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Tag Archives: Tormod Larsen

Rich Coyle to Replace Jim Hyde at ExteNet Systems Helm

By Don Bishop

Rich Coyle (left), appointed as president and interim CEO of ExteNet Systems effective on July 30, and outgoing president and CEO Jim Hyde.

ExteNet Systems, a privately held provider of converged communications infrastructure and services for outdoor and in-building wireless, optical fiber and other connectivity, will be led by a new president and interim CEO beginning July 30. Rich Coyle, the company’s chief operating officer, moves up to the post as Jim Hyde, who has served as president and CEO three years, exits the company. Hyde said he would be focusing on family and other personal interests while working alongside ExteNet Systems part-owners DigitalBridge and Stonepeak on investment opportunities. Another ExteNet Systems executive, Chief Technology Officer Tormod Larsen, left the company on May 14 after 16 years.

“Since joining ExteNet as chief operating officer (COO) in September 2018, Coyle has transformed the operations team at ExteNet while achieving two sequential years of record node activations in 2019 and 2020, the latter during the ongoing pandemic,” a statement from the company reads.

Coyle said that with 5G wireless communications in the early stages of a multiyear investment cycle, network densification and advanced connectivity would remain the primary focus for carriers, real estate owners and enterprises in the coming years.

“We pride ourselves in our ability to deliver next-generation, future-proof public and private networks in a rapid and cost-effective manner,” Coyle said. “I am honored to take on this new role and want to assure our customers that we remain laser-focused on innovation, best-in-class network delivery and superior service.”

ExteNet System’s executive chairman, Marc Ganzi, said that he has admired Coyle for his leadership as ExteNet built operational capabilities while delivering on 4G and 5G node activation commitments for mobile network operator customers during the past three years. Ganzi, who also heads DigitalBridge, said that he thanked Hyde for contributions in growing ExteNet’s revenue and asset portfolio, implementing new platforms and processes, upgrading human capital and bringing in new equity partners.

“The future is bright for ExteNet,” Ganzi said.

Background information provided by ExteNet Systems describes its customers as mobile network operators, real estate owners, property managers, wholesale carriers, enterprises, municipalities and rural carriers.

“Our outdoor small cell and DAS networks are deployed in a variety of urban, suburban and rural environments while indoor networks are deployed in iconic sports and entertainment venues, convention centers, commercial office buildings, college campuses, healthcare facilities, hotels and resorts, and transit systems nationwide,” a company statement reads.

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Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.

Virtual EPC Takes Root in Rocky Mountain WISP Network

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor

Software-based distributed evolved packet cores and innovative infrastructure-as-a-service business models my facilitate the deployment of everything from LTE fixed wireless and mobile networks in rural areas to in-building wireless in mid-sized enterprises.


Last week ExteNet Systems announced that it has deployed a Part 96-ready fixed wireless LTE-based network for Peak Internet, which provides broadband internet services to residential, small business, enterprise and government customers in Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak.

ExteNet deployed a software-based distributed evolved packet core (EPC) with Nokia’s Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)-ready LTE radios on the premises of Peak Internet to enable the service over the licensed 3.65 GHz band with a future, software-only upgrade path to the 3.5 GHz CBRS band. The deployment includes a will support future mobile roaming services for Tier 1 providers.

It is not ExteNet’s first foray into fixed wireless. Last September, it announced a similar deployment with a Cal.net, which provides broadband Internet services to rural communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills ranging from the northeast to the southeast of Sacramento.

In the past WISPs had to depend on WiMAX, Wi-Fi and some other proprietary wireless technologies, operating in the Part 90 spectrum. But things are changing for these mostly small, rural operators as LTE becomes more pervasive and affordable.

Five or six years ago, ExteNet, which is known for distributed antenna systems and distributed network systems, began mapping out what would be the next area of growth beyond the booms in wireless coverage and capacity. The next phase would be functionality, they decided.

“We needed typical core functionality to be distributed closer to the edge of the network,” said Tormod Larsen, ExteNet chief technology officer. “It couldn’t be based on expensive proprietary hardware, so we found a partner to develop a flexible software-based solution that resides on standard hardware platforms. We went to the rural markets with this scalable, software-driven effective packet core to enable WISPs and other operators to develop their LTE networks.” Additionally, a radio access network (RAN) vendor neutral approach was chosen, allowing the customer to choose its preferred RAN vendor.

ExteNet is making LTE more affordable by offering it on an infrastructure-as-a-service basis, distributing intelligence and control to the internet at the edge of the network and not in a carrier’s centralized core. ExteNet typically partners with the operator and offers them an economical avenue to purchase the EPC and the RAN equipment as an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution.

“The management platforms for Ericsson and Nokia can be expensive,” Larsen said. “ExteNet invests in the technology and requires long-term agreements from its customers. We spread the cost over multiple customers.”

ExteNet Systems Partners with Illinois Valley Cellular to Enable 4G LTE Connectivity

ExteNet’s game plan goes well beyond wireless internet service providers to bring enhanced broadband wireless connectivity to rural cellular carriers and building owners. Last October, the ExteNet announced a partnership with Illinois Valley Cellular (IVC) to enable 4G LTE broadband connectivity for north central Illinois.

ExteNet’s localized packet core served as a replacement to IVC’s hosted core approach, which greatly reduced backhaul costs and reduced latency by up to 75 percent. Additionally, it will eventually support mobile roaming services for Tier 1 providers while being 5G ready.

“Our combined EPC with our small cell and distributed network technology will help rural carriers compete with the tier-one carriers from a cost perspective,” Larsen said.

In the future, Larsen thinks the IaaS business model the virtual EPC will allow ExteNet to market CBRS private LTE systems to building owners in-building wireless systems or municipalities for IoT applications.


J. Sharpe Smith
Senior Editor/eDigest
J. Sharpe Smith joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 27 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with  Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence.