions

At the recent InBuilding Wireless Technology Seminar and Networking event hosted on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU) and presented by DASpedia, Mike Rosato (GIANT Solutions) – who emceed the proceedings – shared two memorable points…

First was a story that somehow linked McSorley’s Old Ale House in New York to the movie Elf to – um – me. I think it was a compliment. Maybe?

The second was the observation that the wireless densification industry is changing in both evolutionary and revolutionary ways which usher in new problems that will require new thinking in order to solve.

Case in point, Mike identified the Middleprise which SOLiD presented on during the 2015 DAS & Small Cells Congress (and around which SOLiD has continued to publish thought leadership). Not only is new technology required but also new business models.

That’s because the Middleprise represents what we believe is the demarcation line between the venues where carriers will help fund the in-building wireless network and where they will not.

For those venues that miss the cut, it is incumbent upon the venue owner to fund the network. And that means the industry must conceive solutions – as our friend Joe Madden (Mobile Expertsdescribes here – that resonate with the venue owner.

Mike Collado and the TCU Horned Frog

The importance of solving for the Middleprise was illustrated by TCU’s Steve Ambrose who identified in his presentation the multiple student dormitories and student buildings that get built each year. All are LEED-certified which means there is an in-building wireless problem. All fall within the Middleprise size range (between 100k and 500k square feet) which means that carriers likely won’t fund indoor solutions. And, oh yeah, TCU students don’t subscribe to just a single carrier so the in-building network needs to support Red, Blue, Yellow and Magenta.

As a result, Ambrose told the audience of OEMs, Neutral Hosts, Integrators and VARs that he needed Middleprise solutions now – underscoring this plea through a confessional story about a parent whose frustrations over the inability to reach her TCU-enrolled student reached the desk of the university chancellor!

Yet the final panel of the day (on which I had the chance to participate) revealed that there currently exists no such Middleprise silver bullet or 100% solution that panel moderator Earl Lum (EJL Wireless Research) had hoped to find among the representative DAS, Small Cell and WiFi OEMs. Which is perhaps why as a launching point for the panel discussion, Lum cheekily depicted a unicorn.

Let’s be clear, the Middleprise represents a once-in-a-decade opportunity for new market leadership. Or as SOLiD Americas president Ken Sandfeld says, it’s about unlocking and solving for the “other 80% of buildings.” It’s going to require not a single solution but multiple solutions.

More importantly, solving for the Middleprise is not just about technology. It’s about business models. It’s about infrastructure. And it’s about compliance with public-safety requirements.

New problems require new thinking. Over the coming months, we’ll wrestle with not only unlocking the Middleprise but also the evolving Tier 1 market. Check back often for new posts.

Speaking of which… In our next post, we’ll share insights from the panel we’re hosting at the NEDAS Boston Workshops & Networking event: “The 7 Things that Must Happen to Unlock the Middleprise.”


We’ve Got a History with DAS Congress

By Mike Collado
May 11th, 2016

Next week marks the sixth year that SOLiD has participated at the DAS and Small Cells Congress.

So it only seems appropriate to take a trip down Memory Lane. Come join me…





In our first year at what was then simply known as DAS Congress hosted at the Aria, SOLiD rallied around the theme of Bringing LTE to Life through a portfolio of modular indoor and outdoor DAS Remotes that offered guaranteed RF power control and fiber efficiency and the benefit of sharing a common head-end.

Our customer at Amazon presented a case study of SOLiD at its headquarters campus.

And we shared insights to the Evolution of DAS which introduced the industry to a “Shared DAS” business model in which the venue owns the network; each carrier pays their share to join the network; the integrator deploys the network; and SOLiD handles carrier relations (i.e., leasing and program management) and network management (i.e., monitoring, maintenance and support).

Oh, and we ran out of hors d’oeuvres when just about everyone in attendance packed into our meeting room for a cocktail reception!

Read our blog post and see photos from 2011 here…


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In our return to DAS Congress hosted at Caesars, SOLiD showcased its first generation 20W high-power DAS Remote known then as TITAN which joined the 1W ALLIANCE multi-operator DAS lineup and EXPRESS single-operator solution.

We presented on the practical application of SOLiD’s WDM optical transport solutions in global markets after having been incubated and deployed in South Korea to enable CRAN, Small Cell Backhaul and WiFi Offload.

In what was to become the framework for the founding of the Safer Buildings Coalition, we introduced a new thinking for public-safety communications that considered both the “public” and first responder communication requirements indoors.

We hosted a mind-blowing dinner party for our customers (sorry, it’s a Fight Club thing… I can’t share any more details) and enjoyed the hospitality of iBwave’s post-DAS Congress cocktail reception at nearby Paris.

Read our blog posts and see photos from 2012 here and here



DAS Congress continued to make the rounds at Las Vegas casinos – this time at Planet Hollywood – and, as a sign of the times, appended Small Cells to its name.

Leveraging our experience at high-profile stadia including Daytona International Speedway, SOLiD hosted a panel of industry experts representing the stadium owner, wireless operator, neutral host and integrator to tackle the challenge of bringing the home game-day wireless experience to the stadium including the – as Joe Madden at Mobile Experts observes – seeking to find balance between the need for ROI and the high public profile requirement for coverage and capacity.

CRAN emerged this year as a hot topic at industry conferences, and SOLiD hosted SK Telecom, Ericsson and the Small Cell Forum to discuss this strategic architecture for scaling capacity and enabling new 3GPP cellular technologies as well as DAS, Small Cells and WiFi edge densification solutions. During the panel, SK Telecom presented its CRAN deployment in South Korea.

Of course we did our share of mingling by throwing a cocktail party for our customers and partners.

Read our blog post and see photos from 2013 here


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As the industry discussion at conferences increasingly gravitated to DAS versus Small Cells, SOLiD presented the thesis that the wireless industry has entered into a “decade of densification” in which the wireless network now and in the future requires both evolutionary and revolutionary technologies.

And we counseled that a pragmatic “toolkit approach” is needed that leverages the right solutions for the unique requirements of the project; or as Dr. Derek Peterson at Boingo rhetorically asked, “Why wouldn’t you use every tool at your disposal?”

We debuted our mid-power 5W DAS Remote which delivers just the right power, capacity and speed to meet LTE wireless demands and expectations. We similarly showcased our CityDAS Collocation Street Pillar for the deployment of wireless capacity and coverage in dense urban areas precisely where it’s needed.

Lastly, we got busted: it seems our invitation-only cocktail reception was too popular and interfered with the conference soiree.

(Cue the the music… “Bad boys, bad boys. What’cha gonna do? What’cha gonna do when they come for you?)

See photos from 2014 here, here and here



DAS & Small Cells Congress took a vacation from Las Vegas and headed instead to the Big Easy at the Roosevelt Hotel.

SOLiD turned the traditional DAS Tour sideways through an introduction to the emerging “middle enterprise” market segment that – using the host hotel as an example – revealed the unique challenges for enabling capacity and coverage that include business funding models, the technology toolkit, network design and infrastructure, and public-safety requirements.

The Middleprise gave this big and complicated industry segment a name and ignited an industry discussion.

We also launched the new 20W DAS Remote that features our THOR™ amplifier technology to improve power efficiency by up to 40% comparatively while also significantly reducing the physical footprint.

Read our blog posts and see photos from 2015 here, here


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Now it just wouldn’t be fair to reveal everything about this year’s DAS & Small Congress which returns – appropriately – to the Aria.

However, SOLiD will present thought leadership on Edge Densification.

We have a product announcement.

And we have a meeting room lounge where you can get recharge both yourself and your smartphone.

Contact us to make sure we’re on your dance card next week.

And tell us, what is your favorite edition of DAS Congress?

New Beginnings

By Mike Collado
January 25th, 2016

Foundation Day Celebration at SOLiD’s Seoul Headquarters in 2015

The combination of digging out this weekend from Winter Snow Jonas and watching the NFL conference championship games served as a reminder that we’re only 25 days into 2016. (For a look a back on 2015, check out our Year in Photos!)

Like many, I find the start of the new year to be an opportunity to embrace new goals, new outlooks and new approaches.

At SOLiD, we’ve already made changes…

Most significantly, we announced last week that SOLiD Inc. has acquired the North American operation including all assets, business dealings, and resources.

This is an exciting and important next step in advancing SOLiD’s success and growth in both the North American and global wireless markets. As “ONE SOLiD”, we are stronger and better positioned to accomplish great things.

ONE SOLiD is a win for the markets we serve by increasing our ability to offer a broader product portfolio and a more competitive value proposition by leveraging our portfolio of RF Amplifier, RF Radio and Optical Transport core capabilities that have been battle-tested in the global markets.

(For more information, here is our acquisition FAQs plus a video interview by RCR’s Martha DeGrasse of newly-appointed president for SOLiD Americas, Ken Sandfeld.)

In the spirit of change, we’re making other changes you’ll be seeing soon.

We just gave our homepage a facelift to more effectively showcase new and relevant information for myriad stakeholder interests. Among them, be sure to check out our new Bold Ideas section. The same layout and format will soon carry over to our secondary pages. And we’ll soon reflect our entire global initiative. Please let us know what you think!

Our blog is also changing, starting with its name.

“The Inside Story” was a clever mash-up for conveying the “scoop” for the in-building wireless industry. And it served us well.

But the market has evolved and continues to do so at a rapid pace. SOLiD, too, has responded and continues to do so with a portfolio of solutions that enable densification from the edge of the core network to the building or pole and ultimately to the handset. Put simply, SOLiD is more than in-building DAS.

In addition to changing the name, we’ll bring you new topics and trends to build upon and compliment some of our key themes from 2015 including the Middleprise and Public-Safety Imperative. Plus you’ll hear from more voices at SOLiD and from within the industry in addition to my own.

So stay tuned. Until then, here’s to new beginnings!

Now back to the snow…



Snow topped out around 30 inches for director of marketing Scott Gregory!

Is it Possible to Avoid “Rip and Replace”?

By Mike Collado
October 5th, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.22.40 AM

Photo courtesy of NEDAS

Last week I had the privilege to moderate a panel on design and infrastructure trends at the NEDAS Toronto Workshops & Social. Joining me were Alex Berezhnoy (LinkWave); Ron Poulin (BTI Wireless) and Edmond Zauner (Anritsu).

As a starting point, we referenced James Carlini who states that: All the cabling needed to build the network should fit the lifespan of the building, not the lifespan of the technology that is hanging off of it.

I challenged the panelists, “Is that realistic?”

An easy approach is to examine whether the building is greenfield (new construction) or brownfield (existing construction). If the former, there is a chance to achieve obsolescence avoidance by pulling additional fiber. After all, fiber – theoretically – is nearly infinitely scalable. But there’s potentially more to it.

Is it a Tier 1 (>500k sq. ft.) or Tier 2 building? Logic suggests that a Tier 1 venue such as a stadium would boast a budget capable of “over-engineering” the infrastructure to future-proof it. On the other hand, stadia tend to be most impacted by the data tsunami. Many of the in-building systems succumb to a “rip and replace” scenario after a few short years of use.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.27.05 AMA Tier 2 building – which we call the middleprise – comes with different challenges. Namely, a requirement for a lower total solution cost compared to mainstream Tier 1 in-building projects. Will there be budget to pull additional infrastructure? And to address existing venues, will solutions providers need to find ways to leverage existing fiber and copper infrastructure with an understanding that perfection is the enemy of good. IOW, solve the problem today.

In addition to the size of the building, what goes on inside the building may challenge whether the infrastructure gets modeled after the building or the technology lifespan. How we approach a hospital may be different from an office building – at least from a level of acceptability for the “cost of disruption” which Carlini describes.

Other factors include whether multiple operators and wireless services will be supported. While it is pretty standard to support commercial cellular and WiFi, it is less clear on whether there is a public-safety communications requirement. As mobile use evolves, the placement of cellular antennae and access points must be flexible to meet changing densification needs. And public-safety may or may not be able to share infrastructure with commercial services; currently, it may not be advantageous, but when FirstNet (LTE) gets rolled out, perhaps sharing infrastructure has both technical and business benefits. (Learn more about public-safety codes, solutions and business models in The Imperative)

In the September issue of AGL’s Small Cell Magazine, I observed in an article entitled “The Middleprise: A Big and Complicated Market Opportunity” that: …the ideal infrastructure needs to provide a converged network where a single backbone serves multiple services including commercial cellular, public-safety and IP (WiFi). This optimal approach enables the infrastructure to stay in place while the end pieces get swapped out to avoid expense rip and replace. 

Indeed, obsolescence avoidance is a goal. But its long-term outcome may need to be tempered with the need to achieve current timeline and TCO budget requirements.

For more on design and infrastructure, hear from iBwave during our middleprise tour of the host hotel from DAS Congress 2015.

What do you think?