HiPER Connected Sports Cities: Superior Game Day Experience from Start to Finish
Tormod Larsen
From ExteNet's CTO Office

ExteNet Systems Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell

In my last post, I shared with you my view on the importance of a High Performance Connected Sports City to deliver the complete fan experience. Today, let me share with you my thoughts on the game day experience itself, and the inherent importance of network performance.

As we gear up for the Big Game this weekend, I think about all the challenges associated with delivering a great game day experience. ExteNet has supported thousands of major sporting events, national conventions, and other ‘command performances’ including the past six Big Games, and we know that it takes months of diligent and coordinated work to ensure our networks deliver a great Big Game Week, culminating with the Big Game itself.

It’s amazing to think about how much behind-the-scenes preparation will have gone into this weekend’s main event in Minneapolis! For several months, various teams within ExteNet - including our Global Services team - began planning and coordinating with the host city, wireless service providers, the venues our networks provide services in, and local and national police and security agencies.

Our typical “Big Game Readiness Plan” includes acquiring all the event-specific security badging that goes with these mega-events, working out how we move our teams and equipment through all the special protocols and layers of physical security checkpoints that go up about 10 days before the game. We pre-position additional spares and test equipment on-site, lock down our special communications plans, determine points of contact, and test & validate communications flows, which go into developing a suite of special tactical reporting that goes out to a large group of stakeholders’ multiple times each day. In fact, we’re kind of like football coaches… except in this case, we’re the coaches of the wireless network!

A unique ExteNet capability we have developed - and made available to the host team and the wireless service providers - is the ExteNet Stadium View. This tool provides a dynamic, real-time visualization of network availability overlaid directly onto the areas of the stadium, parking, and tail-gating areas to which our network provides coverage.

ExteNet’s Stadium View renders a stadium with its seating sections, concession areas, suites, walkways and parking areas in a classic ‘layer cake’ view showing each layer of the stadium stacked atop one another. We map each radio and sector onto this rendering, and light them up so that areas of the network that are functioning properly are represented in a soft green fill. Any network alarms or service impacts are mapped directly onto the areas affected, in amber or red (depending on the level of impact) so that all parties can see which areas of the venue are specifically affected. Think of it as a helpful 3D heat map of network coverage.

Without Stadium View, it would be challenging to quickly and accurately detect areas of the venue experiencing coverage issues, and it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the physical location of radios and network equipment (which often need quick resolutions for any issues). Stadium View shows our team where the issue is impacting the user experience, the degree of impact, and exactly where the radios and other equipment associated with that impact are located. Stadium View also allows the ExteNet Network Operations Center (NOC) and on-site Global Services engineers to rapidly mobilize to the precise location of the issue, and help fix it with minimum disruption.

In a world where wireless connectivity is a key success factor in delivering a memorable fan experience, venues and operations teams can’t just focus on what seems to be a robust design and well-coordinated deployment. A great Game Day experience brings it all together - design, implementation, expertise, network availability and performance management - and is enhanced by superior coordination and communications. It’s a partnership from start-to-finish and for years to come after the Game Day Experience takes place. A coach thinks about enhancing his team into the future, and that’s how we look at our wireless networks: we design, build, deploy and operate the network’s performance, reliability and upkeep for the long haul. This partnership approach and long-term network view is imperative for delivering the Superior Game Day Experience.

The Fan Experience is Priority #1
Tormod Larsen
From ExteNet's CTO Office

ExteNet Systems Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell

In my last post, I shared with you my view on the importance of the Distributed Network Infrastructure to build a High Performance Connected Sport City. Today, let me share with you my views on the importance of the fan experience, as that should be the top priority for the city, venue and the network infrastructure providers.

While it may not be feasible for most fans to get to the Big Game, many fans are increasingly opting for an in-home or other remote viewing experience over an in-venue experience even during the regular season these days.

Declining attendance and a competing in-home experience has become a business challenge that venue owners need to address. Leveraging wireless infrastructure can power unique, personalized and exclusive in-venue offerings that can enhance the fan experience. Providing that unique and personalized in-venue experience for the fans - so they feel compelled to leave their home and come to the venue - is an opportunity for the venue owners.

Another viewpoint imparted by many sports economists is that venue-owners may need to analyze all potential monetization opportunities while improving the in-venue experience for the fans as the venue owners today are likely not tapping into all the potential monetization opportunities in the stadium or arena.

What are venue owners doing to create connected experiences that drive added revenue and gain an advantage over a fans’ living room? I see three major areas in which fan experiences are being enhanced.

Solving Pain Points
Some stadiums are using wireless experiences to improve existing ‘pain points’ surrounding the in-venue experience. For example, some allow fans to order food and beverages, download a 360-degree stadium video or even receive a message about lengths of restroom lines as well as traffic conditions after the game. The potential payoffs are substantial. In fact, a study by Oracle Hospitality found that fans would spend an extra $20 if wait times at concession stands were halved

Adding Insight and Experiences
Other venue owners are using wireless infrastructure to create new and exclusive in-stadium experiences. For example, the NFL and its teams are putting radio-frequency identification, or RFID tags, on equipment such as shoulder pads to track and deliver statistics on players’ movements and speed that are posted on stadium screens. At AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys fans can enjoy a fantasy football lounge at field level. The lounge offers enhanced game-day experiences that bring fans closer to the action, including the ability to take pictures and videos up close and personal with the NFL players as they charge through the tunnel to take the field.

Incentivizing Fans to Shop
Merchandise shopping is also a huge revenue stream. The NFL, for example, rolled out beacons in its stadiums – which require a strong wireless connection – that can pinpoint where a fan is located within the stadium. Using this data, the team can push discounts and tailored shopping recommendations to fans.
Finally, remember that social media is integral to enhance the fan experience at these live events today. At Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, which hosted the first and second round games of the 2017 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, this critical component of the in-venue fan experience was on full display. Fans took to their smartphones to relay exciting action to friends, and their surroundings created the perfect social media shots.
These types of connected experiences can help differentiate the venue from the living room, but they do require a well-designed, high-performance and high-bandwidth wireless infrastructure. Each venue and its needs are unique, so it’s important venue owners seek a strong partner to design, manage and operate the right combination of technologies and network infrastructure to maximize their Return on Investment (ROI) and stays relevant by consistently improving fan experiences. The core business for the venue owner, aka the fan experience, has a far greater value/revenue potential and impact on the long term ROI, than the investment in the communications and wireless infrastructure (including the corresponding services).
It is clear that fans need to value the connected experience enough to come to the venue, and venue-owners, on their part, must lay the foundation for the compelling connected experience by deploying the critical high-performing wireless infrastructure. ExteNet Systems has deployed and currently manages the communications infrastructure in over 20 high-profile stadiums and venues in the United States. Our goal is to consistently provide the technology guidance and expertise to venue owners so that they can deliver the HiPER Connected Venue Experience that’s right for their fans and patrons.

HiPER Connected Sports Cities
Tormod Larsen

The critical role of Distributed Network Infrastructure in delivering the Fan Experience of the Future… Today!

As the clock ticks closer to football’s Biggest Game, this year’s host city – Minneapolis – is working hard to prepare logistics and services to handle the 1M+ anticipated visitors in its downtown areas and surrounding neighborhoods.

One planning aspect, sometimes overlooked, is the wireless communications infrastructure required to handle the influx of crowds hungry to share, snap, and tweet each moment of the fun experiences they’re having. This accelerating demand for interactive data consumption can make or break the fan experience.

A misconception is that the fan experience is limited to the time spent within the walls of the sports venue. In the case of the Big Game, it likely would be a full week of activities throughout the city of Minneapolis.

The trend applies to sports events in general, and hence the strategy needs to align. In many cities, we see sports and entertainment venues clustered together to benefit from common infrastructure like roads, parking, restaurants and hotels – comprising, essentially, a “sports city.”

To accommodate the demand for an enhanced interactive and data intensive experience, there is a need for a high performance (HiPER) connected sports city. The alphabet soup of proposed solution and technologies spanning from 4G and WiFi to 5G, CBRS and LAA, VR and AR, DAS, small cells, CRAN, XRAN and vRAN, NFV and MEC etc. can get the head spinning for most of us

So, what is the solution? I believe in starting with the fundamentals: define the problem we try to solve and focus on what we know. To support the anticipated usage, we need a hyper-dense network of “sites”, connected with an ultra-high capacity transport network that ultimately has an aggregation hub to connect to the rest of the world. Think of it as a roadway system: rather than only one road into the stadium which could create congestion, you add a series of small side roads into the stadium to help manage the traffic flow better. When we have this backbone in place, we can layer in the various technologies and services to support the fans.

Back to Minneapolis and the upcoming event… ExteNet started planning for the city’s communication needs more than two years ago. Included in the preparation was a comprehensive network design including high traffic outdoor areas as well as key properties throughout the City of Minneapolis. The final network will have in-excess of 400 small cell sites interconnected with ExteNet’s high-density fiber network

Minneapolis isn’t the first sport city ExteNet has helped prepare its communications network for the Big Game. Having built networks ahead of the Games in Indianapolis, New York, Arizona and San Francisco, ExteNet was well prepared for the design and implementation of the networks in a city that has a lot of other critical activities on-going.

The sports venues themselves are also unique. Having led and completed design and deployment at more than 20 large sports venues over the last 5 years, it is becoming increasingly obvious to us that the value of a well thought out plan with a focus on flexible and modular solutions is imperative. This approach will likely include areas surrounding the venue itself.

Wells Fargo – ExteNet Manhattan Tour
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

On April 26, ExteNet hosted telecom analysts from Wells Fargo and several of their investment clients who follow the telecom space. We escorted the group on an abbreviated city tour highlighting some of our select infrastructure assets in Manhattan, walking them through one of our fiber hubs in Chelsea and then navigating morning traffic through the financial district and eventually mid-town, to provide an up-close look at several of our small cell deployments. While strolling outside around Bryant Park and the NY Public Library in midtown, we commanded the attention of many passersby’s, curiously observing our slowly wandering group that was shuffling from street pole to pole with the accompanying investor clients busy taking copious notes, and wondering what exactly we were all staring and pointing at up and down 5th Avenue, and asking themselves what could be so interesting about all these poles…? It probably became an even more curious sight as we all huddled around the base of one of these street poles, smartphone cameras at the ready, while we inspected our underground fiber strands connecting the small cells installed on these same poles. If only they realized how much they and thousands more depend on this infrastructure every day.

In short, it was a highly interactive discussion among the dozen of us since there was much to view along our route; ExteNet has a substantial asset footprint across Manhattan, with rights already to over 8K poles in the borough, which is key since local regulation allows only one asset to be deployed per pole so that an acceptable level of aesthetics is maintained. These critical networking infrastructure components are served by ExteNet’s own fiber network which blankets Manhattan, as we continue to work with our carrier partners to strategically rollout and deploy small cells to ultimately better serve their many user communities that are living, working, and constantly moving throughout the city.

In addition, we work with many of these same carriers to extend their latest LTE services indoors across some very well known properties such as the Empire State Building, The Plaza Hotel, Madison Square Garden, and 330 Hudson, which just opened in mid 2016 and is home to Cadillac’s new world HQ; some truly unique spaces. Since we own and operate our own fiber infrastructure, we have broad flexibility in the solution architectures we can offer to serve these environments. With roughly 1600 outdoor nodes and growing across Manhattan, and more in the adjacent boroughs, we remain in a strong position to better serve our many partners in the carrier and indoor domains.

BOMA Southwest Conference and the TOBYs
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

Early April saw the BOMA Southwest Regional Conference and TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards Event at the Dallas City Center Marriott – “Big Things Happen Here” was the theme. BOMA, the Building Owners and Managers Association, founded in 1907, is an international and highly recognized organization for commercial real estate professionals. It was a full week attended by a large industry crowd, offering speakers, educational workshops, social events, and even included tours of select local office properties that are offering state of the art amenities to their tenants and guests. The long and busy week was capped off by the TOBY awards banquet on Saturday night to have some fun and more importantly, recognize leaders and achievements in this space. The TOBY awards are the most prestigious and comprehensive program of their kind in the commercial real estate industry recognizing quality in buildings and rewarding excellence in building management. Buildings are evaluated on everything from community involvement and site management to environmental and green policies. In short, it’s a big deal to win this recognition.

ExteNet was one of three top tier TOBY sponsors for the conference. We were proud to be a part of this event and to experience all the support for the Bank of America Plaza, the tallest in building in Dallas at 72 floors, which won the Building of the Year Dallas and competed for the Southwest Award in the 1M+ square foot category. The BoA Plaza has a state of the art communication ecosystem from ExteNet, which includes an in-building fiber network infrastructure throughout the property. In addition, ExteNet’s own Ron Scott was very pleased to host a tour for ~ 75 BOMA members of the BoA Plaza’s indoor infrastructure, which includes a Neutral Carrier Meet-Me Room, Micro DataCenter (MDC), Broadcast Center/Roof infrastructure, and a dedicated fiber network to tenants throughout the property. This building’s communications infrastructure is a prime example of how commercial real estate owners and managers are differentiating their property in the marketplace. This CommInfra Ecosystem Amenity significantly compresses the install duration of Broadband and Internet services that serve the tenants communications needs. As a result Internet service can be delivered in 24 hours anywhere in the building. Reliable high performance broadband Internet connectivity, whether fixed or wireless, is increasingly referred to as the new 4th Utility – tenants and their guests always expect to be connected.

ExteNet is committed to serving commercial building owners and managers in the Multi Tenant Commercial Office Space and being an active BOMA Sponsor and member in Southwest, Boston, Philadelphia, LA, San Francisco, and Dallas chapters. ExteNet creates a 21st century amenity, delivering a tailored on-premise communication ecosystem dedicated to serving you, your tenants, and all Fiber and Wireless Broadband Carriers with today’s 4th utility.

ExteNet at WIA’s Annual HetNet Expo
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

The week of October 24 saw ExteNet take a prominent role at the HetNet Expo 2016 in Houston. This annual industry event is led by the WIA (Wireless Infrastructure Association) and brings together a large collection of the HetNet Ecosystem: Wireless Carriers, Equipment Vendors, Tower Companies, Integrators, Enterprises, and more to discuss the latest topics and trends from across our industry.

ExteNet’s participation included a pair of panel discussions, the first discussing a topic that has garnered many headlines lately – “Regulatory and Policy Considerations for Small Cell Deployment in America’s Towns and Cities.” which included ExteNet, AT&T, Lightower, and the FCC, who all discussed the experiences and challenges the industry is facing as we look to rollout small cells and densify the network. The panel hosted a packed room and provided some discussion and insight as was captured by several media outlets like RCR Wireless. The second panel, featuring ExteNet, University of Texas, Graybar, and the IoT Center, discussed the natural relationship between healthcare and mobility, again underscoring that wireless is a strong enabler of improving process and enhancing outcomes in a myriad of ways across this vertical.

And for the first time, WIA launched a program to promote supplier diversity in the industry. ExteNet, along with other industry heavyweights, hosted 40+ vendors for a series of coordinated introductory meetings over the two days as a way to identify new partners. Our space remains highly competitive, and one of the ways to remain ahead of the pack is to continue identifying new and innovative partners to help us execute.

Lastly, ExteNet was the sole sponsor of the evening networking reception open to all event attendees, which concluded the first day of the event. The ExteNet presence was prominent throughout, and as a testament to this, we received numerous acknowledgements and thank you’s for our participation and support. It’s our active participation at such industry recognized events that continues to raise awareness and our profile across the industry as a leader. Thanks to all those that attended and helped make this event a big success and looking forward to HetNet Expo 2017.

ExteNet, and Ross, Awarded by Crain’s the Tech 50 Leaders of 2016
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

The ExteTeam achieved another great milestone in 2016 with ExteNet, and Ross, being awarded a Crain’s Tech 50 Award! The awards feature the Chicagoland area’s sweeping technology ecosystem, recognizing those individuals and companies going above and beyond in the tech landscape. This award helps solidify ExteNet not only in the wireless market, but also within the emerging tech market of Chicago. To see the full list, click the link:


Great work all around to the ExteNet Team!

ExteNet Systems at the 10th Annual SEAT Conference
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

ExteNet was back in Las Vegas to participate in the 10th annual SEAT Event – a highly relationship-oriented industry show that focuses on the technology trends and innovations serving sports organizations and their facilities; ultimately to deliver a better fan experience. The well-known event attracts management, technology, and marketing leadership from all major US pro sports leagues (MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL), as well as major universities, technology vendors, service providers, consultants, and more from across the US and abroad. This year also had a guest contingency from Qatar to help understand trends in technology and economics that could be applied to the eight new stadiums being built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Over the event’s 10 years, it has generated a loyal following due to its intimate format that focuses on building lasting relationships, peer collaboration, and numerous social networking activities; as part of ExteNet’s commitment to this vertical, we have participated in over half of the SEAT shows to date.

One of the notable themes this year was security, which was examined over a number of fronts. In addition to connecting with many colleagues across this vertical, ExteNet participated in two lively panel discussions: one reviewing the latest advances in networking technology to serve fans and security and a second panel along-side AT&T, Verizon, and others discussing the opportunity for monetizing a venue’s Wi-Fi networking assets. Due to our proven track record and reach in this vertical, we received a nice shout-out from our esteemed colleagues at Marlins Park and Madison Square Garden regarding the great relationships we have demonstrated as partners. In short, the networking infrastructure is a critical component of the modern sports venue and has become a key enabler for teams to engage their fans before, during, and after the actual event. Today’s sports fan comes in all demographics, but the common denominator is the desire to be connected on-line as a way to enhance and help customize the experience with their favorite teams.

During the Conference, ExteNet invited some VIPs from Madison Square Garden to visit our large network Head End in the Bellagio. The 4,300 square foot Head End hosts multiple wireless carriers and serves as a secure control center for several ExteNet indoor and outdoor networks operating across Las Vegas, including: Bellagio Hotel, MGM Resorts Garden Arena, The Park, Las Vegas Strip Public Wi-Fi, and select outdoor spaces across the city.

ExteNet looks forward to participating in SEAT 2017, hosted in Atlanta, which is the site of Super Bowl LIII in 2019. ExteNet has played a vital role in helping enable properties and the host cities get connected for past Super Bowl events in Dallas, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Phoenix, and San Francisco and we will continue to play this role going forward for the big event.

ExteNet at the 9th Annual DAS & Small Cells Congress
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

The week of May 16, 2016 saw ExteNet take a prominent role at a major industry event: the 9th annual DAS & Small Cells Congress, hosted at the ARIA Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The annual event brings together the eco-system of wireless service providers from the US and abroad, many of the OEM vendors that provide infrastructure to these providers, as well as a host of property owners, enterprises, analysts, and media. Due to the significant presence of ExteNet across Las Vegas serving multiple marquee hotels and casinos as well as the outdoor deployments, the event proved a great opportunity to showcase our capabilities and proven track record in the distributed network space with actual examples and reference points. As a result, ExteNet was a key sponsor of the DAS Congress and hosted a workshop on Monday afternoon, May 16 that included a panel discussion with MGM Resorts International, a facilities tour, and wrap-up reception.

ExteNet Systems has long worked with MGM Resorts to deliver turnkey distributed network deployments across many of their hospitality properties, including the most recent MGM Resorts property to open in Las Vegas – “The Park.” At The Park, the $100M outdoor dining and entertainment complex just opened in April, ExteNet has deployed a multi-carrier DAS-based distributed network to enable the many visitors to have the latest in 4G-LTE wireless connectivity. The Park is adjacent to the NY NY Hotel, and bridges the open space between the Las Vegas Strip and the recently opened 20K seat T-Mobile arena. In addition to hosting numerous dining options, The Park’s “Toshiba Plaza” often hosts outdoor pre and post events around the main attractions hosted in the T-Mobile Arena. Often the open space of Toshiba Plaza can see up to 5K+ or more people gathering before and/or after such main events in the arena.

ExteNet kicked off the Monday afternoon workshop moderating a case study panel discussion with MGM Resort’s management, ExteNet, and our vendor partners on The Park’s outdoor network deployment, and discussed the related drivers and challenges of properly serving such a unique space that can often see large numbers of visitors. ExteNet worked with MGM Resorts and the wireless carriers to design a solution; ExteNet operates and owns the network today in coordination with MGM Resorts and multiple wireless carriers. As offered up in the panel, MGM Resorts long understood that their guests required reliable wireless connectivity and offering such a service helps differentiate their brand and adds to the guest experience.

After the panel discussion, ExteNet then hosted a ~ 90 minute walking tour of some of its key infrastructure sites in Las Vegas, namely the 4K square foot Network “Head-End” in the Bellagio, which serves the following ExteNet enabled venues and deployments: Bellagio, MGM Grand, MGM Garden Arena, The Park, and the outdoor 4 mile public WiFi network along the Las Vegas strip.

From the Bellagio-based Head End, the walking tour continued onto “The Park” where visitors were led across the large open Toshiba Plaza, shown key infrastructure components such as multi-sector antennas deployed across the space, critical to delivering carriers’ LTE services. Many of these components were blended in with their surroundings in order to minimize any visual impacts to existing aesthetics. In fact, some of the antennas are so well blended in, that they would be next to impossible to locate if not pointed out by those who have deployed and manage them.

Days 2 and 3 of the DAS Congress included the opening of the exhibit hall, of which ExteNet experienced a continuous flow of booth traffic, with many of the visitors having spent Monday at our workshop and returning to ask more questions about what they saw and learned. In addition, Tuesday morning saw the opening of a number of compelling sessions that focused on a range of topics facing our space today: evolving business case for delivering indoor connectivity services, 5G, use cases of Small Cells, security, and many others. In summary, a very active and productive event for ExteNet. A big thank you to the many visitors to our workshop and booth over the course of the three days – look forward to seeing you again.

Spectrum: Seemingly, The Wireless World’s Only Physical Barrier
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

Arguably the most important aspect in radio communications, spectrum, which is the ghost-like highway of Radio Frequency (RF) waves, is what allows all of our wireless devices to send and receive signals. As mobile and cellular technologies continue to evolve and advance, so too does the network infrastructure that supports it. However, there is a finite amount of spectrum, so Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) have had to determine how to effectively and efficiently utilize their spectrum through new technology, smarter equipment and intelligent engineering. As the wireless market has evolved, the FCC has realized the need to open up more spectrum for mobile communications, offering auctions to those who want to purchase wireless spectrum, as was the case with the 700 MHz auction in 2011.

In March of this year, the FCC opened its latest spectrum auction to bidders looking to acquire spectrum to broadcast their RF signal. In an innovative new approach, this year’s auction features a “reverse auction” where the Government buys back spectrum from public TV stations, and auctions it back – “Forward auction” - to service providers. This year the FCC will be auctioning off blocks of 600 MHz spectrum, hoping to make as much as 126 MHz available, and raising anywhere from $25-$50 billion from the 104 current applicants. The lower frequency spectrum is much more valuable for wireless service providers, as the signals have more penetrating power, allowing them to pass through walls with minimal attenuation to the signal.

As spectral limits are reached, innovative engineering is what will allow the mobile industry to keep growing. Distributed Networks will play a huge part going forward in efficiently managing spectrum, especially as more Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are deployed in network architecture.

For more information, visit: http://www.extenetsystems.com

ExteNet Systems Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell as Winner of 2015 Chicago Innovation Awards!
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

ExteNet Systems Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell  

On February 22nd, ExteNet Systems joined the Chicago Innovation Awards and the 2015 award winners in New York City to ring the closing bell of the NASDAQ stock market! ExteNet received the 2015 communications segment award for our “Distributed Networks as a Service” (DNaas) offering. The Chicago Innovation Awards are recognized as the Chicago region’s foremost annual celebration of innovation and this award shows ExteNet’s commitment to innovation in the wireless communication’s constantly evolving landscape.

“We are excited to be here today to represent the City of Chicago as one of the fastest-growing technology hubs and stand beside some of the most innovative companies in the region,” said Eric Lekacz, EVP of Business Development and Strategy of ExteNet. “ExteNet has always been at the forefront of innovation in the communications infrastructure industry and the acknowledgement from the Chicago Innovation Awards committee for our contributions is an honor. As demand for pervasive communications networks continues to grow, ExteNet will play a critical role working alongside its wireless carrier and real estate partners to deliver pragmatic innovative distributed networking solutions that enable outdoor and indoor wireless connectivity.”

ExteNet SMALL Cells Connect BIG in San Francisco
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

SF Small Cell nodes

Above is an example of the Small Cell nodes deployed by ExteNet Systems throughout San Francisco for the Super Bowl and beyond.


On February 7, 2016 over 75,000 fans converged into the newly built Levi Stadium, with another 110 million watching from their televisions, to see who would be the Super Bowl 50 world champions – the Broncos or the Panthers – and they all wanted to text, tweet, Snapchat or Instagram their experiences with friends and family. Tens of thousands of people traveled to San Francisco for the Big Game and were part of the weekend festivities. Unaware to most was the quiet work that started 12-18 months beforehand, led by ExteNet on behalf of a leading national wireless carrier.

The network behind the leading national wireless carrier’s network was a mesh of hundreds of Small Cells that enabled coverage and capacity for the fans and visitors over the weekend and will continue to pay rich dividends to the City and County of San Francisco for years to come.

ExteNet worked diligently with the City and County of San Francisco to leverage their existing utility and street light poles to place these aforementioned hundreds of Small Cell nodes discreetly throughout the City. The network, designed to help the City prepare for the Super Bowl, will deliver ongoing connectivity benefits to the entire community.

“The Big Game has presented many opportunities for our City, including investments in critical infrastructure to meet the demands for higher than normal data usage,” said City and County of San Francisco Chief Information Officer, Miguel Gamiño. “ExteNet acted quickly to bolster wireless infrastructure to support the surge of cell phone usage, and the updated infrastructure will provide long-term benefits for future large-scale events and daily use in San Francisco.”

Omar Masry, Wireless Planner for the City of San Francisco stated, “The use of new cellular technologies by ExteNet allows for a smaller and less intrusive Small Cell on utility poles by doing away with a bulky meter box and glass bubble near pedestrian level.”

Read more at: http://www.extenetsystems.com/News/newsreleases_20160210

Heterogeneous networks: A primer
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

Heterogeneous network technologies

Heterogeneous network technologies like small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and Wi-Fi can strengthen mobile connectivity.


Let's take a look at the different solutions that enable Heterogeneous Networks – HetNets – and how they encompass the full Distributed Network System (DNS) architecture.

As mobile data becomes ever more important for our day-to-day lives, it continues to be crucial for wireless carriers to find new ways to provide the best mobile connectivity possible. There are many different ways to strengthen wireless networks and ensure that customers are getting the bandwidth they need - network providers just need to make sure they're staying up-to-date on all things wireless to provide their customers with the best network for the least spend.

Enter heterogeneous networks. HetNets are hybrid wireless networks that help carriers enable that fast, reliable connection that their customers crave. Building and environment layout is sometimes not very conducive to a strong signal - calls can be dropped and mobile data is sometimes nonexistent when networks aren't prepared for the amount of bandwidth necessary. According to a report published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for heterogeneous networks is expected to reach $25.34 billion by 2020 by 2020 at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 15.19 percent from 2015 to 2020. This means that, clearly, carriers and businesses are starting to realize the benefits of implementing HetNet technologies in their mobile networks.

According to Radio-Electronics, HetNets allow for fast, reliable delivery of services while increasing the data capacity of the network. Telecommunications operators need to provide networks that consist of a variety of radio access technologies - and they need to combine these technologies to operate seamlessly. Let's take a look at the different solutions that allow for the augmentation of wireless networks, and how they can be used in the practical world to create HetNets:

Small cell Networks
These wireless network-strengthening nodes can be placed on existing infrastructure to provide densification in buildings, venues and outdoors. Large wireless carriers are starting to realize the benefits of deploying small cells. For instance, RCR Wireless reported at the end of August that Sprint was planning to deploy "tens of thousands" of small cells across the country as part of the process of network upgrades.

Verizon is doing the same in San Francisco with small cells provided by ExteNet Systems in advance of the 2016 Super Bowl. The carrier plans to deploy 50 to 60 utility poles and 400 cell sites in order to accommodate for a general growth in mobile traffic and also the expected increase that the influx of visitors the sporting event will generate.

"We targeted San Francisco because it is ... one of the premiere markets in terms of growth, economic development and the number of millennials living here," Jake Hamilton, engineering director for Verizon's Northern California region, told RCR Wireless. "We've seen traffic doubling year over year so it's something that we've definitely got to stay ahead of, and this will allow us to do so, at least in San Francisco."

Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Networks
This is a network of antenna nodes placed around a city or building that remains connected to a wireless carrier's central base station, according to TechTarget. There are both indoor and outdoor DAS solutions. Densely populated areas and popular spots like shopping malls and sports venues are both good candidates for DAS deployment due to the high volume of mobile traffic.

For instance, when the Kennedy Center wanted to provide better mobile connectivity for its 2 million annual visitors and patrons, ExteNet Systems was able to implement a distributed network of multiple nodes and hundreds of antennas that supported 3G and 4G LTE service. With so many patrons sharing space and mobile data over the 2 million square feet of the facility, providing a reliable mobile signal was a challenge. However, the scalable DAS solution deployed by ExteNet allowed the Kennedy Center to deliver better capacity and connectivity.

The bottom line
These kinds of network-strengthening technologies, like the ones provided by ExteNet, can help both businesses and wireless carriers deliver the wireless capacities to the extent that the public requires. As mobile technologies continue to become a vital part of our productive lives, especially with the advent of 5G and the Internet of Things, it's going to be increasingly more important for carriers to deliver a reliable wireless network that connects people with the things they need the most. HetNets that utilize small cell and DAS technology can provide the solution.


ExteNet Systems Wins 2015 Chicago Innovation Award!
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

Chicago Innovation Award

ExteNet Systems was recently selected as a winner of the 2015 Chicago Innovation Awards! Out of 535 nominees, only 20 companies across 13 industries in Chicago were selected as winners for their innovative products and service offerings. ExteNet was recognized as the only communications infrastructure award winner, selected for our Distributed Network as a Service (DNaaS) offering. ExteNet’s DNaaS offering enables smartphone and tablet users to use their connected devices in the best possible manner, in all settings, both outside and indoors.

As a result of winning a Chicago Innovation Award, ExteNet is invited to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ and will be given the opportunity to meet with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to discuss the benefits of the DNaaS offering.

This award helps foster ExteNet’s core values – to create value through thoughtful innovation – as we seek to be at the forefront of our industry as thought leaders and innovators. The wireless industry evolves at such a rapid pace that companies need to continually evolve with it in order to stay prominent, or risk falling by the wayside. ExteNet currently has over 20 patents issued for the implementation of distributed networks, including a proprietary SDN-based, evolved packet core for use in many types of applications.

This a huge award for ExteNet as it demonstrates the growing need for wireless connectivity and the need to implement these technologies in thoughtful, innovative ways to best utilize the available spectrum and technology.

For more information on the Chicago Innovation Awards, visit: http://www.chicagoinnovationawards.com/

ExteNet Systems at the Small Cells Americas Conference in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, November 2-4
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

The Small Cells Americas Conference took place November 2nd-4th in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole hotel. The Small Cells Americas event is the only one of its kind, bringing together the small cell ecosystem to discuss their trials and tribulations deploying small cells and distributed networks. The event, which is exclusively endorsed by the Small Cell Forum, provided quality networking opportunities with qualified industry stakeholders.

“Wireless broadband connectivity has become a basic requirement in every venue today. Staying ahead of rapidly evolving requirements and providing practical solutions that are often unique requires constant innovation,” said Tormod Larsen, Vice President and CTO, at ExteNet Systems. “The Small Cells Americas event brings together industry leadership and innovators to discuss economic and technical approaches to this highly dynamic landscape. We’re proud to contribute to this forum and share our thought leadership.”

Mr. Larsen participated on the panel “Delivering the connected venue experience with HetNets.” Joined by wireless carriers and venue owners, the panel examined how wireless connectivity is a must-have in delivering the modern fan experience. The panel took place on November 4th at 1:00pm.

In addition, ExteNet’s VP of Global Services, Tim Ayers, participated in the “Wireless in motion – The connected transit experience” panel discussion. This panel took a look at the complex and unique challenges of deploying a modern network infrastructure solution for mass transit, both above ground and below, as Mr. Ayers shared his experiences in deploying a distributed network for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) subway system.

For more information on the Small Cells America Conference, visit: http://www.smallcellsamericas.com/Content/Small-Cells-Americas-Home/1/

Join ExteNet at the 2015 HetNet Expo, October 27-28, at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Sean Page
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

ExteNet Systems is a lead sponsor at the 2015 HetNet Expo, being held October 27th and 28th at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The HetNet Expo offers attendees and exhibitors two days of comprehensive programming on both indoor and outdoor Distributed Networks, including DAS and Small Cell solutions, unique case studies of local network installations, as well as unparalleled networking and valuable insight from the industry’s most innovative minds.

ExteNet will be speaking in two of the schedule panels at the HetNet Expo. The first panel featured will be “New Opportunities in Network Densification: Retail, Industrial and more” where ExteNet’s Director of Product Management, Eric Abbott, will discuss the emerging mid-sized market for Distributed Networks, and how they differ from large-scale buildings like stadiums, arenas and high-rise buildings. This panel will take place Tuesday, October 27th at 12pm in the Biltmore Bowl room.

Wrapping up Wednesday’s panel discussions, Jon Davis, ExteNet’s VP of Indoor Networks and Real Estate, will moderate “The Mobile Health Revolution” panel. Joining Mr. Davis on the panel will be Eric Abbott, as they discuss the complexities facing the healthcare industry as more connected facilities come about, enabling caregivers more responsiveness for better patient outcomes. This panel will take place Tuesday, October 27th at 4pm in the Biltmore Bowl room.

For more information on the HetNet Expo, visit: http://hetnetexpo.com/

2015 HIMSS Event in Chicago
Tony Eigen
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

The recently concluded HIMSS’15 conference and expo in Chicago was a major global event for the Healthcare industry, bringing together close to 40,000 IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors to review perspectives around how technology can advance and benefit the delivery of healthcare.

The event concluded with a keynote session by former president George W. Bush who delivered interesting titbits in an interactive and engaging conversation with HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber. George Bush was a proponent of information technology in the delivery of healthcare and initiated many of the healthcare IT initiatives to mandate electronic patients records during his time in the Oval Office.

There were several key themes at the HIMSS’15 event - a major one being that Mobility continues to be a key part of enabling much of the new technology being discussed and exhibited. The healthcare sector is arguably becoming a major driver for the recent trend towards IoT (Internet of Things). From our view at ExteNet Systems, many of these discussions make the overly simplistic and risky assumption that the underlying networking infrastructure - and available wireless service - are automatically in place and adequate for the facilities’ many, and often diverse, connectivity needs.

Few were actually discussing the many requirements and challenges of defining and delivering a modern network solution itself. Increasingly, more devices, caregivers, patients, visitors and the plethora of hospital staff rely on mobile connectivity. Solutions that do not perform as needed will have dramatic impacts on the delivery of healthcare services, especially as clinical delivery times are critical.

Additionally, a real understanding is necessary around how networks are used throughout the facility to ensure it is designed properly and ultimately delivers on the promise of enabling the multitude of devices and keeping everyone connected.

This is a key initiative at ExteNet, as we engage and educate venues of many types - including those across Healthcare - about how to realistically deliver on the promise and needs of advanced healthcare for one and all.

Read about the Connected Healthcare experience of one of the leading Healthcare Organizations in the United States – Banner Healthcare – as they have deployed an advanced cellular network in many of their facilities around the country.

Introducing ExteViews - the New ExteNet Blog
Manish Matta
From ExteNet’s Marketing Corner

Welcome to ExteViews, ExteNet’s blog, where you can stay up to date on all the news coming from the communications industry, including thought leadership, views and significant trends.

ExteNet has long worked with service providers and businesses all over North America to build robust, future-proof and pragmatic distributed networks to enable advanced mobile connectivity. With more than a decade of experience and expertise in areas such as distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells and Wi-Fi, ExteNet has become a pivotal partner for wireless carriers, venue owners, property managers, towns and cities as they look for innovative solutions to handle the communication and entertainment requirement of today’s users and bolster a productive environment for businesses.

ExteViews will help you stay abreast of news in mobility, broadband and next generation technologies. We will provide you and your organization with the vital information and insights needed to make smart decisions about current and future network projects at such a transformational time in networking.

More specifically, the mobile networking landscape is rapidly evolving, prompting service providers, technology organizations, venues, cities and communities to rethink their advanced connectivity strategies. Always-on, high-speed connections have become the baseline expectation among consumers and businesses, but today's macro networks alone cannot deliver them. ExteNet's distributed networking solutions complement and enhance carrier networking infrastructure to provide the capacity and coverage so vital to seamless experiences with mobile broadband and wireless.

With the Internet of Things on the horizon and the ongoing spread of 4G LTE-enabled devices, both indoor and outdoor networks will need to be reimagined accordingly. ExteNet designs, builds, monitors and maintains distributed architectures for use by wireless carriers, venues, cities and communities. Our solutions support all wireless technologies, including 3G and 4G LTE, and have been successfully deployed to support high-bandwidth mobile data and voice service in sports venues, hospitals, hotels and other locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Stay tuned to ExteNet’s ExteViews where we shall consistently share relevant and important information.