1. Small Cell Forum Blog

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    1. Virtualization: Not if but when

      Mark Grayson on how the Forum is addressing virtualization

      You can watch Mark Grayson’s webinar on Network Function Virtualization here.

      Virtualization – and in particular network functions virtualization (NFV) – is in some ways a relatively new subject: ETSI, for example, only began formal discussions of NFV in late 2012. However, it has been clear from an early stage that virtualization is a transformative technology, changing the way network infrastructure is deployed in numerous contexts.

      That is why, since last year the Forum has been discussing virtualization and how it affects and enhances small cell propositions for, let's be clear ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    2. Small cells make big impact at MWC

      Alan Law, Small Cell Forum

      MWC 2015 saw big strides forward in the successful commercialization of small cells, with technologies that were new in 2014 now moving into the mainstream. As well as our own exciting news on Release Five the range of small cell products and news announced was impressive:

      Alcatel-Lucent launched a new compact metro cell that is currently being trialled with a number of operators. The devices are 50% smaller than existing metro cells which provides more options for the discrete creation of HetNets to improve coverage and capacity, including integrating the device into street furniture.

      The ...

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    3. Small Cell Forum Singapore Plenary to share latest developments in Enterprise and Urban small cells

      Small Cell Forum will meet again for our Asian plenary in Singapore 22-23 April, as usual co-located with Small Cells Asia. We will be discussing critical industry issues including the impact of carrier requirement prioritization, virtualization and evolving our position on LAA. The meeting maintains a strong focus on commercialization through two ‘state of the market’ workshops which aim to share recent developments in Enterprise and Urban small cell deployments.

      We had some great presentations at the Small Cell Forum stand at MWC15 that showed just how fast things are moving in Enterprise and Urban small cell deployments. Our members ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    4. MWC through a brilliant filter

      One of the most amazing things about Instagram, the photo and video sharing social networking site, is the strength of filters you can use to enhance the vibrancy of an everyday image. So situations that are normal instantly appear brighter, bolder and more brilliant. It was like that with the Small Cell Forum stand at Mobile World Congress this year.

      It’s always an extremely busy and exciting event, but everything appeared more so this year. Our two storey stand – which allowed supporting members to host meetings – quite literally raised our normal position in Hall 7. Our speaker program was ...

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    5. Release Five and the quickening pace of technological change

      From the home, the enterprise, the street and the cafe to the remote village in the developing world and the offshore oil rig in the wildest seas: communications in any and every environment can use and be enhanced by small cells.

      That’s not an unfounded assertion. It’s backed up by a vast amount of work that Small Cell Forum’s members have done and are still doing to build and enhance our contributions to small cell technology, standards development and deployments.

      In recent years that work has been highlighted by our Release Program, a series of downloadable resources ...

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      Mentions: 3GPP MWC small cells
    6. Overcoming Small Cells Security and Deployment Challenges

      As part of our series of blogs with Small Cell Forum Members who are supporting the Small Cell Zone and Mobile World Congress 2015, Dilip Pillaipakam of Mavenir has written this blog.

      By Dilip Pillaipakam, VP Product Marketing, Mavenir

      Improvement in-building coverage, plugging coverage gaps in rural or remote areas and augmenting macro capacity – these are compelling operator needs that will propel LTE small cells from infancy to massive deployment over the next few years. Deepening threats to subscriber communications and network infrastructure will also require operators to maintain even higher security and protection levels, as they deploy small cells ...

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      Mentions: Mavenir MWC 4G
    7. Cloud-RAN: Helping Operators Address the Exploding Mobile Connectivity Needs in Urban Areas While Increasing Network Efficiency

      As part of our series of blogs with Small Cell Forum Members who are supporting the Small Cell Zone and Mobile World Congress 2015, Renuka Bhalerao of Radisys has written this blog.

      By Renuka Bhalerao, Radisys

      With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets and the shift toward on-the-go connectivity, mobile operators face unprecedented pressure to increase capacity and coverage. This is particularly true in urban areas, which produce highly-concentrated network demand. In large cities and event arenas – which can mimic the population densities of cities – millions of people within close proximity utilize the same connectivity resources. They might use network ...

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    8. Verizon allocates $500M to small cells to bolster network capacity

      Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

      Great news in the media this week with Verizon announcing that it is setting aside $500 million for small cells as part of a strategy to bolster network capacity amid growing interest from towns and cities. Executive Vice President of Networks at Verizon, Tony Melone confirmed, “small cell deployments will be an increasingly cost effective way to add capacity, while at the same time improving cell edge performance and thus further increasing the value of the spectrum we currently hold.”

      The news reported by media outlets such as LightReading came as Verizon was outlining ...

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    9. What are we looking forward to this year at MWC?

      Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

      MWC 2015 is rapidly approaching. This year’s event is set to be the biggest in the shows 28-year history with over 86,000 people expected to attend.

      We can’t wait to get to Barcelona to hear the news from the big players and see all the latest products. 

      At MWC we will be launching some exciting news ourselves – Release Five, the fifth part of the Release Program which now provides a full and clear technical and business case for small cells everywhere – but here is what else we can’t wait to ...

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      Mentions: Nokia MWC small cells
    10. Small Cells Americas Summit, 1-3 December 2014

      Carole Mayhew of Avren has written a guest blog about next month’s Avren’s Small Cells Americas Summit, from 1-3 December 2014, at the Fairmont Hotel, Dallas.

      Small Cells America

      Avren's Small Cells Americas Summit takes place next month at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. There are 4 pre event workshops in the afternoon of Day 1 (1st December) followed by 2 full days of conference sessions (2nd & 3rd December). The Small Cell Forum are Exclusive Partners. Chairman, Dr Alan Law will open the conference and CEO, Sue Monahan, will be chairing and participating on a panel on the 2nd December ...

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    11. Small Cells MENA 2014: key observations and takeaways

      Sue Monahan, CEO, Small Cell Forum

      At the end of October our Chair Alan Law, our COO Richard Kennedy and myself attended the Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA event held in Dubai. The conference brought together the key players in the small cell market to discuss developments and future plans in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.

      Small cells are a really hot topic in the MENA region, and the show saw compelling presentations from a good mix of industry players. Forum members Huawei and SpiderCloud also held workshops during the event, which both proved very popular.

      We ...

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    12. Small Cells in the HetNet puzzle

      Last week a CW (Cambridge Wireless) Small Cell Sig event posed the question; “Interoperability of Small Cells and the Existing Cellular Networks – What’s the Hold-up?”

      With presentations from Forum members Alcatel Lucent, ip.access, JDSU and NEC, along with other interested parties, the presentations took a look at rollouts to date and the history of small cell and macro network interoperability to see if we’re really facing a problem and what progress has been made so far.

      What was clear from all of the presenters is that interoperability means different things to different people. For some it’s ...

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    13. Small Cells MENA Summit, 27-28 October 2014

      Carole Mayhew of Avren has written a further guest blog about this month’s Avren’s Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA Summit, from 27-28 October 2014, at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai.

      The Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA Summit is nearly upon us, this summit will bring together over 250 experts from the region to discuss the industry developments and future plans to build smart cities in the region. It will be the place to meet regional operators who are looking to leverage existing Wi-Fi networks and take steps towards deploying small cells.

      As a reminder, SCF members receive a 20 ...

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    14. Trend-setting in Milan and Dallas

      In our latest blog, Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahon shares her thoughts on the recent three day plenary in Milan.

      It’s not often the worlds of technology and fashion collide but that’s what happened last week in Milan. Yes, the 2014 Small Cell Forum European Plenary took place at the same time, in the same city as the 2014 Milan Fashion Week. I’m certain the suits were sharp in both locations, but I suspect the Small Cell Forum’s deliberations will have a more relevant and lasting impact.

      Over 80 delegates joined us from 44 companies ...

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    15. Rural coverage doesn’t have to mean imposing towers

      Rural coverage is big news in the UK at the moment with the Government keen to encourage operators to invest in reaching those in rural and remote areas. 

      One of the proposals reported in The Times this week was for permission to build taller masts to extend the range of existing and new macro sites. While the proposals only talk of masts up to 25m tall, the suggestion has not gone down well with countryside campaigners. 

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      Mentions: 3G 4G small cells
    16. Remote small cell rollout gets ever closer

      Our last blog focused on one of two major Milan themes: virtualisation. But an equally demanding — and exciting — theme will be high on the agenda at that event: rural and remote small cell rollout. But Release Five will go a lot further than just tackling deployment in villages and other isolated population centres. Remote industry — mining, logging or oil and gas exploration and production — will be covered. So too will maritime, aviation and rail transport. Disaster recovery where temporary small cell-based solutions may be needed is also relevant to this Release.

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    17. Virtualization: a real need

      The Milan plenary is only weeks away. We’ve been saying this a lot in recent years, but this is certainly going to be one of the most significant Small Cell Forum meetings to date. Coming off the back of a titanic — and successful — effort to cover every facet of urban small cell rollout in Releases Three and Four, the election of Alan Law as our new chair and the arrival of a new executive board, it begins a potentially even busier period during which two topics in particular will occupy our discussions: Release Five and virtualization.

      Virtualization in particular ...

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    18. Timely reminder of the huge opportunity for rural small cells

      Research published by UK regulator Ofcom last week has unquestionably caught the media's attention and seen a flurry of reports focussing on a particular statistic that whilst overall levels of consumer satisfaction with mobile networks are high – only two thirds of those living in rural areas say they enjoy a good mobile service.

      Ofcom used independent firm RootMetrics to analyse call data, and found that typically only around of 85% of calls made in rural areas pass off without a problem.

      The media attention on mobile services in rural areas acts as a timely reminder of the work the ...

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    19. The LTE ecosystem gathers for LTE Africa 11-13 November 2014 Cape Town

      Small Cell Forum members receive a 10% discount on the LTE Africa.

      LTE Africa 2014

      Due to the unprecedented success of the launch LTE Africa 2013 event and substantial growth in LTE deployment in Africa, the 2014 event will be co-located with Africa Com, the leading Telecom expo in Africa, taking place in November in Cape Town.

      LTE Africa will benefit from the expected 8,000+ attendees attending the Africa Com expo, & will attract 500+ attendees to the co-located LTE Africa Conference.

      With over 54% of attendees representing the operator community last year, our 2nd Annual event is guarantee to bring together the ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    20. Small Cells and security – tackling operator concerns and protecting subscribers

      For anyone in the mobile industry, security will always be a concern and it is something that the small cell community has been taking seriously ever since the first femtocells made it out of the labs. The Small Cell Forum has tackled security as part of its release programme and keeps up to date on the latest applications and any risks that could arise.

      While many measures are specified by 3GPP standards on Small Cell Security (TS 33.320 & TR 33.820) and understood by the industry at large as good industry practices, here are some of the main areas ...

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      Mentions: 3GPP small cells
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