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Taking It to the Streets: Urban Small Cell Rollout Receives Major Boost as Small Cell Forum Launches Release Three

The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, today launched the next step of its Release Program that will help harness the vast potential of the urban small cell market.

Release Three: Urban Foundations has been developed to help operators with the rollout of small cells in the important public access arena. It builds on two earlier releases that focused on the established market for residential small cells (Release One) and the growing market for enterprise small cells (Release Two).

Release Three addresses a step change in market evolution: the commercial deployment of small cells in the urban environment. It establishes the business case and market drivers for urban small cells. It also identifies and starts to address many of the technical, economic and operational challenges to successful deployment and the opportunities this market could offer.

As part of its Release Three output, the Forum commissioned an independent operator survey from consulting firm Maravedis-Rethink. The survey found that capacity, value-added services and the opportunity to integrate Wi-Fi were among the most commonly cited market drivers for urban small cells. Backhaul, optimal site acquisition, monetization and network management were identified as the primary concerns.

Release Three addresses these varied issues realistically and coherently. Alongside the authoritative body of Small Cell Forum work it can already draw on, this Release includes 18 new and updated documents aimed at identifying demand and supporting operators in the deployment of urban small cells. These range from economic and commercial issues such as market drivers, business case and service opportunities to technical areas such as self-organizing networks, backhaul, Wi-Fi integration and network architecture as well as regulatory challenges and deployment processes.

As Gordon Mansfield, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum said, “Release Three focuses on establishing the need, evaluating the business case and identifying key barriers to commercial deployment of urban small cells. In Release Four and beyond, we will delve into the detail of the technical solutions that will speed deployments in this exciting new market.

“The Small Cell Forum unequivocally believes the case for urban small cells to be a strong one. But small cells cannot meet growing user demand quickly and efficiently without practical and informed support and guidance. That is why Release Three is so important. I believe small cells will have a pivotal role for operators in viable network densification — the development of HetNets that efficiently and cost-effectively combine macro and small cell rollout.”

Release Three is available to download from the Small Cell Forum Release site www.scf.io

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Release Three: Urban foundation documents

Urban Small Cells: Release overview
Market Drivers for Urban Small Cells
Business case for Urban Small Cells
Urban Small Cell Network Architectures
SON Use Cases
LTE Small Cell API
Integrated Small Cell WiFi, in association with WBA
LTE Synchronization, in association with MEF
Backhaul for Urban Small Cells: A topic brief
Deployment Issues for Urban Small Cells
Small Cell Services in the urban environment
Regulatory White Paper
Small Cells Market Status
Small Cells, what’s the big idea?
Release Structure and Roadmap
Small Cell Programmers Reference Guide
Small Cell and WiFi Coverage Study

About urban small cells

Urban small cells are defined as licensed small cells, deployed by operators in areas of high demand density on an open-access basis to all the customers of the operator. They can be deployed outdoors on street furniture or indoor public locations such as transport hubs and retail malls.

About the Release Program

Launched in February 2013 the Small Cell Forum Release program (www.scf.io) provides a comprehensive set of technical and business information to help operators deploy small cells in the home, enterprise, rural and urban areas. Each release includes detailed documents on key areas such as market drivers, business case, and technology information including architecture, standards, operator lessons, and a regulatory overview.

The Release Program is driven by the knowledge that more than 98% of operators think small cells are essential to their future. Whilst existing deployments have centred on almost 50 pioneering large operators in developed markets, the Release Program aims to help every type of operator from across the globe to roll out small cells.

In June 2014, the Forum will publish Release Four, which aims to provide detailed technical support for operators deploying urban small cells. View the Small Cell Forum’s release roadmap here www.scf.io/document/100

About the Small Cell Forum

The Small Cell Forum (www.smallcellforum.org), supports the wide-scale adoption of small cells. Small cells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence. They provide improved cellular coverage, capacity and applications for homes and enterprises as well as urban and rural public spaces. They include technologies variously described as femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. The Forum has in excess of 150 members including 68 operators representing more than 3 billion mobile subscribers – 46 per cent of the global total – as well as telecoms hardware and software vendors, ecosystem partners, content providers and innovative start-ups.

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