Celona unveils CBRS indoor neutral host service

Celona has officially completed the certification of its 4G-based neutral host system within T-Mobile’s “Bring Your Own Coverage 2.0” program after a large-scale trial with an unidentified national retailer.

With T-Mobile’s certification under its belt, Celona is ready to offer its Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) neutral host service, allowing an enterprise to broadcast cellular service over their own private wireless network.

According to Mehmet Yavuz, co-founder and CTO at Celona, Celona’s system can be deployed in a fraction of the time and at nearly half the cost of a traditional distributed antenna system (DAS).

It leverages existing backhaul at the enterprise, making it faster and more cost effective, he said, and it’s all managed in the cloud.

“We feel our solution is quite unique,” he told Fierce. “Our goal is in four to six weeks to bring up a network with neutral host service. Compare that to one to two years for DAS. We believe that will be a compelling proposition.”

Yavuz and his team have been working on the solution for about two years. According to Celona, at the heart of the solution is Celona’s Multi-Operator Exchange Network (MOXN) technology, a cloud-hosted, multi-site, multi-tenant software exchange. With MOXN, mobile subscriber traffic is aggregated and securely funneled to the mobile network operator's core network, making the experience seamless to users while guaranteeing service level agreements and other key performance indicators.

Celona is targeting healthcare environments, large retailers, offices, hotels, manufacturing operations and universities. These types of organizations can provide indoor public cellular connectivity to T-Mobile subscribers and use the same private wireless infrastructure to support business-critical applications that require deterministic wireless connectivity and performance.

In the trial with the national retailer, the system enabled T-Mobile customers coming into the store to use the indoor CBRS network, along with store employees.

Right now, many retail stores, office spaces and other venues are suffering with poor indoor cellular coverage, and with this solution, “we think we will bring a game changer,” Yavuz said.

Celona is selling the solution direct to enterprises, and it works with channel partners. “We work with our go-to channel partners” and the end customers, depending on what they prefer, he said.

Celona is responsible for ensuring the services operate properly, including E-911 services. In other words, the customer calls Celona if they need something fixed.

Celona’s solution is available immediately for U.S.-based customers. The three-year subscription list pricing per indoor access point starts at $5,000. The three-year list pricing subscription per indoor access point for neutral host with a single operator plus private wireless service starts at $11,000.

The solution is 4G and includes both General Authorized Access (GAA) and Priority Access Licenses (PALs) CBRS. Celona also is working on getting the other major U.S. operators on board.