What we were up to in Barcelona
Mobile World Congress brings together the international mobile community. Like many of you who attended last week, I had a packed agenda and covered many miles at the Fira. I met with dozens of industry analysts and journalists and talked to many new and prospective members about what we do and why they should join us. It’s clear to me that SCF has a vital role to play as the industry moves towards 5G.
This was my first trip to MWC as your Chair, and I want to share some of the many conversations I had at the event which place SCF at the heart of developments on the path to 5G.
NGMN: We met with NGMN and agreed that SCF representatives would attend NGMN meetings to gather requirements and share information, especially around the operational aspects of densification, with particular focus on SON and orchestration.
5G Americas: At MWC, we launched Small cell siting challenges in association with 5G Americas, a technical paper to support the earlier Small Cell Siting: Regulatory and Deployment Considerations. At the show, we agreed to work with 5G Americas to have these outputs translated and distributed in Latin American markets. We also agreed to explore future collaborations aimed at making it easier for carriers to densify their networks.
ETSI: We continue our close work with the team at ETSI, who will be present at our Cannes plenary to explore future collaboration around MEC. They will also work on a MEC dimension to our private ePC Plugfest at the ITRI labs in Taiwan 12 – 21 June 2017. SCF representatives will also attend all ETSI PCG meetings going forward.
TIA: We met with the folks from TIA who look after standards for towers and in-building wiring. They are keen to collaborate on densification processes for the outdoor and enterprise environment. They’re also keen to participate in the Enterprise Advisory Council. This is potentially an extremely valuable association, especially in the context of ensuring commercial new build delivers the appropriate connectivity infrastructure for enterprise.
GSMA: We met with our contacts at GSMA to discuss collaborating on work to manage capex around densification. One of the outcomes of this will be a focus on network investment roadmaps. GSMA will also be represented at our Cannes plenary to discuss requirements for rural connectivity, multi-op and regulatory alignment.
Priority work items
Investment roadmap: All the leading carriers we met with in Barcelona emphasised the need to manage capex and look into ways of monetizing densification.There was general recognition that SCF has an important role to play in helping to map the logical sequence of technical and commercial upgrades that are needed to make 5G happen.
Speeding and reducing the cost of small cell deployments: A strong message from both carriers and vendors was that densification will only move at pace if deployment is more cost effective and faster. There are simply too many touch points between the decision to densify and getting the small cells up and running. SCF has an important role to play in helping all stakeholders to simplify processes – including reducing the time spent on site surveys. This, like the investment piece, is a crucial piece of the road-to-5G puzzle and our aim should be to launch initial work at SCWS Asia in September 2017.
Enterprise Advisory Council: There was a great deal of interest in our Enterprise Advisory Council at MWC. I have several contacts to follow up with – including a couple of major players in the healthcare space – and we’re working out the next steps to capitalize on this engaged group, including a short survey and analyst presentation. If there is any one else you want to nominate please do get in touch.