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Small Cell Forum talks spectrum, enterprise, 5G, more

Group established six small cell task-specific working groups at meeting in Rome

Meeting in Rome, Italy, this week, members of the Small Cell Forum established six specific development programs aimed at making deployment of small cells easier for service providers.

Major emphasis during the meeting was placed on integrating small cells into so-called heterogeneous networks, or hetnets, as well as requirements for small cells deployed as part of as-yet unstandardized next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Small Cell Forum Chairman Alan Law said the six work programs will help shape the future of small cells.

“This initiative represents the next stage in the maturity of our industry. It comes at a time when small cells are about to move to a new level of influence as demand ramps up for increasingly dense networks, a challenge to which the industry must rise. Our Champions program, the leadership of our operators, and the close involvement of our vendors, all demonstrate that we are ready.”

The Champions program referenced essentially assigns the lead company reps associated with each of the six work areas.

Law, in collaboration with Qualcomm Senior Marketing Manager Caleb Banke, will focus on license-exempt spectrum, specifically “the implications, opportunities and requirements in the small cell market from the broad use of license-free spectrum to significantly increase coverage and capacity to boost mobile user experience while making optimum use of available spectrum.”

Shi Xiaohui of China Mobile Communications Corporation, Mark Grayson, distinguished consulting engineer at Cisco and Neil Piercy, head of research at ip.access, will take on virtualization, with the work group designed to “address the growing move within mobile networks toward virtualization (NFV/SDN) to put network resources in the cloud, closest to where they’re most needed, for optimization and scale.”

Reps from Truphone and ip.access are taking on the multi-operator work team focused on “mak[ing] small cells the preferred solution for delivering multi-operator (neutral host) applications across vertical markets.”

A team comprising members from Orange, SpiderCloud and Huawei will look “at the rapidly growing enterprise small cell market opportunity, including the potential for a cost-effective self-service model designed for ease of enterprise IT deployment.”

HetNet and SON (self-optimizing networks) will fall to members from AT&T, Ericsson and AirHop Communications; they’ll look at “the ability to easily serve the exponential growth in mobile traffic while delivering a seamless customer experience across all elements of the wireless network…”

The final work group will focus on 5G, M2M and the Internet of Things; members are Tareq Amin, SVP of Wireless Network for Jio, and Ray Williamson, director of product management at Huawei.


Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Editor-in-Chief Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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