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Beware of the Neul Cloud!

May 26, 2014

Apparently Neul is the Welsh word for cloud. Neul is currently a cloud full of rain with its customers being caught in a negative downpour.

We are one such customer who bought some of the early Neul basestations. They were part of Neul’s TVWS broadband offering. Neul set out originally to focus on M2M, then stepped into the broadband space, before returning completely to M2M only. As customer and purchaser of the BB equipment we were alerted to this change of direction but did not expect to find that our purchases would no longer work past the end of next month. In other words we own scrap metal.

The Neul BB basestation is essentially controlled via the cloud. It cannot function without contacting a service that controls operations. And that service is simply being switched off. Gone. Dead.

The ease of accessing spectrum via unlicensed TV bands has been undermined by the central control exerted over the devices. If ever there was an example to show the regulator that it is easy to ‘centrally switch off devices’, then this actually is it. If ever there is a warning that we need to be vigilant about ‘ease of management’ offerings, then this is it.

Neul was at the forefront of the drive to use TVWS.  It was a front runner in pushing the idea that it is possible to offer services on shared spectrum and to do so in an effective manner. There has been an enormous amount of good will towards Neul in the spectrum sharing community.  We have worked with some great people there. And while I very much hope the M2M products succeed, I feel that goodwill is being squandered.


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