Nextivity’s Cel-Fi SOLO primed for enterprise and operator adoption with new Ofcom regulations
In-building cellular connectivity is a problem that’s not limited to any particular geography or end user. In the United Kingdom, regulator Ofcom recently loosened restrictions governing mobile signal boosters which, for Nextivity, represents new opportunities to expand the reach of its Cel-Fi products beyond its existing operator base and into the enterprise market.
During Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Nextivity’s VP of EMEA Region Channel Partners Colin Abrey discussed what the lighter-touch regulatory approach means for the vendor and its customer base as well as how Nextivity is poised to expand its reach with the Cel-Fi SOLO solution that was launched during the exhibition.
Abrey pointed out that in addition to the rapid adoption Nextivity has seen in the U.S. market, the Cel-Fi business got its start in Europe with operators like Vodafone, Orange and Telenor and is now approved by approximately 200 telecoms operators in 100 countries.
“In Europe,” he said, “that traditional business with the mobile operators continues to grow for us. But we’re expanding our team to also cover…into the enterprise, which we’re starting to see develop with the loosening up of some of the regulators.” Last year Ofcom adopted a license exemption for mobile signal boosters that effectively allows households and businesses to buy and install off-the-shelf devices that capture an outdoor mobile signal and bring it indoors to improve in-building cellular coverage and capacity. “What this means is it sort of opens up the market for us into enterprise customers as well as into the operator customers” Abrey said.
Per the updated Ofcom rules, installed mobile signal boosters must be network specific, not create network interference, detect and mitigate downlink and uplink signal variations, and control amplification based on location relative to the base station to which it’s connected. Cel-Fi SOLO ticks all those boxes.
Cel-Fi SOLO is Nextivity’s fourth-generation in-building booster solution and Bands 1, 3, 7, 8 and 20 for the European Market. It’s built on the company’s six-core IntelliBoost chipset, which uses advanced filtering, equalization and echo-cancellation to optimize in-building 3G and 4G LTE signal capacity. Flexible and easy installation can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. Cel-Fi SOLO cloud-based WAVE app, which lets end-users or integrators remote monitor performance and make setting adjustments.
“A lot of our customers and a lot of the operators are obviously used to Cel-Fi,” Abrey said. “This is important in terms of ensuring to the mobile operators that we do not interfere with the networks but is actually a critical part of the Ofcom regulations. It follows the sort of family benefits… of having unconditionally network-safe performance. Taking this step forward with the SOLO product opens up new opportunities for us but also for our installation communities and also for the operators as well. I think it’s a great step forward and the reaction has been exceptionally positive.”