Small Cell Forum and ETSI complete first remote LTE Plugfest

Interoperability solutions tested for a range of network elements including HeNBs, eNodeBs, HeNB-GWs, CBC, Core and IMS networks

Small Cell Forum and ETSI complete first remote LTE Plugfest

The Small Cell Forum and ETSI have completed the first remote LTE Plugfest, which saw 12 different member companies and ETSI work together to address key issues with LTE small cells.

This was the first Plugfest to take place remotely, where participants ran test sessions from their own offices by connecting to a VPN based remote test infrastructure. On top of the VPN, ETSI’s flexible interconnection network allowed participants to evaluate the interoperability of solutions with any possible testing partner.

Participating companies included Acceleran, Aricent, Athonet, Casa Systems, Cisco, Fujitsu, Ip.access, JDSU, Node-H, one2many, Parallel Wireless, Qucell and Sistelbanda.

The 70 test sessions took place over a two week period and involved participants from Europe, Asia and North America. Testing involved the full range of network elements – HeNBs, eNodeBs, HeNB-GWs, CBC, Core and IMS networks - combined with advanced test monitoring support. The event was also supported by the European Commission.

The key areas addressed included Closed Subscriber Group (CSG), which can reduce the signalling load on access networks, Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Emergency Alerts (CMAS) and mobility.

“This fully remote approach was a real challenge and this is something we aim to apply beyond Small Cell events,” said Anthony Wiles, Director of ETSI’s Centre for Testing and Interoperability. “We have taken this approach before with our electronic signature Plugtests, but Small Cell was the first proving ground for doing remote testing with a heavily hardware-dependent technology.”

“Conducting the event remotely made it a more convenient and effective exercise for all involved. It allowed us to fully focus on the work with impressive advances under way around UE support for CSG, LIPA/SIPTO and Carrier Aggregation,” said Kreso Bilan, Interoperability Group Chair of Small Cell Forum. “This is the sixth Plugfest that the Forum has carried out and once again we’ve made significant progress.”

Small Cell Forum Plugfests play a key role in cultivating an effective ecosystem of interoperable small cells, helping to debug vendor implementations and drive the resolution of standards’ ambiguities and gaps. This all helps provide operators and consumers with a wider choice of small cell products while also facilitating economies of scale to bring the small cell mass market closer.

The Forum has now conducted six Plugfests on topics including device interoperability, management and 3GPP standards. Background on Small Cell Forum Plugfests is available at



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