Small cell upstart SpiderCloud Wireless has announced its first commercial operator deal, touting Vodafone Netherlands as its high-profile (but unsurprising) customer. The company is also expected to announce US and South American customers within the next six months.
Based in San Jose, California, SpiderCloud delivers kit that enables enterprises to boost in-building coverage and capacity to thousands of campus employees. The company claims its Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) cuts out the need for weeks of specialist planning and installation, instead using Self Optimising Network (SON) software to deliver improved coverage in a fraction of the time (“just days”) compared to alternative technology options. Its E-RAN system incorporates 3G, 4G and WiFi technology in an effort to provide a truly multimode small cell offering indoors.
“We can now, more rapidly than ever, address the needs of thousands of enterprise customers who rely on mobile connectivity and services for business productivity,” noted Marcel van den Biggelaar, head of technology strategy at Vodafone Netherlands. “Previously we were restricted by the cost and time it took to install legacy in-building wireless systems or the lack of scalability of first-generation small cells.”
Going public with the Dutch deal is an important step for SpiderCloud, which earlier this year said it was engaged in 10-15 market trials “with leading mobile operators across four continents,” via a partnership with network vendor NEC.
It is expected that the Vodafone Netherlands announcement will be the first of a few public deals involving the mobile operator giant, given that Vodafone has been a SpiderCloud partner for the past eighteen months. The pair announced a partnership in February last year when it was claimed that Vodafone helped SpiderCloud “assess the commercial need for the solution, provided laboratory facilities and helped run both technical and field trials.” An indoor 3G network was also turned on at “a number of UK-headquartered enterprises.”
Only last week Current Analysis’ Peter Jarich wrote that SpiderCloud could benefit further from Vodafone’s Project Spring initiative, which will see the operator spend an extra £6 billion on capex thanks to the proceeds from its Verizon Wireless sale.
Close sources state the company expects to also announce US and South American customers between now and Mobile World Congress (February 2014).
SpiderCloud has raised $105 million in VC funding from investors Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures. The multimode small cell specialist vendor is taking on the might of Cisco in this space, as well as macro network giants such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and NSN. SpiderCloud claims that rival offerings lack E-RAN’s scalability (the kit supposedly supports up to 100 radio nodes with one services node connected to the mobile operator’s 3G, WiFi or LTE network, and also claims to be capable of handling over 100,000 data sessions and handoffs daily while providing reliable voice and data coverage).