The Small Cell Forum has set out its future plans at its latest Plenary meeting, which recently took place in Singapore. All of the Forum’s working groups are now focussed on the role of Small Cell Forum in driving HetNet deployments and building on the existing body of work in this space. The groups also decided on the future direction of the Forum, with more details to be announced at Small Cells World in London (9-11 June).
“It’s clear that networks are changing and small cells are an essential part of this - but not in isolation,” said Alan Law, Chair of Small Cell Forum. “The feedback from our operator groups across the world has been that our work so far on small cell integration and interoperability has been invaluable but there’s plenty more to do.
“Whether it’s looking at virtualisation, LAA, M2M or even 5G, what became clear at our Singapore meeting was that these are all areas where small cells have a massive role to play, but as part of multi-faceted networks.”
The Forum will be announcing a new roadmap at Small Cells World in June that covers the next steps for the Release Programme alongside clearly defined paths to 5G, LAA and addressing the internet of things.
The first ever State of the Market workshop also took place in Singapore, which saw ten ‘TED’ style presentations covering recent breakthroughs in small cell technologies, deployment approaches and business models from technology providers.
Operators also shared examples of how they are using small cells to enhance performance, attract and retain customers. The workshop featured presentations from Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, iBwave, Softbank, SpiderCloud and Sprint alongside Julius Robson from Small Cell Forum’s Release Steering Group.
“Deployment examples and case studies have always been an integral part of our Release work, but the State of the Market workshop really brought to life just how many different ways small cells are being used today,” said Sue Monahan, CEO of Small Cell Forum.
“Whether that’s in landlords understanding the challenges with metalized windows and installing in-building systems to compensate, enterprises realising the commercial benefits of improved coverage or live, commercial HetNets in urban environments, the session covered a really wide range of deployment examples and business models. These were made possible thanks to the hard work of our members and an overview of the session is available here.”
At Small Cells World the Small Cell Forum will announce the first part of its work on virtualization along with updates to case studies and roadmaps. The June event will also see further state of the market presentations, a workshop on license exempt spectrum for operators, covering LAA, Wi-Fi calling and carrier Wi-Fi, plus announcements on the future work of the forum.