2016 sure was a whirlwind year, to say the least! The Olympics came to Rio, the UK left the EU, and the US elected a new president. With such major headlines as these, it can be easy to forget about everything else that took place. Luckily, we’re here to fill you in on the truly monumental year we had at Parallel Wireless.

This past year took no time whatsoever to kick things off as January 2016 started out with yet another award nomination for Parallel Wireless (our 14th at the time!) as our smart and flexible MEC solution developed with Saguna Networks was shortlisted by GSMA for the category of “Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough” at the 2016 Global Mobile Awards. Little did we know, this was just the tip of the iceberg…

January continued to roll along with more exciting news as we eagerly announced our reimagined enterprise solution developed with Intel and Radisys. This solution allows landlords or operators to deploy “white box” femtos for their indoor network solutions, thanks to Parallel Wireless enterprise reference designs. By enabling the use of low cost, white box Cellular Access Points (CAPs), this solution significantly reduces network costs while giving operators/landlord additional flexibility. This solution was also shortlisted for the LTE & 5G Awards category for “Best Solution in Heterogeneous Network Deployment”.

Fresh off a new partnership announcement, we continued to build on this momentum with arguably our most visible deployment yet: providing band 14 LTE for public safety at Super Bowl 50. Though some of us may have been disappointed that our New England Patriots were not playing this year, all PW team members were thrilled to see our solution in action at such a major event. With only 21 days to prepare, we were approached by the FBI to see if we could provide band 14 LTE coverage at the Super Bowl City venue surrounding the stadium. Of course we said yes! This network was a huge success and went on to bring us a couple of additional awards:

The Super Bowl wasn’t the only major competition in February however. To take a well-deserved break from Reimagining the RAN, our team in Pune, India hosted a spirited table tennis tournament! As it turns out, we have some talented ping pong players at Parallel Wireless as this tournament was full of excellent matches and fun for all!

After the trophies were handed out, it was back to our mission to make cellular as easy and cost-effective as Wi-Fi as Mobile World Congress was just around the corner. Having now established ourselves as innovators and making a name for our young company, this was our busiest event to date as team members present met with over 70 potential customers and partners. As a result, Parallel Wireless has many more exciting announcements to come – so stay tuned!

While at MWC 2015, our team was delighted to receive the IOPN Award for “Best Innovation Combining Intelligence with Open Networking from Network Intelligence Alliance! This award was given for our HetNet Gateway network orchestrator that combines the benefits of gateway VNFs with real-time SON to reduce complexity and costs for deploying complex HetNets.

Having just won our 15th award, our team was all pumped up and ready to go for our next event: IWCE in Las Vegas. This was another exciting event for us as it accompanied yet another announcement with our Band-14-In-A-Box contest. By bringing together some of the most innovative ecosystem partners including Sonim Technologies, Mutualink, and Cisco, this kit gives public safety agencies everything they need to experience the benefits of band 14 LTE. In order to demonstrate these capabilities and our easy to deploy capabilities, we decided to give US public safety agencies the chance to trial this kit on their own in their home states by allowing them to enter a contest where they could take the kit home for a week. This contest had entries from all over the country and ultimately was deployed at Lollapalooza, the Grand Canyon, and the Republican National Convention! This solution was also nominated for the 2016 eTech Award for “Everything Intelligent – In-Building Wireless (Small Cell Wi-Fi, and LAN)”.

We kicked off April 2016 with a trip to Singapore to announce our second major customer signing with M1. As the Singapore government makes a push to become the world’s first Smart Nation, M1 selected Parallel Wireless to help meet this initiative by helping them to enable connectivity onboard a moving bus.

By enabling smart transportation, users on these buses experience seamless mobility as they travel along their route. As a result, these riders experience no dropped calls or loss of call quality when they switch between the on-bus network and the macro network when they arrive at their destination. This is a crucial first step towards enabling the smart nation vision. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones to think so as this deployment went on to achieve several award nominations:

2016 was a busy year for events as May included two additional events for us to attend. The first of these events had our team flying across the pond for the Small Cells World Summit in London. We had a great event in the UK where we caught up with many customers, partners, and analysts. As part of the SCWS event, our team had the honor of attending the Small Cell Forum Awards dinner as our company was nominated for FOUR awards this year.

Our bags were slightly heavier on the return flight as we took home the aforementioned awards for our Super Bowl and M1 deployments. In addition to these two, we were also nominated for “Small cell network element design technology” for our 3G/4G multimode reference designs developed with Radisys as well as for the “Small cell access point and design technology” category for our in-vehicle CWS small cell.

After SCWS, it was off to Austin, TX for the Big Communications Event hosted by Light Reading. This event presented another opportunity to increase our visibility as our Co-Founder and VP of Development, Kaitki Agarwal, had the privilege of joining the Women in Comms panel where she discussed how to empower and encourage women in the communications industry. Kaitki was also featured in a video from Light Reading where she discussed the future of HetNet virtualization, as well as in a spotlight interview from WiC.

Since 2016 had us off to the races, it was only fitting for us to have a deployment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Vintage Racing Invitational. As vintage racecars whizzed past, Parallel Wireless was there to provide band 14 LTE coverage for public safety users monitoring the event. This was another deployment that was generated from our Band-14-In-a-Box contest. This was a really cool event to be a part of as it brought together vehicles from the past with the communications technology of the future.

There was no signs of slowing down for our hard-working team as we moved past the first half of 2016. July presented more exciting opportunities for us as our US public safety team moved on to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. To be a part of so many high-profile public safety demos has been very exciting and we were truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in yet another with the RNC. But July had more in store for us as we announced another major customer signing with Telefonica. Selected by their innovation team, Telefonica chose Parallel Wireless to help provide coverage to rural and urban areas in LatAm and European markets. With this announcement, our solutions were now deployed or trialed on five continents!

As our Band-14-In-A-Box kit rolled along across the US, our public safety LTE solution continues to gain visibility with public safety agencies all over the country. From the Indy Motor Speedway, this kit was then on to Chicago, IL for the Lollapalooza music festival. Lollapalooza is a four day music festival that hosts 400,000 visitors, so providing reliable coverage for public safety personnel is crucial. Parallel Wireless arrived on-scene and provided this much needed coverage. We also enabled video surveillance using Sonim handsets and Mutualink’s interoperable gateway so public safety users could check in on their smartphones to see LIVE what was happening at the concert!

While some team members began preparing for our next stop on the B14 kit tour, others were en route to Las Vegas for the CTIA tradeshow. CTIA presented a great opportunity for us to explore what’s going on in the industry and educate others about what we’ve been up to (which as you can tell, was quite a lot!); it was also where we accepted the previously mentioned 3rd place award for the eTech award for “Everything Industrial & Enterprise – Mobility Management Solutions”. As our events team packed up our latest award, our US public safety team was unpacking our equipment for the next deployment in Arizona. This deployment was at the Grand Canyon, where there may not be many residents, but there are a lot of visitors to protect. Due to the rural nature of this area, providing this coverage has traditionally been a challenge.

Thanks to Parallel Wireless, agencies serving in this region were able to receive reliable LTE coverage in areas where there was previously none, such as in the Grand Canyon itself!

2016 closed out with a BANG as we had several more activities (both work and play) left to go. November started off with our events team flying out to Dallas, TX for the Small Cells World Summit Americas event where we again had the chance to educate our audience on everything-Parallel. This event also gave us the chance to develop additional visibility as we met with RCR Wireless to discuss our hardware innovation and work in the rural space. You can check out the video from RCR Wireless here. While SCWS Americas was taking place in Dallas, our offices in India were celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights!

This wasn’t the only celebrating that took place, as our Nashua office enjoyed a bowling party to celebrate our hard work throughout the year.

Though these celebrations were great fun, there was still work to be done as Parallel Wireless was off to New York City for the final stop in the Band-14-In-A-Box tour: the NYC Marathon. This was a monumental deployment for FirstNet in the US since it was in NYC 15 years ago that the idea for FirstNet was born. This was also a unique deployment as it was the first time public safety officials were able to monitor video surveillance LIVE remotely from their smartphones.

So many activities, so many announcements, and so many deployments, 2016 surely has been good to Parallel Wireless! We are truly grateful to have such hard-working team members whose dedication to Reimagine the RAN allows us to be so active and effective. We are also grateful for our customers and partners who’ve believed in us and helped us get to where we are today. As we fondly look back on 2016, we also keep an eager eye to 2017 as there are certainly more great things to come!

From all of us at Parallel Wireless, thank you for coming along for the ride and we wish all a happy and successful 2017!