Vodafone UK has launched its Sure Signal Premium service for medium and large businesses who need high-quality, seamless 3G and ultrafast 4G mobile coverage throughout their workplace. The solution is the first commercial offering of its kind from a UK mobile operator.
Unlike previous indoor mobile coverage solutions, Sure Signal Premium can be installed rapidly and securely connects to the Vodafone network. It is designed to provide a platform for future enterprise with support for location-based analytics and mobile device management.
With the growing use of smartphones and other smart devices in the workplace, not only for voice, but increasingly for enterprise apps, businesses depend on high-quality, high-speed 3G and ultrafast 4G capacity throughout their workplaces. Research has shown that around two-thirds of mobile usage is indoors, and employees expect to be fully connected and available on their mobile devices wherever they are.
"The rise of the smartphone, mobile apps and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace means high-quality, high-speed indoor coverage is no longer just a nice-to-have for business," said Fergal Kelly, CTO at Vodafone UK.
"With Sure Signal Premium, large businesses can satisfy rising indoor capacity and coverage demands in a highly integrated, well managed way. This new service is just one benefit from the £900m we spent last year on our fixed and mobile network in the UK. This is one of the reasons 72% of FTSE 100 companies choose Vodafone to meet their communications needs."
The first enterprise grade indoor mobile coverage solution of its kind in the UK, Signal Premium has been developed by Vodafone in partnership with NEC, a market leader in the supply and system integration of indoor mobile coverage solutions, and SpiderCloud Wireless, a specialist provider of platforms that deliver unprecedented mobile coverage and capacity to enterprises.
“With great input from Vodafone, we were able to build a commercial system capable of meeting demands of the world’s largest mobile operator and enable differentiated services to its enterprise customers,” said Ron Pelley, SpiderCloud’s VP and managing director, EMEA.
Intended for businesses with 320 or more employees and more than 3,200 square metres of floor space, the solution can scale up to support many thousands of users. It can be installed as quickly and easily as Wi-Fi and seamlessly self-configures to provide perfect voice and data service.
Vodafone’s expertise means customers will receive a robust design, delivery and installation service, leaving them with the best possible coverage and capacity setup for their unique building layout.
As the only UK company to own an integrated fixed and mobile network, Vodafone said it is ideally positioned to provide the best possible connection for large businesses. It added: “Through innovative Sure Signal technology that is both robust and secure, we’re giving businesses the power of smarter communications and an always connected workforce.”
The enterprise coverage challenge
Ronny Haraldsvik, CMO, SpiderCloud Wireless, said: “The issue of in-building coverage and capacity is a very real one for many enterprises, and is directly affecting business productivity. Businesses not only want this fixed and will churn to an operator that can solve it, but over half are also prepared to pay an increase of up to 30% per employee for improved indoor cellular coverage and capacity.
"Add in managed services such as unified comms or mobile device management, and this rises to over 90%, according to recent research by iGR. All this demonstrates just how real the business need is. This isn’t a ‘nice to have’ for the IT director; with BYOD and more enterprise services being accessed via smartphones and tablets, it’s a ‘must have’ that lies at the heart of a business’ productivity,” said Haraldsvik.
He continued: “IT budgets are still very much capex constrained and, with more and more IT shifting into the cloud, so IT directors are looking to service providers to help move more enterprise apps to an opex model. This means enterprises need improved indoor coverage and capacity that is quick to install, easy to manage, and that is future-proofed so it can support managed mobility services.”
How the SpiderCloud small cell system works
Haraldsvik said: “SpiderCloud’s small cell system can be deployed in just 30 days and consists of two elements. First, SpiderCloud Radio Nodes are deployed inside the enterprise and use the enterprises existing Ethernet infrastructure. These are then connected to the SpiderCloud Services Node, an on-premises small cell services element which has SON at its core, meaning it can self-optimise and self-organise, speeding up deployment of the small cell system and removing the need for the enterprise to have specialist RF skills.
"Finally, the Services Node securely connects to a mobile operator’s core network, enabling the operator to deliver managed mobility services to its enterprise customers over the top of the coverage and capacity system.”
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