Time to Change The Small Cells Business Model

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sw-awesome-medA long long time ago, in a galaxy… in 2003 at Samsung, we were trying to sell our small cell vision to carriers, and carried demos all over the country.  Everybody agreed it was pretty awesome but the adoption for deployment was just not very good at all.

Later, I worked with a couple of other fellows to create a shared small cell architecture and that idea seemed best carried forward in a startup after all of the big carriers declined. The problem it addressed was the CAPEX/start up costs of getting into small cells since the carriers only looked at them as financial pain, an admission smallcells_forum_bannertheir macro sites/DAS/RF coverage wasn’t good enough- not as opportunities.

We had a plan to have a lead customer who was testing the waters with small cells share networks (not RAN) facilitating the next customer to just deploy small cells (RAN) and not have to do mega integrations into their own networks. The technology allowed us to have every appearance of full integration and in fact fully integrate at a features/requirements level with the carrier workflows. The key difference is the management and core costs were negligible. We called it OneRAN.

Technology wise, we had RAN device lead vendor, had a plan to create interoperability for multiple RAN device vendors to participate, standards based, low effort integration into existing macro networks that could take days vs months, awesome tools and visibility into customer performance, knowledge to operate efficiently etc… I had written up about 10 patents that would lock it down, and told myself, if this thing starts to happen, and we get significant investment (it takes $ to defend patents), I’m going to file them.AT&T microcell small cell

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