1. Small Cell Forum Blog

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    1. SCF Webinar: Towards 5G - A HetNet and SON roadmap

      Join Alan Law of Vodafone and David Orloff of AT&T on Tuesday 12 July at 3pm BST as they discuss the transition path to 5G and the comprehensive HetNet framework outlined in Release 7. The webinar promises practical guidance and a route to the future, free of hype or 5G buzzwords. It will also be a chance to understand the Forum’s critical work in defining operator-driven technologies in key areas where carriers must make significant decisions now – virtualization, SON, densification and others. 

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    2. Forecasters confirm small cells will drive MNO spending this year

      Operators which were in the forefront of LTE roll-out have largely completed their wide area macrocell deployments and are switching their attention – and their dollars – to increasing capacity to support rising usage and new services. But throwing additional capacity at the macro layer is cost-prohibitive. Instead, mobile operators like Verizon and China Mobile are turning to small cells to densify their networks just where capacity is needed, controlling costs and boosting quality of experience.

      Small Cell Forum members are increasingly discussing such plans, and their experiences are borne out by the latest batch of market forecasts for wireless infrastructure spending ...

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    3. Backhaul challenges are being addressed just in time for large-scale HetNets

      From 2016, there will be a sharp uptick in deployments of small cells in enterprise and urban environments, as operators see their LTE macro networks coming under pressure from data traffic that never stops multiplying. In any project to densify networks in areas of high outdoor usage, the issue of backhaul will be central to success.

      Clearly, densification opens up new opportunities for backhaul providers. According to a recent forecast from IHS Technology, the shift from macro layer to small cell deployment by mobile operators will drive total spending of $6.4bn, between 2016 and 2020, on outdoor small cell ...

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    4. Public safety and ‘extreme users’ are pushing small cells to new limits

      In the mobile world, discussion tends to focus on MNOs’ mainstream deployments geared to consumer data and voice. Yet many of the most interesting innovations in the RAN originate from highly specialized use cases in areas like public safety or industrial communications. These demanding applications can stretch a technology to its limits, and those advances can then be fed back into the mainstream to improve performance for everyone.

      This pattern is clearly seen in small cells, which by their nature can be deployed in local clusters which are optimized for a particular application or user base. The Small Cell Forum ...

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      Mentions: Nokia LTE Ericsson
    5. US operators show it is now critical to address small cell siting issues

      It so often happens in the mobile world. The operators of Japan and South Korea pioneer a new network platform, and make it look easy. Then others follow, and discover the real complexities. It happened in urban small cells – a few carriers, blessed with plentiful fiber and strong regulator support, set an example which is virtually impossible to follow elsewhere.

      For the mere mortals of the western markets, new approaches to siting and deployment are needed urgently, as they find that red tape and infrastructure issues are delaying their densification projects, just as these are becoming critical to the business ...

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    6. SCWS World 2016: Multi-x roadmap, rising deployments and glittering awards

      SCWS World in London, celebrating its tenth anniversary, is a highlight of the sector’s calendar, and this year, there was a particular mood of optimism and excitement. Many operators from round the world took the stage to discuss their plans for densification and in-building networks, highlighting the fact that small cells are achieving significant scale as they become a default element of many carriers’ 4G plans.

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      Mentions: 4G small cells
    7. From HetNet to glittering awards: SCWS showcases small cells’ rapid progress

      SCF Chair Alan Law reports back from a successful week in London at Small Cells World Summit.

      Once again, the small cell industry has convened in London at the annual Small Cells World Summit, always a highlight of the calendar. This year, the event was a particularly important one, with a new Release and a glittering ceremony to present this year’s Small Cell Forum awards.

      The SCWS, celebrating its tenth anniversary, is a key opportunity for the industry to showcase its latest achievements and discuss the next steps. My keynote address, and many of the presentations which followed, reflected ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    8. Independents to the fore in small cell awards

      Commercial benefits also shine as market matures

      London, May 12, 2016: Independent companies took centre stage in London last night at the Small Cell Forum’s annual awards ceremony. Just three years after its launch, US company Parallel Wireless scooped two awards both for excellence in small cell deployment; while long-standing UK independent company ip.access picked up one company and two individual awards.

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    9. Small Cell Forum lays foundations of the 5G HetNet future

      Publishes blueprint of architectural framework for fully integrated multi-vendor, multi-technology HetNets Defines characteristics, components, and technology requirements
      Releases first comprehensive operator market driver research and analysis

      London, May 10, 2016: Small Cell Forum has today published the first tranche of documents which will make up Release 7, a comprehensive deployment blueprint for the HetNet.

      With small cells at the heart of operators’ move towards multi-technology, multi-domain, multivendor networks, the Forum is ideally placed to provide a blueprint for deployment now, and a roadmap to the 5G future.

      The documents published today form the foundations of a full market-defining Release, which ...

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    10. Strongest ever awards shortlist reflects pace of innovation in small cells

       So the shortlists for the Small Cell Forum’s eighth annual awards have been announced and the clock is ticking for the winners to be revealed on May 11 in London.

      The judges’ task was tougher than ever this year, with a large number of entries covering every aspect of the small cell ecosystem. The standard of all the submissions was very high, so the shortlists for the 10 categories really do represent the cream of the industry in terms of innovation, commercial success and deployment excellence.

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    11. Small cells at Big Comms!

      Light Reading’s Big Communications Event in Austin in May is the latest in series of events that look to get to grips with the changes affecting the mobile and telecommunications industry landscape.

      Topics such as virtualization, IoT, 5G and telco cloud as usual feature high on the agenda, but it is perhaps indicative of the changing climate for the small cell industry that, for the first time in a number of years, nearly one hour of precious conference time will be given over to small cells.

      Small Cell Forum CEO, Sue Monahan will join a panel on the first ...

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    12. SCWS Singapore: Asia sets the pace in smart cities and dense HetNets

      The latest stop on the Small Cell Forum’s recent world tour was in Singapore, for the Small Cell World Summit Asia event. As expected in such a hotbed of advanced mobile deployment, the show was buzzing, with operators from all over the region sharing their experiences and challenges. CEO Sue Monahan opened the conference, sharing this presentation with updates on the state of the market.

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    13. Small Cells Deployment stories in Singapore

      At Small Cells Asia, SCF held another in our series of successful workshops to showcase best practice deployment stories, and to set out the roadmap for this year. This was very well attended, with participants gaining the latest insights into the Forum’s ambitious program of work and the vital role of small cells in carriers’ plans to roll out HetNets and plan for virtualization and 5G.

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    14. Regional projects and HetNet Release – in focus at Forum’s first Virtual Plenary

      The Small Cell Forum has held its first ‘virtual plenary’, providing members with an online update on the first quarter of an extremely busy year of activities. It highlighted some of the big themes for 2016, including a deeper regional focus, with a series of high profile engagements in various key markets; and the build-up to the next major Release, which focuses on HetNet and SON.

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    15. Share your success with SCF Awards 2016

      It’s only two months until the Small Cell Forum announces the winners of its eighth annual awards, but there’s still some time to make sure your organization is in the race. The deadline for the awards entry is 31 March and you can enter here »

      The competition gets more intense each year, reflecting the expansion of small cells into so many areas of the mobile world, and the profile and prestige that comes from being shortlisted grow likewise. The number of awards has grown over the years, so there is sure to be a category to fit your ...

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    16. Small cells burst out of the home, ready for the wider world

      Mobile World Congress is always awash with the latest market forecasts and statistics, and while some of these owe more to hope than experience, others are updated year-by-year and provide a very credible picture of how a particular technology is developing. Market Experts’ regular figures for the Small Cell Forum are an example, probing deep into the sector’s supply chain to understand the patterns shaping the market.

      The latest results show significant progress, especially driven by growth in the enterprise segment. According to the Forum’s figures, several important landmarks were crossed in 2015. The sector topped $1 billion ...

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      Mentions: MWC small cells
    17. Two new studies point to high enterprise appetite for small cells

      As mobile links become the primary connections for many businesses, small cells are moving to the heart of the enterprise action, since in many environments, they are the only way to achieve foolproof voice and data coverage. That trend will drive small cells rapidly across the chasm to large-scale deployment in 2016, as two major research studies indicate.

      These studies, commissioned by Small Cell Forum, surveyed two sides of market – the enterprises themselves, and the ecosystem which will deliver the solutions they need. Enterprise technology research specialists Nemertes talked to over 500 organizations round the world – of varying sizes and ...

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      Mentions: small cells
    18. Small Cell Forum work resonates at MWC 2016

      In our latest blog, SCF Chair Alan Law reflects on the highlight of MWC 2016 for all those involved with Small Cells.

      Another Mobile World Congress is over, and it was a memorable one for Small Cell Forum. Not only did we unveil Release 6 Smart Enterprise and extremely positive new research figures, but our HetNet roadmaps tapped into many of the broader themes of the conference, from unlicensed spectrum to the IoT.

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