Small Cell Forum
About Small Cell Forum
Small Cell Forum works to accelerate small cell adoption to change the shape of mobile networks and maximize the potential of mobile services. We are not a standards organization but partner with organizations that inform and determine standards development. We are a carrier-led organization. This means our operator members establish requirements that drive the activities and outputs of our technical groups.
Our track record speaks for itself: we have driven the standardization of key elements of small cell technology including Iuh,FAPI/SCAPI, SON, the small cell services API,TR‑069 evolution and the enhancement of the X2 interface. At the time of writing, Small Cell Forum has more than 140 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, content providers and innovative start-ups.
Our mission is to drive the wide-scale adoption of small cells and accelerate the delivery of integrated HetNets.
This implies two main areas of focus:
1. Standardization, regulation & interoperability
We work to ensure the adoption of industry wide standards, a positive regulatory environment, common architectures and interoperability.
2. Marketing, promotion & business case
We promote the value & potential of small cells across the industry and to journalists, analysts, regulators, special interest groups and standards bodies.
We are a carrier led organization. It’s carrier requirements that drive our Board priorities. And carrier requirements inform our work programs.
The way it works is that regional operators feed requirements into our operator group. This in turn feeds into the Release Steering Group that coordinates and works with our technical groups to deliver our Release Program.
About Small Cells:
Small cells’ is an umbrella term for operator-controlled, low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade Wi-Fi. Small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters.
Types of small cells include femtocells, picocells and microcells – broadly increasing in size from femtocells (the smallest) to microcells (the largest). Any or all of these small cells can be based on ‘femtocell technology’ – i.e. the collection of standards, software, open interfaces, chips and know-how that have powered the growth of femtocells.
According to a recent Cisco study, global mobile data traffic will increase nearly 11-fold between 2013 and 2018. This means carriers urgently need to increase network capacity. They can do this by moving to 4G, improving spectrum efficiency, Wi-Fi offload, and so on. But nothing comes close to frequency reuse through increased numbers of cell sites using small cells – this can improve capacity by up to 1600x. In addition, small cells yield important benefits for the macro network: We’ve shown how placing four small cells within one macro, not only delivers data offload of over 50 per cent, but also improves macro network performance by 315 per cent.
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