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What are the pain points that exist in the enterprise market for cellular wireless solutions, and how is SOLiD solving those challenges?
Multiple challenges exist in the market.
First and foremost, cellular phone coverage in buildings is rarely perfect. The bigger the building, the bigger the problem. Enterprises, building owners, and managers have realized the significance of strong in-building cellular connectivity and its impact on their businesses. They want their guests and employees to use their devices seamlessly without any network or speed issues. We solve that particular problem.
In parallel, another challenge for enterprises is the adoption of 5G capabilities. 5G is the way forward for the U.S., and it will solve a lot of different problems in terms of connectivity—not just for cell phones, but for cars and cameras, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. However, the deployment of a 5G network is much more expensive than 4G. Nevertheless, enterprises are trying to adopt 5G capabilities into their organization, and as such, they need a path toward 5G. They want to ensure that they are not buying something that will become irrelevant in the next few years due to 5G.
The next challenge for enterprises is the arrival of private networks. Going beyond the capabilities of Wi-Fi, these networks will provide enterprises with more versatility alongside performance, security, and the ability to have seamless wireless capabilities on a big campus. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) will provide enterprises with a frequency band that delivers better performance and enable them to be more productive. Companies need to understand how they are going to take advantage of such developments and have the proper infrastructure in place.
Implementing these new cellular technologies requires additional infrastructure. Enterprise companies are looking for an implementation experience similar to that of a Wi-Fi system. They want mobile solutions to look and feel like the ‘Wi-Fi experience.’However, a big pain point here is most of the cellular technologies available today don’t typically install like Wi-Fi. They require different types of cabling and equipment, as well as training and industry knowledge.
Could you elaborate on the solutions that SOLiD provides and what are the factors that differentiate the company from other players in the market?
Today, these solutions are evolving to address the goals of 5G, private networks, and the novel approach to spectrum sharing available with CBRS. We are working on a NEW product category at SOLiD called SURF™. SURF™ is acellular coverage and capacity solution built into one based on O-RAN standards that allow anyone to connect in a compliant environment. We believe that open standards give our customers and us the ability to innovate and work on creative solutions that are cost-effective and faster to deploy in an enterprise. SURF™ will revolutionize the speed and ease at which an enterprise can deploy cellular coverage and capacity.
Finally, to fulfill the customers’demand for ‘Wi-Fi like’experience, we have introduced Fiber2Antenna™. SOLiD is launching its first Fiber2Antenna™ solution called the ALLIANCE edgeROU in May 2020, which will allow customers to start deploying these new types of network solutions. The compact and straightforward edgeROU installs easily in the building, similar to Wi-Fi, with light cabling to an integrated radio-antenna. The edgeROU exists on the modular SOLiD ALLIANCE™ platform that delivers advanced fiber-to-the-edge technology. Our Fiber2Antenna™ solutions like edgeROU are compatible with the most prominent mobile networks across the globe and support 5G’s new radio frequency specifications for seamless 5G in-building experience and future-proof investment protection.
The key differentiating factor for our solutions is their modularity that allows us to keep evolving by upgrading systems and changing modules as network requirements evolve. Another factor is our reliability proven over 20 years. Customers know that they can trust us, and our solutions are going to run reliably.
Furthermore, what helps us stay ahead of the pack is our focus on safety. The industry verticals that we serve cannot consider safety as a secondary option. On that account, we enable signals to work throughout a facility, including the basement, parking garage, and other hard to reach spaces. We ensure that police and fire departments can leverage their radio and mobile devices without any interruption under pressing situations.
Could you give us a couple of examples where SOLiD has helped its clients address their issues?
We provide solutions to several industries, including commercial properties, higher education, hospitality, healthcare, transportation, and stadiums & arenas. For example, the Daytona International Speedway is using SOLiD’s solution. Our systems enable more than 150,000 people present in the speedway to use their handsets seamlessly, indoor as well as outdoor, in any climate. Usually, the harsh environment of subways is non-friendly for electronics with no network or poor signal, but we have been eliminating the connectivity issues for years in New York City subways. Hundreds of hospitals and hotels across the country rely on our systems for enhancing cellular networks inside their premises. Customers always count on us due to our solutions’ high reliability. Recently, we worked with Toyota in Plano, Texas, to improve cell phone signals inside the building and ensure that they have the best cellular signal for customers as well as employees.
What do you envision for the next few months for the company?
We are continuously growing our reach in the U.S. and looking forward to expanding our footprint in the European as well as Central and Latin American markets. We aim to deliver the highest performing solutions that can provide functionality for 5G as well as handle the new frequency bands that are coming to the market. Also, we will continue to invest in our portfolio of Fiber2Antenna™ solutions to grow its capabilities and introduce new versions and configurations that facilitate quick and easy deployment.