The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, has today (10 June 2014) announced the launch of its Release Four: Urban document to help operators open up opportunities and overcome the barriers associated with urban small cells.
Building on Release Three: Urban Foundations, Release Four completes the content to cover the full range of issues that may concern an operator wishing to deploy urban small cells.
There is a particular focus on learnings from market leading early deployments in North America and Asia across airports, theme parks, sporting venues, subways and at street level. The release also reports progress on cross industry activities to strengthen the ecosystem through multivendor interoperability.
As a whole, Release Four clarifies key drivers to deploy small cells and demonstrates how the business case can be evaluated. It identifies operators’ main barriers to commercial deployment and looks at the work underway across the industry to address them, developing solutions in the different disciplines of network architecture, radio access, backhaul, deployment, regulatory and services and security.
Small Cell Forum and partner ETSI’s ongoing roadmap of Plugfest interoperability events is shown to play a key role in both debugging vendor implementations, as well as driving resolution of standards ambiguities and gaps.
Within the release, current standards for multivendor HetNets are reviewed, demonstrating that whilst basic multivendor HetNets are currently possible, further X2 standardisation effort would enhance their performance. There is also an overview of the security issues for small cells, and the standards in place to address them.
“This Release is the outcome of a very fruitful collaboration between the operator and vendor communities to harness the significant potential of the urban small cell market,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chair of the Small Cell Forum. “The first sight of that potential is reflected in the diversity and success of the early urban deployments captured in some of these documents.”
“Today small cells are an essential part of urban networks and Release Three started to address many of the challenges and perceived barriers to deployment faced by operators and network managers,” said Sue Monahan, CEO at the Small Cell Forum.
“What we’re announcing today is the final piece of the puzzle and shows how small cells are already delivering capacity and coverage for operators and subscribers around the world as part of multi-faceted urban networks.”
Release Four also sees updates to the location services enabled by small cells, allowing venues or businesses to track the flow of people and potentially target messages or offers through data stored on the small cell.
The document covers: market drivers; key challenges; business case; interoperability; radio access; network architecture; backhaul; regulatory; deployment; value-added services; and deployment case studies.
Release Four is available to download from the Small Cell Forum Release site www.scf.io
The Small Cell Forum release roadmap is displayed in the inforgraphic below.