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Posts Tagged ‘ Safer Buildings Coalition ’

Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?

By Mike Collado
November 24th, 2014

20141119 122042 1024x576 Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?We had the pleasure last week to attend one of our favorite events – LTE North America.

(For additional coverage, see our tweets from the show and videos from RCR Wireless.

This event stands out for us because it’s the Goldilocks of both content and stakeholders within the wireless ecosystem – not too broad and not too narrow; not too overwhelming and not too sparsely attended.

With topics such as HetNets, Small Cells, LTE, 5G, Network Optimization and Public-Safety, it’s always right up our alley.

We had the privilege to present before industry peers our observations on the evolutionary and revolutionary approaches that will be deployed to densify the network. As a manufacturer, it’s a topic we’re truly energized by.

(In fact, we’ll advance this topic further next week at Small Cells Americas.)

One of the key topics that stood out the most for us during the two days in Dallas was that it appears that our industry is mercifully moving away from the DAS versus Small Cells debate and beginning to engage in a pragmatic conversation to identify the right tool for the job rather than promoting an allegiance for a single technology.

Well, sort of…

Screen Shot 2014 11 24 at 5.46.06 PM Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?The Decade of Densification

Why are we even having this discussion?

Earlier this summer, we dubbed the current period in the wireless industry as the “decade of densification.”

(The wireless industry transforms itself roughly every 10 years; see a great infographic here)

Pat Diamond from Key2mobile – an early stage company working on improving urban capacity and connectivity in the licensed-spectrum space – observes that densification is about marrying up both coverage and capacity within the wireless network.

Or, as Paula Doublin from AT&T describes it: coverage is ensuring water fills the entire lake; capacity is ensuring how deep the water is in the lake.

Of course, densification is required both indoors and outdoors.

And those spaces are unique in size and physical characteristics as well as usage requirements and durations.

Time after time, presenters and delegates uttered the phrase, “A toolkit approach is needed to densify the network.”

Screen Shot 2014 11 24 at 5.47.50 PM Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?The Beatles vs. The Stones

Leave it to our friend Dr. Derek Peterson (CTO at Boingo) to break it down as he did during his afternoon talk on Day #1.

Everyone loves a good debate. And some within the wireless industry have pitted DAS against Small Cells.

Remember the claims that Small Cells would kill the DAS industry?

(See our thoughts on this topic from Small Cells World Summit 2014)

The problem is these kinds of discussions have made it increasingly difficult to discern the truth from the hype.

For instance, some say DAS is too expensive compared to Small Cells. We heard a presenter claim that Small Cells will be deployed at stadiums at 1/10 to 1/20 cost of DAS.

At the other end of the spectrum, another presenter suggested that small cells won’t have the capacity to support a single floor of users at a meeting facility.

As a rule of thumb, we believe DAS to be ideal for large venues (>500k square feet).

Small Cells are ideal for small buildings (<100k square feet).

But that’s just a starting point. And it leaves a big gap for densifying medium-sized enterprise venues.

Screen Shot 2014 11 24 at 5.54.05 PM 1024x775 Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?The Right Tool for the Job

You wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to drive a nail for a picture hook, would you?

The industry discussion needs to progress to explore using the right tool for the job.

That’s what AT&T is doing based upon their series of commercials featuring the fictitious characters of Frank and Charlie highlighting a toolkit of strategies that include the macro network, DAS and Small Cells.

Here’s the thing… The toolkit is advancing and old assumptions may longer hold true.

For instance, at this year’s Small Cells World Summit, Stuart Carlaw (Chief Research Officer at ABI Research) observed that DAS is becoming economical for medium installations between 100k and 500k square feet.

However, the toolkit may also inform that multiple tools might be used. In Dallas, Boingo’s Dr. Peterson rhetorically asked, “Why not use all the tools in the toolkit?”

We believe there exist venues in which DAS and Small Cells should be deployed together. In this theoretical scenario, DAS may cover the majority of the public areas and small cells could be used to boost capacity for specific operators or applications where needed.

Advancing the Discussion

In our opinion, one of the most important discussions the wireless industry needs to have centers on the densification toolkit.

It’s no longer sufficient to say it’s a toolkit approach. Rather, we need to explore the “decision tree” which informs which tool or tools to use based upon the unique requirements.

To jumpstart the conversation, SOLiD is sponsoring a forthcoming paper to be published by our friend David Chambers at ThinkSmallCell.

Meanwhile, how do you view the decision tree? And how is it different for operators compared to the enterprise?

 

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SOLiD was short-listed for the Best LTE Backhaul Solution award for INFINITY ACCESS

 

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Jennifer Pigg Clark (VP at 451 Research)

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Andy Germano (VP at Small Cell Forum)

 

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Nicolas Cotanis (CTO at Reverb Networks) & Ken Sandfeld (EVP at SOLiD)

 

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Mike Collado (VP of Marketing at SOLiD)

 

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Paul Gowans (Mobile Strategy Director at JDSU)

 

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Dr. Derek Peterson (CTO at Boingo)

 

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Chief Alan Perdue (Executive Director at Safer Buildings Coalition)

 

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Stuart Carlaw’s Presentation from Small Cells Americas

Playing it Safe in the Big Easy

By Mike Collado
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

 

The Gravitational Pull of FirstNet

By Mike Collado
April 3rd, 2014

IMG 0260 1024x764 The Gravitational Pull of FirstNetIWCE 2104 continues to demonstrate the gravitational influence of FirstNet in pulling together the public-safety and cellular industries.

(As evidence, iBwave, a company traditionally focused on the cellular industry, recently joined the Safer Buildings Coalition)

Sure, IWCE still skews heavily toward public-safety based on the the big booths from Kenwood, Motorola and Harris).

However, there is also a growing contingent of OEMs and SIs from the cellular world who are introducing new strategies such as small cells for solving both cellular and public-safety communications needs.

This trend is further reflected in multiple educational sessions that poignantly declared that a lack of indoor public safety communication could be a fatal flaw.

Robert LeGrande, the former CTO of Washington, DC, shared during the “Overcoming Hurdles to Ensure In-building Communications” panel hosted by the Safer Buildings Coalition (SOLiD is a founding member) that with the FirstNet public safety broadband network, the industry is at a revolutionary point of change and that it is vital not to leave buildings behind. (Watch Rob’s video interview from APCO 2013)

For more from IWCE, check out our Twitter feed from IWCE and see coverage in Urgent Communications.

And here’s what we blogged about last year.

What struck you as noteworthy this year at IWCE?

 

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A sneak peek at our soon to be released public safety-only DAS solution

 

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Ken Rehbehn (Yankee Group), Chief Alan Perdue (Safer Buildings Coalition), John Facella (RCC Consultants) and Robert LeGrand (The Digital Decision)

 

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Team SOLiD

 

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Elvis has left the building (as found in LVH)

 

 

 

Lessons from a Winemaker

By Mike Collado
January 30th, 2014

IMG 1810 1024x682 Lessons from a WinemakerWe had the chance to spend a day in Napa last week during our Annual Company Meeting where we met Tom Davies, President of V. Sattui Winery.

Aside from being a great host (check them out – fun wines, amazing Cheese Shop & Italian Deli, and stunning grounds), Tom is an insightful business leader whose stories about the winery were inspirational.

Four things resonated with our team…

Doing Things Differently

Tom likes to camouflage his business acumen by saying he’s a farmer. But it’s clear he and the winery are pioneers.

V. Sattui pioneered not only the wine tour experience – by being the first in Napa to invite the public to come to the winery and hang out on the property by providing picnic tables – but also the wine retail business – by establishing the first direct-to-consumer wine club.

Doing things differently is a key part of what makes SOLiD unique.

Such as tailoring the ALLIANCE distributed antenna system (DAS) around the requirements of building owners. Or warehousing products on-site and pre-configuring gear to fulfill orders within days (not weeks) and to simplify field deployments.

 

IMG 1780 1024x682 Lessons from a WinemakerDoing Whatever it Takes

Before the winery scaled and deployed modern technology, Tom helped cork bottles by hand.

SOLiD is no stranger to heroics. From getting on a plane to be on-site the next day to troubleshoot or racing to the airport with a part because we missed a freight cutoff, we’re committed to moving mountains for our customers.

 

Always Be Advancing

Tom describes a healthy paranoia of not letting the winery’s success distract from the hunger to advance.

Even though V. Sattui pioneered the direct-to-consumer retail model, the winery has continued to challenge itself to innovate and improve.

Similarly, although V. Sattui Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter was recently recognized as “Winemaker of the Year” at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the winery continues to push to safeguard from losing its edge.

In spite of our success at SOLiD, we’re energized every day to raise the bar by innovating technology, leading the industry with new initiatives, delivering “wow” to our customers, and working with the best and the brightest in the industry (we’re hiring!).

 

IMG 1791 1024x682 Lessons from a WinemakerBuilding a Wonderful Brand

Tom pinpoints Quality, Value and Service as key attributes of the V. Sattui brand and is dogmatic in protecting and preserving it.

At SOLiD, our brand is about Creativity, Honesty and Reliability.

Or, as the mnemonic that Dr. Lee offered our team:

  • S = Solid professionals
  • O = Open minds
  • L = Leadership
  • I = Integrity
  • D = Dream (about the future)

 

We look forward to applying these lessons from a winemaker to our business. Let us know how we’re doing.

 

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