Go to any café and open up your laptop to connect to Wi-Fi, and you’ll find yourself scrolling down a sea of options before you find the right network. Similarly, in enterprises and venues around the world, growth in wireless and mobile data usage is outpacing existing infrastructure’s capacity and coverage. And with the advent of IoT devices flooding the market, we are seeing pent up demand for wireless connectivity.

With the arrival of 5G, the demand for private cellular wireless network is exploding across enterprise verticals, public venues, and industrial organizations as more and more mission-critical applications rely on robust connectivity. However, cellular wireless is dependent on telco operators and is mainly available to consumers only through mobile devices. Today’s total cost of ownership for enterprise cellular networks is very expensive, preventing enterprises from setting up a private network, mainly due to lack of public spectrum.

CBRS and Enterprise 5G

All of this is about to change as we welcome a whole new way for enterprises to access LTE and 5G. The FCC is releasing the CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) band, which enables enterprises to use cellular wireless. CBRS opens up to 150 MHz of shared spectrum for commercial users while protecting incumbent users in the band, but also guarantees 80 MHz for commercial usage on top of allowing general authorized access users to share more of the spectrum when there is availability. This will enable enterprises to use the spectrum to set up their own private 5G networks that will work indoors and outdoors.

CBRS is the biggest thing to happen to enterprise wireless since the invention of the cell phone and Wi-Fi! The momentum is kicking off, and we’re celebrating today’s announcement of its initial commercial deployment. The CBRS community is growing every day, with Samsung, Google, and most recently Apple joining the party.

Celona and the Next Generation of Enterprise Wireless 

Today, we’re excited to announce our investment in Celona. In the past, Norwest has made very early and revolutionary investments in Mist and Airespace around the opportunity of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth evolving from a consumer to enterprise technology. And now with Celona, we are excited to be a part of the early story in connecting enterprise infrastructures to cellular as private cellular networks become a reality with CBRS. In this new world, CBRS enabled cellular and Wi-Fi can co-exist to better serve a wider set of enterprise use cases and purposes.

Celona is the first end-to-end programmable networking platform addressing enterprises’ need for 5G and LTE by simplifying and automating the deployment of cellular wireless technology by enterprise IT and OT teams. 

By building a modern tech stack on top of the CBRS innovation, Celona is bringing AI-powered cloud to cellular LTE and 5G wireless in the enterprise. As network and application teams begin to converge, the ecosystem of application development for a cloud-native edge will grow, and Celona will be there to offer a converged network and edge compute platform delivering reliable wireless communications.

We couldn’t have met a better group of people to lead the momentum in enterprise 5G  than Celona’s team. Rajeev Shah, Celona’s CEO, has extensive experience in enterprise wireless across product management and software engineering roles. Most recently, Rajeev helped pioneer shared spectrum for LTE/5G at Federated Wireless. Prior to that, he was Director of Product Management at Aruba, where he was an early employee and launched cloud-based networking solutions. Mehmet Yavuz, CTO, was most recently CTO at Ruckus, a leading enterprise networking company. Prior to Ruckus, Mehmet served as VP Engineering at Qualcomm for 14+ years, where he has led LTE small cells group and 1000x initiative in Qualcomm Research including areas such as Self Organizing Networks, Neutral Host services, LTE in Unlicensed or Shared Bands and also led the work on 5G IoT networks for industrial applications.

We’re proud to back the Celona team, who bring exceptional experience with the right skills to lead the enterprise 5G networking space at such a pivotal time as we celebrate the arrival of CBRS. 

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