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Posts Tagged ‘ Public Safety ’

New Problems Require New Thinking

By Mike Collado
July 7th, 2016
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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…

 

 

2011

LTE TO LIFE

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…

2012

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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

2013

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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

2014

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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

2015

middleprise

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

2016

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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?

Most Read Posts of 2015

By Mike Collado
December 29th, 2015
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Team SOLiD at its 2015 Sales Kickoff

I’m sure every year has its share of highs and lows, ups and downs, challenges and opportunities, you get it… But 2015 seemed to be infused with a little more change than in recent years.

The ecosystem wrestled with two significant and interrelated transformations:

First, business models for funding and owning DAS networks got put under the microscope. Wireless operators moved further away from owning the neutral host DAS network as evidenced by AT&T’s all-but-abandonment of its Antenna Solutions Group (ASG). And even though they had been connecting to 3PO-owned networks for the 12 to 18 months leading up to 2015 (and continued to connect throughout the year), operators started to question whether the old business models for DAS networks – where the venue does not pay – are still valid.

Second, the ecosystem began to shift focus from Tier 1 venues (i.e., having over 500,000 square feet such as stadia, subways, airports, etc.) to the Middleprise (i.e., enterprise venues having 100,000 to 500,000 square feet such as hospitals, hotels, college buildings and Class A corporate). Why? Namely, saturation within the Tier 1 segment. In contrast, the nascent Middleprise market has barely been addressed. But it comes with challenges to not only the business models and technology toolkit but also to network infrastructure and public-safety communications.

No doubt, we’ll begin to see evolutionary and revolutionary progress in the coming years that address both of those trends.

Until then, thanks for reading. On behalf of Team SOLiD, I wish you and your families comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!

Here’s what you read the most on The Inside Story in 2015…

Number 1: WiFi on a DAS? First ask yourself why
Convergence and all-fiber infrastructure inform that the industry will keep wrestling with this question.

Number 2: The Evolution of Multi-Carrier DAS
An oldie but goodie – A look from back in 2011 at how DAS may evolve.

Number 3: What are the Business Models for In-Building Coverage for Healthcare & Why Look at Them Now?
Another throwback post but clearly indicative of what was on the minds of the ecosystem in 2015.

Number 4: Holding its Own: IBTUF IX
The annual Verizon summit wrestled with hot topics including Small Cells, Public-Safety, CPRI and C-RAN

Number 5: The Wonderful World of Wireless
In spite of industry turbulence, the wireless industry is about to usher in some significant change and opportunity!

Number 6: The Public Safety Imperative
Creating safer in-building environments for occupants and first responders is paramount.

Number 7: Kicking Off 2015 at the NEDAS Philadelphia Social
It was a frigid evening but a great start to the year hosted by our good friends at NEDAS!

Number 8: The Future of DAS Ownership
Another throwback – an exploration of how funding and ownership models could evolve.

Number 9: A Disturbance in the Force
Given what’s currently in movie theaters, how apropos… The Middleprise!

Number 10: An Unlikely Discussion at MWC
It’s almost that time again… Our thoughts on the hot topics for the 2015 edition amid industry superlatives.

5 Revelations for Indoor Public-Safety Communications

By Mike Collado
October 15th, 2015

I had the privilege recently to join two of my favorite public-safety subject matter experts – Donny Jackson (editor at Urgent Communications) and Chief Alan Perdue (executive director at Safer Buildings Coalition) – to discuss trends for indoor public-safety communications during an hour-long webinar.

Specifically, five revelations (or lessons, observations, finding, epiphanies…) that have bubbled to the surface for me from the research and subsequent discussions around the eBook SOLiD published in partnership with Hutton Communications this summer: The Imperative.

The Imperative is an introduction to some of the key questions and challenges we frequently encounter within the market regarding fire and building code requirements for indoor public-safety communications; technology solutions; and funding and ownership for these in-building networks. Read more from our pre-APCO 2015 post here.

The title – The Imperative – was purposely chosen… We believe that it is imperative that both the general public and public-safety first responders are able to communicate indoors should there be an emergency. Meaning that the public can be notified and call for help, and that first responders can communicate with one another, with command and with building occupants.

Here are the 5 revelations… Be sure to check out the free webinar for more information and in-depth discussion. And please let us know what you think!

 

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Revelation #1: We tend to overlook the “public” part of public safety

Most people think about police, fire and EMS and special Land Mobile Radios (LMRs) when they think about public safety. What is overlooked is the critical role that the general public and their smartphones (and feature phones – thanks Michael Dube for pointing that out on the webinar) play in public safety. This is a key shift in paradigm: a call from the public to 911 initiates the response from first responders; notifications from first responders provide instructions to the public. As Chief Perdue says, “If you can’t call us, we can’t help you.” The new public-safety paradigm requires a holistic view that includes both the general public and traditional public-safety participants. (Read more about this topic in our summary post for APCO 2015.)

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Revelation #2: We’re applying traditional outside-in thinking to solve a new indoor market reality

The majority of cellular calls occur indoors. Similarly, the majority of emergencies occur indoors. So why is public-safety communications being addressed as a last-mile problem with an outside-in approach that relies upon the macro wireless network (both cellular and public safety if you agree with me on Revelation #1)? Given the facts, we should reverse field and instead view public-safety communications as a first-mile problem to be solved through an inside-out in-building wireless network strategy.

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Revelation #3: Fire and building codes are complex for myriad stakeholders

With two fire code organizations (International Code Council and National Fire Protection Association) that publish model codes in different years which take years to be adopted at the discretion of each individual jurisdiction, it’s complicated and complex for stakeholders to navigate requirements for indoor public-safety communications. At a minimum, the lack of uniformity hinders a repeatable process for achieving the mission of Chief Perdue’s organization of making buildings safer. Further, the stakeholders – including public safety, building owners, wireless operators and technology manufacturers – often do not have a seat at the table to influence the creation of the codes. (Learn how Safer Buildings Coalition is helping)

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Revelation #4: Building safety systems should be paid for by the building owner

Indoor public-safety communications (once again, both cellular and public safety if you agree with me on Revelation #1) are akin to fire sprinkler systems: part of a safety system funded by the building as part of a code requirement. Like the sprinklers, those upfront costs can be recovered downstream via revenue from tenants. Is it a financial burden? Yes. But a “safe building” and/or one that enables cellular coverage is an asset to attract tenants, increase property value and retain tenants (learn more at WiredScore). We look to creative business models such as sharing in certain network expenses, tax breaks, insurance incentives and Good Samaritan laws to help advance funding of these networks by the building owner.

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Revelation #5: Convergence of indoor commercial cellular and public safety doesn’t make sense until FirstNet

It’s enticing to explore a strategy of converging commercial cellular and public safety on the same in-building distributed antenna system (DAS) network. After all, isn’t that the premise behind FirstNet: leveraging the commercial cellular macro network assets to build a broadband public-safety network? Set aside reliability and resiliency requirements for mission critical public-safety communications for a moment… The key reason to keep them separate t0day is interference. Specifically, an in-building public-safety network requires 25% of the significantly denser antennae infrastructure that supports commercial cellular LTE service. But, when FirstNet gets rolled out, the network will also be LTE – which suggests that the required in-building commercial cellular and public-safety DAS infrastructure will similarly map and support a converged network strategy. At that time, reliability and resiliency as well as coverage at locations such as stairwells and underground parking coverage areas which are critical in public safety, will need to be addressed).