Sunday 20 September 2015

Summary of Small Cell Forum Champions day

Small Cell forum held its champions day in Rome this month. There were some interesting case studies and presentations (details below). I have embedded some presentations and provided links to others. Interested people, feel free to explore further.

The Small Cell Forum has identified six key work items where they will be focusing their energies. These are:
  • Small cells in Enterprise
  • License Exempt Spectrum
  • HetNet & SON
  • Virtualization of small cells
  • Multi operator support
  • The role of small cells in 5G, IOT & M2M
Spidercloud did a presentation on Enterprise small cells. They were also one of the sponsors for a study by analyst firm iGR that showed strong demand among Enterprises for Managed Services based on Small Cells.

Cisco shared a case study from a university campus deployment where existing WI-FI APs were ‘upgraded’ to add a small cell capability.

Quortus demonstrated the range of architectures possible with virtualized small cell core networks including the on site MEC server supporting small cells across an enterprise and mission critical small cells supporting public safety applications. See presentation below:

iBwave showed how deployment within the enterprise had improved, with a case study which reduced indoor small cell planning down to one site visit.

MVNO TalkTalk outlined their plans to add LTE small cells to their home routers enriching customer experience as well increasing traffic offload from the macro network. The residential 4G small cells use a dedicated 3.3MHz carrier frequency already compatible with existing 4G handsets to provide good coverage indoors and in the surrounding streets.

Nokia demonstrated the importance of 3D thinking when planning small cell HetNets in dense urban indoor and outdoor environments due to building and user topography.

Qualcomm described how their SON technology provides zero touch integration for both the small cells and the macros, optimizing handovers in both directions.

Huawei shared their vision for small cell evolution, incorporating emerging technologies which leverage license exempt spectrum. Their demonstration of LAA mobility with Vodafone notching up 600Mbps peak rates clearly showing the potential of a joined-up approach to spectrum.

Airspan trials with SoftBank demonstrated an early nFAPI implementation working in a virtualized small cell / macro HetNet. The small cells filled in coverage gaps, and their densification increased capacity. Centralised CoMP and eICIC were demonstrated over a pre-standard nFAPI which works over commonly available packet based transport with significantly less stringent performance requirements than required with CPRI based C-RAN.