Friday, 10 October 2014

Small Cells: Interoperability and Plugfests for Multi-vendor HetNet's

Our recent Small Cells SIG in Cambridge Wireless was another full house with the topic under discussion being Small Cells Deployment: Whats the hold-up. One of the areas being tackled by Small Cell Forum is to have plugfests to identify the issues that are causing hold ups and fix them. There were two interesting presentations with interesting take on this topic. The first was by Neeraj Gupta and Kreso Bilan of NEC who are both very active in this interoperability and plugfests. Their presentation which doesnt need any explanation is embedded below:

The other presentation was by Nick Johnson of IP.Access who listed the problems and the source of the problems that gave rise to the interoperability issues and also gave a quick summary of what the plugfests achieved (see picture above). His slides are embedded below:

The conclusion of the event was that there are no issues or reasons for these hold-ups. The operators have been over cautious and preferred to play a waiting game but are now getting confidence and starting to deploy small cells. Some minor issues in interoperability revolves around X2 interface and SON but they should get ironed out in the couple plugfests planned for next year (see NEC slides).


  1. Manoj Das (Via Het Net Linkedin Group)11 October 2014 at 10:30

    Thanks Zahid! Its an excellent initiative for all small cell OEMs to conduct IoT. Wre hearing X2 incompatibility between OEMs due to several optional features implementation. Recently I came across executives of a start up Parallel Wireless, They are providing a solution LTE Access Controller. The controller will broker with multiple OEM's X2 and streamline towards EPC. Here is their solution

  2. Manoj, the optional X2 features were the main culprit. The Small Cell Forum's X2 Interoperability document is intended to make sure the minimum set of features supported across X2 of all small cells. My old post on this topic: - Parallel Wireless controller seems interesting too.