1. Small Cell Forum Blog

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    1. 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
    2. 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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      Mentions: small cells
    3. 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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      Mentions: small cells
    4. 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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    5. 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
    6. 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
    7. Urban small cells – the greatest hits

      It may come as little surprise to hear that the enthusiastic response to Release Four has been accompanied by increased online interest in its predecessor. After all, Release Three and Release Four each cover important facets of the rollout of small cells in the urban environment. Together they cover just about everything an operator or vendor could need to know about urban small cells to date.

      ‘To date’ is the key term here. There is a clear industry thirst to understand the basics of this new market and how it works – or, more accurately, how it is working right now ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    8. Evaluating Technical and Strategic Considerations Driving Voice Services in the LTE era!

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

      With 2014 being the year to see the launch of VoLTE by many carriers, there is still much discussions around the best way to deploy voice services.

      The LTE Voice Summit 2014 will be addressing current challenges, issues and ways to optimize the networks that have come forth from trials and live deployments, seeing case studies from LG Uplus, SK Telecom, NTT Docomo, 3 UK & many more sharing their VoLTE experience.

      Furthermore this year's summit will concentrate on how operators can leverage VoLTE networks to protect ...

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    9. Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA Summit: 27-28 October 2014 DUBAI

      Carole Mayhew of Avren has written a guest blog to share what visitors can expect at the Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA Summit event in Dubai.

      Avren’s Wi-Fi and Small Cells MENA Summit is recognised for bringing together the key stakeholders in the market to discuss the developments in this industry and future plans to build smart cities in the MENA region.

      In exclusive partnership with the Small Cell Forum and supported by the Wi-Fi Alliance, and other partners such as GSMA, Jumeirah Group, Access Partnerships and Zayed University, the event will take place from 27-28 October 2014 in ...

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    10. Multi-vendor SON addressed as part of second Small Cell Forum LTE Plugfest

      Who can resist Paris in July? Certainly not 65 engineers from 27 companies that came together for Plugfest 2014, working towards greater interoperability and economies of scale in order to bring to bring the small cell mass market closer.

      It was our fifth Plugfest in partnership with ETSI and hosted at the Orange Labs in Paris 23 June – 2 July. It was great to see so many new and familiar faces – in fact, our attendance almost doubled from last year.

      It was the second year we had focused exclusively on LTE small cells. Testing concentrated on S1, X2 and management ...

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    11. Virtualization and Release Five – have your say in Milan 16 -18 September

      The Small Cell Forum plenary in Milan is an important event for the Forum and provides us with the opportunity to capitalize on the work we have completed so far and accelerate the progress Release Five: Rural & Remote. With all working groups well attended in Milan, we will be able to complete all the documents necessary to launch it at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March 2015.

      Release Five will take the learning and expertise that has brought small cells to homes, businesses and city centers, and apply it to isolated areas where mobile coverage can be patchy ...

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      Mentions: MWC small cells
    12. Release Five: The challenge and benefits of small cell deployment in Rural & Remote areas

      Small cells are gaining strong traction in areas once considered too challenging to address. As the case studies paper in our Release Four content makes clear, small cells are not just economically and technically feasible in the urban context but a competitive necessity that is already inspiring real world rollouts.

      And now the economic argument is going much further. A mobile operator may have invested in a mobile payment system but it’s only useful if you use it in all locations.

      If maritime, mining, oil and gas, emergency, disaster recovery and private network solutions can all make use of ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    13. London 2014: Small Cell Forum Workshop – share the presentations

      Following a successful Small Cells World Summit, Small Cell Forum hosted an open-workshop on Friday morning on the Release Program and the future path of the forum.

      Attended by key industry analysts alongside forum members and non-members, the workshop looked at the success of the Release Program to date. Julius Robson of CBL and Nick Johnson of ip.access reviewed the reach, impact and implications of Releases Three and Four. In less than a week there were over 2000 downloads of the Release Four documents and we’re grateful to all those who have contributed so far.

      Julius was then ...

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    14. Release Four: Opening up opportunities and overcome barriers associated with urban small cells

      Release Three was, by any standards, a wide-ranging and important document. But we knew even then that there was much more to be said about urban small cell networks.

      Welcome to Release Four.

      This is still a relatively new area for small cell deployment. It’s also a very exciting one, promising much in terms of enhanced services and revenue generation. But it’s also an area that asks a lot of questions of both operators and vendors, many of them highly technical. Hence Release Four, much of which expands and enhances the technical work begun in Release Three on ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    15. 10-13 June 2014 – An eventful week for the Small Cell Forum

      We are taking advantage of many of our members attending the Small Cell World Summit in London 10-12 June to pack in as much activity as we can. Don't forget – SCF Members receive a 20% discount. You can still book your place »

      Here's what you have to look forward to:

      Tuesday 10 June: CEO Sue Monahan opens the Small Cell World Summit with news of Release Four: Urban. You can find out more about the Release here »

      Wednesday 11 June: The Small Cell Industry Awards will be announced as part of the networking dinner at ExCel. Don't ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    16. Release Four: signposts to an exciting future from an innovative present

      It’s something of a cliché to say that something is well worth the wait, but as work on Release Four nears completion we feel that the Forum and its members will soon be presenting a body of work that has thoroughly justified the decision to extend our examination of urban small cells across two releases.

      Release Three: Urban Foundations offers an outline of the business case and market drivers and some of the technical challenges for urban small cells. To this we will soon be adding the valuable insights contained in Release Four: Urban. This release takes on many ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    17. Urban, rural and beyond: the Small Cell Forum Release Program – A free workshop from the Small Cell Forum

      On Friday 13 June, following Small Cells World Summit in London, Small Cell Forum will host a FREE workshop to describe and debate our latest Urban release, explore the scope Release Five and discuss the priorities of the program moving forwards.

      The workshop, held 9:15-12:30, followed by a networking lunch, in EXCEL London, is open to members and non members alike. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss, challenge and contribute to this influential body of work and the chance to shape the future of the industry.

      Pre event registration is essential. Register now >

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      Mentions: small cells
    18. LTE World Summit

      Informa Telecoms & Media have written a guest blog to outline what visitors can expect from the LTE World Summit event in Amsterdam.

      LTE World Summit is now 10 years old, and to celebrate, the world's leading 4G event returns to Amsterdam for our biggest and best show yet!

      The event will bring together 3,500+ attendees, 150+ exhibitors and 300+ speakers this coming June, and as the LTE industry continues to evolve, so does LTE World Summit.  Reflecting the progressions in the industry, the show takes place across 3 days allowing for specific topic focus days and a stronger ...

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      Mentions: Informa 4G
    19. Release Three: the top downloads

      First of all, many thanks to those of you who joined us in Singapore. An impressive turnout was matched by some impressive work as we put the finishing touches to Release Four and continued to spread the news about Release Three.

      Not that we’ve actually needed to remind that many people about this release. Within a very short time the response to Release Three has been extraordinary.

      We’ve even been able to chart the popularity of the Release Three papers among members and site visitors. So here are the top ten most downloaded documents:

      • Release Three overview
      • Market ...
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      Mentions: small cells
    20. Small Cell Forum Members receive discount on Small Cells Asia

      Carole Mayhew of Avren has written a guest blog to share what visitors can expect at the Small Cells Asia event in Singapore next week.

      Avren's Small Cells Asia event co-located with Carrier Wi-Fi Asia takes place next month in Singapore. The event is run in exclusively partnership with the Small Cell Forum and all members can save 20% on standard fees.

      The event boasts senior level speakers from operators including SK Telecom, Singtel, StarHub, M1, Softbank, KDDI, Chunghwa, Maxis Communications, Celcom Axiata Bhd, China Unicom, NTT DoCoMo, Telkom Indonesia, True Corporation and PT Telelomunikasi.

      StarHub are Host Operator ...

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    21. Small Cell Forum at the Competitive Carriers Association Expo

      The Small Cell Forum recently signed an MoU with the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA).  Both organizations recognize the importance of supporting regional carriers in their drive to deliver coverage to remote and rural communities and this is the focus of the collaboration. The first deliverable to come out of the agreement was a roundtable workshop at the CCA's recent Global Expo in San Antonio, Texas.

      Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahan provided Expo delegates an overview of the Forum and our activities, including the Release Program and recent operator inputs. The Chair of SCF’s Rural Special Interest Group ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    22. See you in Singapore...?

      Our Singapore plenary is fast approaching. It promises to be a significant meeting for anyone interested in the opportunities presented by the Asian market, Small Cell Forum Release Four, and the important work that's currently in progress to complete our Urban outputs.

      Many of the world's leading operators in the small cell space are based in the region and many more will be present for the Avren Small Cells conference, presenting an exciting opportunity to engage these players in the priority issues on the forum's agenda.

      APAC is set to lead the way with urban deployments for ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    23. A message from our audience: operators speak out on urban small cell market drivers and barriers

      One of the core features of the market drivers section of Release Three – and something of a departure for the Release Program – is a specially commissioned survey. Essentially, it outlines both the drivers and barriers that operators perceive as relevant to the rollout of urban small cells.

      It’s hardly giving away a secret to let you know that the main driver that operators pinpoint is capacity and the main barrier cited by operators is backhaul. What is very interesting are the other popularly cited drivers – a few of which may not come into play until some time after initial ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    24. Urban small cell market drivers that matter now – and that could matter soon

      So what exactly is driving the move for small cells from the home and business to the street, station and stadium? In a word: you. Mobile phone users are becoming mobile smartphone, tablet and laptop users. They’re working and communicating on the move. They’re making and uploading content as well as downloading it. Admittedly the rollout of LTE and LTE-advanced networks is helping them to pursue that aim but it’s also encouraging it.

      All of which is already making demands on most networks that few could meet for long without a drastic reassessment of network topology. Which ...

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      Mentions: LTE GSM small cells
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