Edge Executive Insight – Thomas Eklund, President, CPO and Co-founder, Frequencz – Edge StartUp of the Year FINALIST
In the lead up to Edge Computing World, we’re taking some time to speak to key Executives from the leading companies. Today we’re talking with Thomas Eklund, President, CPO and Co-founder of Frequencz
Tell us a bit about yourself – what led you to get involved in the edge computing market and Frequencz
Successful track record as an entrepreneur and as an executive, focusing on data driven businesses, spectrum, AI, blockchain and wireless. Extensive experience operating global businesses, leading diverse cross functional teams and recruiting extraordinary talent to build, sell and market unique products.
Experienced leader in AI, automation, wireless, analytics and fully closed loop systems. Founded Frequencz, a revolutionary private wireless company. Previously, founded Xelerated (acquired by Marvell), a pioneer in programmable networking infrastructures. Also held executive roles at Kaloom (cloud edge), Jolata (ai, big data analytics) and Ericsson (radio, SDN, hybrid cloud and data services).
Holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science
I been part of the early wave that created and build the Cloud Edge market at Kaloom. There we created the cloud offering integrated in Openshift with Redhat. This was one of the first containerized edge solutions in the marketplace.
Working with cloud edge applications and radio I saw a huge gap in the industry for a multitenant RAN solution for the Enterprise market. A cloud native shared RAN and CBRS/OnGo solution and that is what we are embarking on at Frequencz.
What is it you & your company are uniquely bringing to the edge market?
I been open up many new markets in my career. I been very good in getting lead customers and ECO system to support the solution. I created many industry first products. I done successful companies that got acquired before.
I also have a unique background need to pull this off, both in deep radio, cloud native architectures, networking, AI, security, privacy and automation.
Frequencz has created a new virtual shared RAN approach which we call Virtual Private RAN (i.e., VPRAN) and it will disrupt the way Enterprises and tower companies build and operate their private mobile networks. Using VPRAN, private network operators will be able to share the RAN infrastructure among several tenants to get better economics and return of investment (ROI). New tenants and services can be provisioned in software by simple point and click by IT expertise and there is no need for hard-to-find radio experts to setup the private networks.
Frequencz has virtualized and sliced the radio and spectrum resources to be able to drive its innovation. All core aspects are patented. VPRAN solution is a spectrally efficient cloud native software for a multitenant radio environment that allow private network operators to be able host both operator tenants and private network tenants fully isolated and secure leveraging the same radio infrastructure.
A shared model has always won in the marketplace and we create a shared model with cloud like consumption with an automated “out of the box” experience which does not exist today but have proven to be very successful in other markets. Shared infrastructure approach improves cost/TCO by 10x Simple Plug and Play consumption for Enterprises and operators
Tell us more about the company, what’s your advantages compared to others on the market, who is involved, and what are your major milestones so far?
Frequencz was founded by experienced entrepreneurs and Radio experts to bring together cloud/AI with radio with a mission to disrupt how Enterprises built, manage and operate their private networks. HQ is in Silicon Valley and R&D in Stockholm. Raised 4.1 MUSD. Strong lead customers and customer pipeline. Key strategic partners in place and core patents filed.
Our advantages are :
- Shared infrastructure approach improves cost/TCO by 10x, gives better ROI for building RAN and lower cost for end customers i.e. the Enterprises
- Simple Plug and Play consumption for Enterprises – automated consumption of RAN
- Disruptive radio technology with clear competitive edge – key deep radio technology advatages that enables this alternative in the marketplace
- Open API to consume data and metadata which cant be done in RAN today
Who is involved
We are working with the Enterprise ECO system where we created a platform that drives an alternative in the marketplace
- Leading semiconductor companies
- Leading enterprise software companies
- Leading cloud Service Providers
- Leading Radio/AP/Antenna HW companies
- Leading Tower companies
- Leading spectrum owners
- Leading global SI
- Alpha release of VPRAN software
- First demos and prototypes
- E2E radio system up and running
- Lead customer LOIs and strong validated customer pipeline
- Key Partnerships in place
- Core patents filed
How do you see the edge market developing over the next few years?
- Edge market will be driven into B2C by Telcos/operators and into B2B for Enterprises by the Tower companies/Cloud Service Providers. The private Edge will be bifrocated into Dedicated Private Networks and Shared Private Networks Deployments
- Edge market will be big. Cloud Service Providers will drive a big portion of it. Telcos will build edge datacenters and try to be relevant. WISP, SI will be build and manage many edge data centers. Tower and property owner that sits on the wireless infrastructure will be more relevant that today and emerge to private network operators. Cloud native design and architecture will be the norm so strong security, privacy and zero trust models will be important.
- We believe that the trend of tower infrastructure will continue to consolidate the radio infrastructure globally. We also believe that the Tower companies will emerge to private networks operators and offer RANaaS, Private Network aaS. And that tower companies and cloud service providers will combine their offerings as it is a very good match.
What are the main trends you see about integrating edge computing into different verticals?
We see a strong need to integrate and simplify the way Enterprise build and operate their private networks. Removing the hard-to-find radio planners/architects so they can rely on their IT team to build the private networks is something we enable. That lowers the bar and will help to increase the deployment across the world. I.e provide a fully automated out of the box solution is key.
Edge computing is being built today by many stakeholders and in particular the cloud service providers are extending their cloud offerings into the edge. With our Multitenant RAN infrastructure hosted by Tower companies, property owners or providers will be a great complement into an end to end solution without being locked in by the Telcos.
There are many verticals that buils and push for CBRS/private network bands and edge solutions as a bundle. A key driver for the edge will be private Enterprise connectivity. Industrial, oil and gas, education, federal, shared office environments are all driving new interesting solutions.