Alef, an edge connectivity platform company, announced it has signed a multi-million dollar deal with LittleBird, a smart technology platform for residential communities. 

LittleBird will use Alef’s LTE/5G core services and APIs to enable a private mobile network, using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum for LittleBird’s smart technologies application of residential properties across the United States. 

The partnership is said to remove the complexity of deploying a private mobile network and allows LittleBird to launch across multiple properties quickly and affordably. 

Phoenix-based LittleBird will be able to control its smart home automation and smart access control devices across the company’s property portfolio while connecting to Alef’s network to increase mobility to otherwise inaccessible locations. 

Utilizing Alef’s APIs to stand up a private mobile network gives LittleBird an alternative to traditional mobile network operators through a cost-effective, low latency network that expands reach across their many U.S. locations. 

“Through this partnership, Alef will provide LittleBird with an alternate path to traditional network providers using CBRS spectrum. This ultimately removes the cost of deploying a full-stack network, and increases efficiency of applications run via our programmable APIs,” said Mike Mulica, CEO at Alef. “Smart home functions and smart services offer value to residents and are in high demand, and we look forward to working alongside LittleBird to provide these capabilities.” 

LittleBird's smart technology platform allows residents to use their smartphones to control smart home automation devices in their residential units, as well as interact with LittleBird's video intercom and smartphone access readers. 

The key to optimizing these services is constant, dedicated data for successful delivery of applications, according to the announcement. However, the connectivity that is required for this new construction, as well as properties built in the 1990s or before, is not always available in these locations. Alef maintains its API approach to using CBRS spectrum is therefore more efficient. 

"We believe it's important to deliver a fully-integrated resident experience that unifies convenient access control, smart home automation, and resident engagement features in a single platform," said Ryan Maguire, general manager, LittleBird. "Our partnership with Alef unlocks the ability to bring this platform to properties that previously might not have been a good fit, increasing our growth potential and ability to serve more residents."