ExteNet is a communication infrastructure provider, not attached to any particular technology, vendor, or network architecture approach. As a result, their solution toolbox can tap the best components and innovations when they create a tailored communication solution for wireless carriers, broadband providers and building owners, spanning both outdoor and indoor deployments. This toolbox continues to evolve with new technologies, giving it tremendous flexibility to address challenges of any particular environment, according to Tormod Larsen, CTO of ExteNet Systems.
ExteNet has built up a wide portfolio of properties and deployments, including some iconic Class A buildings like the Empire State Building and outdoor networks in major cities like San Francisco, NYC, Boston and the Las Vegas strip. They are also active in other verticals like hospitality, where ownership increasingly understands that highly desirable business customers often make purchasing decisions on key features like availability of quality mobile service. “Hospitality as an industry is going for the mobile experience with their guests.” Larsen explained. “Today a smartphone is often the preferred device to book a room, check in, order room service, and check out.”
The company is growing and has a ‘wish list’ a mile long. “Looking ahead, we continue to work with all the national carriers and associated municipalities to evaluate outdoor densification build-outs,” Larsen said. He noted that this is the case especially in cities that soon will be hosting conventions or major events like the NFL playoff games. “We have been quite active in HetNet deployments (outdoor and indoor) to support NFL title games and NCAA basketball tournaments, whether it’s with the host city, local hotels, or the stadium itself. We remain active in planning around upcoming big games in Minneapolis and Atlanta. Such activities typically can begin years in advance of these events and ultimately can be a beachhead for launching greater densification efforts to that city or metro area,” he said.
On the indoor side, many of the larger Class A office buildings have found some sort of a coverage solution while ExteNet is looking at the next tier of buildings. With more than 250,000 buildings in the 50-500K square foot size in major metro areas across the United States there are many potential candidates for such deployments. “We look at these opportunities and work with vendors, carriers and the building owners to devise innovative solutions, technically and/or commercially, to facilitate these deployments,” Larsen said.
ExteNet also has a SD (Software Defined)-based LTE Packet Core that they package and market to the rural Tier 2/3 telco market. These carriers can use their EPC, which has already been tested with the major RAN vendors’ equipment, and deploy it with either existing or new RAN assets to offer LTE-based services like fixed wireless or mobility to its community. The resulting solution offers up some unique economics and operational benefits vs. more traditional approaches, as the carriers can begin to rollout differentiated services. “We have operational deployments supporting several services: LTE roaming, fixed wireless, WiFi, carrier wholesale, and even some private wireless PBX type application. We also see interest emerging in many other market verticals for this solution,” Larsen said.
“In short, we are all part of the HetNet ecosystem community and interconnected in various ways,” Larsen said. “The lead investor in ExteNet is Digital Bridge which focuses on companies in the mobile and internet infrastructure domain, with an emphasis on a HetNet approach to communication infrastructure build. Another company that Digital Bridge has invested in, Vertical Bridge, is a more traditional tower and rooftop company and complements our service offerings. We can partner to bring a highly compelling offering to our primary customers including the carriers and building owners. Since all the carriers continue to densify their networks, having the ability to leverage ready-made tower, rooftop, and other related infrastructure assets via our sister companies is an advantage for us.”
March 16, 2017