Real-world deployments, applications and advanced planning and analytics took centre stage at the Small Cell Forum Awards 2014 in London last night (11 June 2014). The Small Cell Forum awards, which take place annually as part of the Small Cell World Summit, recognize outstanding achievement within, and contributions to, the small cell industry.
The awards were open to the whole industry and judged independently of the Small Cell Forum by a panel of distinguished analysts, journalists and industry experts, chaired by Caroline Gabriel, Research Director, Maravedis Rethink.
“This year saw a record number of entries, outstanding not just in range but also in quality,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chair of the Small Cell Forum. “As small cells become more widely adopted, as an industry we have become more creative, more disciplined and more focused.
“The awards categories for 2014 were updated to reflect these changes and we were not disappointed by the industry’s response. As a result, it was incredibly tough to pick the winners this year and my congratulations go not just to the winners, but to all of the shortlisted companies.”
The 2014 winners are:
Innovation in commercial deployment – SK Telecom
"We were looking for entries that displayed innovation in the commercial deployment of small cells, and moved beyond technical or theoretical concepts to on-the-ground implementation.
“SK Telecom's market-proven, high-volume deployments of 3G and LTE small cells to meet a variety of use cases - indoor, urban and rural outdoor - continued to demonstrate clear leadership in this area,” said Keith Dyer, the lead judge for the category and founder of The Mobile Network.
“SK Telecom's ability to marry technical innovation with commercial imperatives - for example, support for highly demanding quality of service parameters for VoLTE - also impressed."
Small Cell Innovation Leadership – Alcatel-Lucent
"Selecting from a number of strong entries in this category of Small Cell innovation leadership, the Judges felt that this entry dealt with a significant and specific issue that would otherwise hold back rapid take-up.
“Although not a product specific issue, the processes used today to identify, survey and approve potential small cell sites can be time consuming and could significantly slow the pace of rollout.
“Alcatel-Lucent’s novel approach directly addresses the issue and we expect has defined a business model that will be adopted elsewhere," said David Chambers, lead judge for the category and Think Small Cells.
Small Cell Network Access Point Design and Technology Innovation - Cisco
“The number of entries for the Small Cell Access Point Design and Technology innovation awards illustrates the amount of work that vendors have invested in for small cells in the past year alone.
“Cisco’s entry stood out for solving several challenges associated with enterprise deployments and also integration with Wi-Fi. Cisco’s experience in the enterprise space and its existing activities around the globe was another deciding factor for winning this award,” said Peter Jarich, the lead judge for the category and Vice President, Consumer and Infrastructure at Current Analysis.
Small cell network element design and technology innovation – won by Vodafone, HP & Spidercloud
“Location Awareness within mobile networks provides the potential to add ‘context’ within applications. This may be particularly useful in the case of in-building and campus applications and may dramatically reduce the running costs of such environments.
“However, developing a context-aware platform requires co-operation between several actors - particularly radio access network providers, backbone providers and service node providers. The winning entrant has demonstrated that, by such co-operation, it has been possible to produce a compelling solution which will enrich the in-building customer experience,” said Adrian Scrase, the lead judge for the category and head of the Mobile Competence Centre (MCC).
Small cell backhaul design and technology innovation – Cambridge Communication Systems
“Cambridge Communication Systems has taken an innovative architectural approach to the significant challenges of backhaul dense small cell networks, and has taken part in real world trials with very positive results,” said Gabriel Brown, the lead judge for the category and Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading.
Small cell tool design and technology innovation (management, SON, planning) – Vodafone & iBwave
“Recognizing that small cell networks require their own planning and design tools, the market has moved to supply these tools. iBwave’s contribution with Vodafone stood out for its focus on 3D visualization along with the real world proof points Vodafone provides,” said Peter Jarich, the lead judge for the category and Vice President, Consumer and Infrastructure at Current Analysis.
Small cell technology and deployment enablers (components, subsystems, software, system integration) - JDSU
"Operators face daunting challenges deploying small cell technology at scale. Technology and deployment enablers help operators surmount these hurdles to bring the advantages of small cell technology to end-users. JDSU's small cell assurance solution stood out for the degree of visibility it gives operators into backhaul performance.
“This translates into reduced outage times and greater service quality consistency as small cells become widely deployed," said Ken Rehbhen, the lead judge for the category and a principle analyst at Yankee Group.
Individual contribution to Small Cell Forum activities – Eric Colard, Microsemi and Peter Musgrove, AT&T
“Eric is the individual who first introduced the idea of a Release Program as a mechanism to organise and broadcast our work. It has become a hugely important vehicle for us to share the work of the forum and drive industry developments.
“Eric is an active contributor to many aspects of Small Cell Forum - he is a valued member of the marketing working group and played an essential role driving the synchronization of LTE small cells workstream," said Sue Monahan, CEO of the Small Cell Forum.
“Peter is a long standing and invaluable contributor to Small Cell Forum work streams – generous, collaborative and technically accomplished. This award recognises his input into the Regulatory and Network groups and his ongoing and outstanding contribution to SCF work over the years,” said Monahan.
Social impact – promoting small cells for social/economic/environmental development – ip.access, Private Mobile Networks and TLC
“It is important that small cells are assessed beyond their purely commercial or technical merits and in the broader context of how they may help change society – either by bringing benefits directly to certain communities or situations, or by giving individuals new choices and behaviours. The entry from ip.access, Private Mobile Networks and TLC demonstrated that small cells can rapidly deliver vital improvements in access, health and disaster relief.”
Judges choice award - won by Free Mobile
“Free Mobile has shown clearly how small cells can be used to extremely disruptive effect, to enable new business models in the mobile and converged markets, and to support new consumer pricing and applications,” said Caroline Gabriel, lead judge and Research Director at Maravedis Rethink.
Innovation Leadership Award - Prabhakar Chitrapu, AT&T
"This award was given in recognition of Prabhakar’s leadership of the Small Cell Networking Architecture effort and championing the co-operation with the Wireless Broadband Alliance to deliver an agreed, cross industry definition for Integrated Small Cell Wi-Fi networks," said Mark Grayson, lead judge for the category and Consulting Engineer at Cisco.
Chairman's award – Mark Grayson, Cisco
“Mark has made a huge contribution to both the Small Cell Forum and the wider industry. As a key member of the Release Steering group, he has played a significant role ensuring the quality and consistency of both the enterprise and urban releases; reviewing and contributing to papers across a wide range of technical disciplines.
“Furthermore, Mark has demonstrated active and inspirational leadership as Vice Chair of the Small Cell Forum NET working group and has contributed significantly to enhanced architectural options for urban small cell deployments. Finally, Mark has been instrumental in driving a new direction for SCF in considering the opportunities associated with the virtualisation of the small cell RAN.”