Ericsson targets ‘small cell as a service’ market


Software provider targeting tier one and two operators with new connectivity boosting service

Ericsson launched a new ‘small cell as a service’ (SCAAS) business, as part of a product blitz ahead of Mobile World Congress later this month.

SCAAS will offer increased connectivity in areas, such as sports stadiums, where there are a large amount of people attempting to access data. The technology uses low-powered, short ranged radio nodes to boost the existing networks capacity.

The firm cited increased video usage as a reason for the unprecedented strain being placed on mobile data networks and believes the firms expertise in radio, can be used to overcome the problem.

A key potential customer base will be tier one and two mobile operators, who do not have the financial muscle to boost their own connectivity and may suffer periods of customer downtime. It will also be targeted at venue owners, fixed line operators, and media rights holders.

“We’re offering small cell capacity in ultra-dense areas,” Patrick Jakobson, head of network sharing, Ericsson told Mobile News. “Everything from the services, the equipment, we will provide over a long-term service level agreement.

“It’s an evolved managed service where we will not only, like we did traditionally simply handle operations, we provide network equipment and sell it as a service.

“That’s what we see many of the cloud and hosting models gravitating towards, that there is a third party doing that, its convenient for the operators. They can offload some of the risks for what may be outside of their core business focus.”

Jakobson refused to offer any further detail on which tier one and two vendors they were in discussions with, but said that any operator in this area was a potential partner.

On the back of its acquisitions of media management company, Red Bee Media and Microsoft’s Mediaroom, it also revealed plans to deliver a unified mobile TV service at home speeds. A new enterprise solution that will enable high-quality voice and HD video conferencing and a range of other network solutions were also announced.

All the products will be available by the end of 2014 and will receive their first full public outing at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, later this month.