Bob Slorach, CTO at WIG, talks about the importance of IaaS and the significance of the new SCF blueprints
Small Cell Forum (SCF) just announced a new blueprints initiative designed to accelerate enterprise adoption of 5G and 4G in specific use cases and services. Its initial focus is on the huge growth potential in private networks.
The reality is that SCF has been compelled to develop these initiatives because, as it says, these use cases are ‘not currently addressed by the frameworks of other organisations’.
It’s certainly the case that there needs to be a more modular and less proprietary approach to the technologies available for private cellular service provision, as well as base case performance parameters aligned to use case that businesses can feel confident about.
It’s also true that, in terms of policy, regulation and technology development, more focus needs to be placed on the role and requirements of the different types of service providers that are evolving to support the digital transformation across enterprise and industry.
Significantly, SCF highlights the growing opportunity for alternative service models, including mobile IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), that can deliver connectivity solutions which are precisely tailored to the requirements of the consumer. Along with the opportunities associated with private cellular networks, the important message for enterprise is that enabling effective cellular coverage and capacity and managing multiple MNO relationships are not problems they need to handle. These are our areas of expertise.
The important message for enterprise is that enabling effective cellular coverage and capacity and managing multiple MNO relationships are not problems they need to handle. These are our areas of expertise.
In the context of commercial property, for example, we have long advocated that it’s time to stop thinking outside-in when planning coverage inside buildings: that means stop waiting for outdoor mobile network infrastructure to solve your problems. Mobile, indoor or outdoor connectivity is a utility, a business-critical service. It therefore deserves its own infrastructure and its own investment focus.
Since lockdown, commercial real estate providers are increasingly telling us that their need to differentiate has become critical to survival. It’s no longer just a question of location, they need to clearly demonstrate they can offer enterprise tenants the best places to work, or, in some cases, play.
And it’s not just indoor where these blueprints will add real value: the specific needs of large-scale private networks addressing complex indoor and outdoor requirements clearly require both robust foundations and a significant amount of innovation. This can be seen from the project WIG is involved in with partners Athonet, Intel and QuayChain Technologies, to deliver private LTE and 5G cellular coverage across an expansive inland port area (25 square miles) for the Utah Inland Ports Authority to improve its operational efficiency and to meet objectives for sustainable logistics.
WIG welcomes the SCF blueprints and believes they will help to not only raise the game for private networks and raise the awareness of the benefits, but they will help reduce barriers to wireless users readily adopting the solutions that exist. We believe this is critical in furthering the digital transformation of enterprise and industry.