Profile: Ken Sandfeld, President of SOLiD Americas
1. What do you like most about your company?
I have a passion for innovation and the empowerment that the SOLiD organization enables. True innovation is focused on solving problems that the customers don't even realize exist. This is very difficult for a leadership team to enable because it requires the incubation of a culture that can quickly recover and advance from failures. It’s not something that most management teams consider as an option in their business plans. We are fostering an environment that allows managers to make decisions and are building a culture of empowerment that is allowing us to grow at a faster rate. That makes for an exciting and rewarding place to work.
2. What’s the one piece of advice you would give every enterprise customer before selecting and deploying an in-building wireless (IBW) solution?
Design for the future; this includes the current state-of-the-art antenna density and MIMO as well as potentially installing some additional bundles of cable with those coax/antenna runs. Clearly everything depends on the type of building and function but in general, the bulk of the "Middleprise" size buildings which are about 100-500K sf in size may need to, over time, install different solutions as we migrate through technology in the Wireless Mobility Toolkit. The toolkit is comprised of the licensed bands currently operating 3G/4G, Unlicensed bands operating WiFi, and Public Safety & 2-Way radio solutions. Additional unlicensed bands and protocols like LTE-U, as well as handling public safety and other 2-way radio needs for their facility. In order to do this, the enterprise might want to consider the parallel installation of additional Fiber and/or CAT6 on the horizontal runs and additional fiber to the telecom closet locations. All of the "tool kit" solutions for the enterprise will require additional PATHS to the “edge.” Meaning that one antenna or one coax cable will not be enough to solve for that coverage area. The only way to solve for this is either multiple ugly coax cables (Yuk!), or fiber, or multiple CAT6 cables. Instructure provides future proof NOT electronics.
3. What confusion does the industry need to clear-up for the enterprise customer to better understand the HetNet market and ecosystem?
The biggest challenge, bar none, is the maturing of business models. When it comes to the Middleprise the big confusion is who pays? There will no doubt be some creative approaches, but in the end there needs to be several clear models or paths to take.
4. Not directly related to your company, what excites you most about the future of the HetNet market?
The industry is changing rapidly and pervasively which presents evolutionary and revolutionary opportunities for new market segments, new technologies and new business models which all point to the chance for new market leadership. It’s a very exciting time!
5. What do you find most challenging when you engage an enterprise customer?
Telling them that – today – there exists no perfect solution for their building. But the ecosystem is working to address that. The chief issue is that – due to CAPEX exhaustion – operators are struggling to identify ROI justification to connect the DAS under conventional technology and business models. We are on the cusp of a adopting a stance whereby the open core IP will allow both the network operator to focus on what they do best which is provide services and the enterprise/building owner to solve their connectivity needs without having to wait for a carrier to supply hardware. Building owners are OK with spending on their buildings as long as it has ROI.