SpiderCloud launches in-building 3G cellular network for enterprises

Vodafone has partnered with SpiderCloud Wireless to develop a platform that offers businesses 3G indoor cellular coverage across large office campuses.

SpiderCloud Wireless, a provider of in-building mobile broadband systems technology, announced that with the support of Vodafone, it has launched its small-cell wireless system in the United Kingdom. The company's indoor 3G network is now live in a number of UK-headquartered enterprises. SpiderCloud's technology allows mobile operators to rapidly deliver enhanced cellular coverage and additional network capacity inside buildings, as well as the ability to deliver "smart" applications via the cloud in the near future.

The small-cell system consists of two elements - the SpiderCloud Radio Node (SCRN) and the SpiderCloud Services Node (SCSN). Each SpiderCloud Radio Node is a small, wall or ceiling-mountable 3G base station. A wireless operator then installs radio nodes to provide coverage and capacity inside a building. All radio nodes in a building connect to an on-premise SpiderCloud Services Node, which securely connects to the operator's core network.

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SpiderCloud contends that its self-organizing network technology, and its use of existing Ethernet infrastructure, ensures that SpiderCloud's system can be installed in a large building within days rather than weeks or months. The system's support for "soft handover" between radio nodes ensures that voice calls are not dropped as people walk within a building. Aggregating all the radio nodes at the services nodes optimizes backhaul and provides operators with a single touch-point for control and management.

In addition, SpiderCloud says the system enables enterprise users to access applications on company intranets from their mobile device when they are at work. The services node, if integrated with an enterprise's IT infrastructure, is capable of locally switching 3G data from authorized mobile devices to an enterprise's LAN. Enterprises will also be able to create new applications using a wealth of local intelligence available at the services node - ranging from presence to location and analytics.

The system was incubated inside Vodafone Group's Research and Development division over a span of two years, according to a news release. As part of the development process, Vodafone aided SpiderCloud in assessing the commercial need for the solution, provided laboratory facilities and helped run both technical and field trials.

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