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VMblog Expert Interview: Celona Talks 5G Network Slicing for Private Mobile Networks


Is your company contemplating building its own mobile network?  Perhaps it should.  Just like Wi-Fi triggered the entire mobility revolution in the enterprise space, Celona says private 5G will transform every business in the coming years - enabling Industry 4.0 and the automated enterprise.

To learn more about this fantastic topic, VMblog reached out to Ozer Dondurmacioglu, Global Vice President of Marketing at Celona.

VMblog:  Can you give us a little background on Celona?

Ozer Dondurmacioglu:  Sure. Celona was founded in 2019 by some engineers with backgrounds in the enterprise wireless LAN and telecom market.  The guys quickly realized that the broader mobility market was looking for an IT-friendly cellular solution that could be easily consumed and integrated into existing enterprise networks. And there was just nothing like this on the market. At the same time, CBRS technology and the opening up of new unlicensed spectrum was imminent.  It would be the first time since the introduction of Wi-Fi that new unlicensed spectrum would become available.  So Celona was born in Silicon Valley. It was clearly calculated but fortuitous to say the least.

VMblog:  How do enterprises view emerging private 4G/5G technology?

Dondurmacioglu:  Enterprises see private 5G as a better way to deliver more deterministic wireless performance to vital business applications that can't tolerate unreliable connectivity issues. While Wi-Fi will continue to be prevalent within the enterprise as a best-effort technology, it's simply not enough to take businesses where they need to go. The only other alternative is for companies to contract with large carriers to get 5G. Neither option is particularly attractive. Organizations are interested in owning and operating their own private mobile network where they have control. But it has to be as easy to deploy and as affordable as Wi-Fi. Up to now, the products, technology, and spectrum haven't been available.  But we've changed all that. Longer-term, enterprises see 5G technology as a way to revolutionize their network infrastructure by migrating to a more cloud-native model that provides unprecedented scalability and agility.  Because 5G was built on cloud-based principles with the full-stack operating in a cloud-native fashion, 5G is ideal for building a truly software-defined network infrastructure that can be more easily automated.

VMblog:  Where do you see the strongest demand for private cellular networks and services?

Dondurmacioglu:  We see private mobile networks first being deployed in what we call the "non-carpeted" enterprise first. Outdoor campuses, warehouses, shipyards, ports, parking lots, factories, municipalities ... anywhere that you need reliable connectivity for a mission-critical application. That said, I've been very surprised by the sheer diversity of applications. Beyond Internet access, we've seen organizations connecting everything from parking meters to computer vision applications to AGVs. It's been surprising how much interest we see for such a young market.

But bottom line, wherever organizations need to highlight reliable, deterministic performance for a specific application, that's when private mobile networks really shine. Manufacturing, critical communications, smart cities, the Industrial IoT, healthcare, utilities, transportation and logistics, ports, and other outdoor venues ... all of these scenarios require wireless connectivity that can be counted on 24/7. From a cost and performance perspective, private cellular is the only realistic solution.

VMblog:  How is Celona differentiating itself in this market?

Dondurmacioglu:  By being the only 5G infrastructure supplier with a purpose-built solution for the enterprise, and one that is as IT-friendly and affordable as WiFi. Today, enterprises are forced to cobble together a private cellular network with products from large-scale equipment companies who supply products to big carriers for macro public networks. This is so costly and complex that it becomes a non-starter for most enterprises.

We designed our solution to be as easy to deploy and manage as any other solution IT purchases. IT wants to consume technology via the same channels they always have. We make that possible. Just about every other solution was designed with a large global operator in mind, which is a massive disconnect for most enterprises. Another critical point of differentiation is that Celona offers one of the only 5G platforms that delivers everything needed to deploy a private mobile network, from a core network to the RAN to the SIM cards themselves.

Finally, Celona has developed some incredibly innovative technologies, like our Microslicing technology, that allow for the seamless integration and mapping of QoS policy on a per-application basis from the RAN across the existing enterprise campus L2/L3 network. IT simply determines the latency, jitter, throughput, and packet loss thresholds, and the system automatically maps those thresholds to the existing enterprise VLAN or policy framework already in place.

VMblog:  How do you compare and contrast private enterprise mobile networks relative to public carrier 5G services and maturing Wi-Fi technology?

Dondurmacioglu:  We see them all as complementary. Wi-Fi clearly serves a different purpose for enterprises, as does a public carrier 5G service.  Customers have choices, and these choices aren't mutually exclusive.  That's just another way of saying the enterprises will use Wi-Fi in situations and use cases where it makes sense and will leverage 5G carrier services where those make sense.  Private 5G LAN or mobile networks will completely complement both options while giving enterprises complete control of the network and the data running over it.

VMblog:  What role do you see 5G playing within the enterprise to revolutionize campus network architecture?

Dondurmacioglu:  Beyond simply providing faster and more reliable wireless access to devices, 5G is strategically important to the evolution of the enterprise IT infrastructure. This is because 5G was conceived within a cloud-native context. This means that the 5G core, and even the RAN, with the new O-RAN efforts, can be deployed virtually anywhere on common compute hardware or within any cloud compute environment such as AWS or Azure.

This is what our edgeless enterprise architecture is all about. It's an approach that recognizes the blurred lines between telecom, cloud, and IT - and capitalizes on it by making the network and the services offered over it software-centric, more scalable, and easier to automate. 

With Celona's Edgeless Enterprise architecture, network services are effectively deployed as microservices next to business applications running on the same platform for greater levels of operational efficiency and the ability to simultaneously automate the allocation of essential application and network resources as demands change.

Our team is hard at work aiming to make the instantiation of private mobile networks as easy as deploying cloud applications is today. Combined with ubiquitous spectrum to support 5G networks, that effectively means the ability to extend your business to virtually anywhere on demand. At that point, the only remaining obstacle is your own creativity.


Ozer Dondurmacioglu, Global Vice President of Marketing

Ozer is responsible for setting up the go-to-market efforts at Celona including business development and channel programs, marketing operations, technical and product marketing teams among other responsibilities in creating a community of advocates and discovering the best channels of distribution. Before Celona, during his 14+ year tenure at HPE Aruba, he has held leadership positions for community management, product and solutions marketing, sales enablement, and general management. He is an electrical engineer by education, with degrees from Boston University in the US and Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Prior to Aruba, he also held engineering roles at Atoga Systems and Lucent / Avaya.

Published Monday, July 12, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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