InfiniG launches CBRS neutral host service with AT&T, T-Mobile

InfiniG is ready to tell the world about its Neutral Host as a Service (NHaaS), providing indoor coverage with Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum and state-of-the-art cloud technology.

But they’re not calling it private networking. InfiniG founder and CEO Joel Lindholm said private networks will evolve – much of the industry is aware that the private networking space is slower to take off than once hoped. 

Broadly speaking, each customer is going to want their own version of a private network. Hotels, hospitals, offices and such will want coverage but the private network for the hospital’s devices will look different than the network for the hotel’s devices. “Each one of those will be different and they will want to make their own choices,” he said.

“We’re saying: We’re going to come in. We’ll solve your broad problem first, simply, easily … and then we’ll let you add a private network on top of ours. We enable them to do whatever they want to do in the future,” he said. “They add their private network to our neutral host network.”

InfiniG is using radios from Airspan Networks and the General Authorized Access (GAA) unlicensed portion of CBRS spectrum. The company figures its potential spans more than 40 billion square feet of previously unserved commercial space in the U.S.

Experience at Meta

Lindholm said a lot of the learnings behind InfiniG came from Meta, where he was involved in the use of CBRS to provide coverage inside Meta’s own buildings, including the Menlo Park, California, campus. Prior to Meta, he worked at Ruckus Networks, which was a founding member of the CBRS Alliance.

Currently, InfiniG has AT&T and T-Mobile on board to support the neutral host set-up, and they’re optimistic that Verizon will join the party. The system was built to meet all the requirements of the carriers. In a press release, InfiniG pointed out that NHaaS connects buildings to mobile operator networks with “zero manual intervention.”

Lindholm told Fierce that the interesting piece about this neutral host space is it’s actually a public-facing network. Carriers build macro networks for their public subscribers. In the private network world, the enterprise puts its own cameras, IoT, push-to-talk and other devices onto the system.

“What we’re doing is putting in a CBRS network, but it’s serving public devices,” he said.  

As for the name of the Silicon Valley-based company, it took some time, but they eventually hit upon InfiniG, which combines “infinite” with the 3G/4G/5G naming system adopted by the industry. It’s all cloud-based, so it can scale.

For multiple reasons, their solution is 4G LTE as opposed to 5G. Lindholm ticked off a bunch of motives for that decision: LTE performance is more than adequate, it’s a hardened technology, it’s pervasive in devices and it’s lower cost than 5G.

Earlier this week, Celona announced its 4G-based neutral host system with support for T-Mobile. That service allows an enterprise to broadcast cellular service over their own private wireless network.

InfiniG is setting up meetings at next week’s MWC Las Vegas, where there’s sure to be a lot more buzz about neutral hosts and private networks.