• Small Cell Industry Awards 2017

Small Cell Forum Awards 2017 category descriptions

To be eligible for entry in any of the awards categories, submissions must relate to small cells as defined by Small Cell Forum – low powered radio access points, controlled by an operator, with limited range (typically between 10 and 300 meters). This may include remote radio heads that meet these four criteria. Small cells operate in licensed spectrum, and may also incorporate carrier-grade Wi-Fi capabilities. Wi-Fi-only access points and distributed antenna systems (DAS), while they may address small cells of coverage, are not eligible for these awards.

1. Excellence in Commercial Deployment (Urban)

For an entry to qualify for this category it must refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within the urban environment. Urban small cells are defined as compact public-access base stations deployed by operators to enhance capacity and coverage in dense environments such as city center hot-zones, transportation hubs and retail. This incorporates work within the ‘smart cities’ initiatives, as well as the use of small cells in the context of public transit and street furniture. They are often referred to as microcells, picocells or metrocells.

The judges will be looking for new ideas, either technical or relating to the business model, which have enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of service improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

2. Excellence in Commercial Deployment (Enterprise)

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within the Enterprise. Enterprise small cell deployments refer to commercial multi-cell deployments that cover a wide range of settings such as enterprise buildings, small offices and shopping malls.

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

3. Excellence in Commercial Deployment of a Dense HetNet

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use and fits Small Cell Forum’s definition of a dense HetNet. A hyperdense network is one in which large numbers of small cells are deployed per square kilometer, usually in a restricted geographical area, and typically with large numbers of carriers. That means there must be a significant number of non-residential small cells deployed in close proximity. These must be interworking with the macro network, while other examples of HetNet operation include integration with other technologies such as Wi-Fi, multiple spectrum bands, and multiple cellular technologies, such as 3G and 4G.

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

4. Excellence in Commercial Deployment of Rural/Remote Small Cells

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within the rural and remote environment. Rural and remote covers deployments in a variety of settings including Rural Communities, Remote Industrial locations, coverage for emergency services, disaster recovery and special events. This also includes services for military personnel and for all classes of shipping, aircraft and trains.

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

5. HetNet Management Software and Services

The need to meet increasing capacity demands places an increasing burden on small cells and makes it essential that networks are well planned and managed, to maximise resource efficiency and minimise interference and congestion. Increasingly, that task involves a diverse range of elements including multiple spectrum bands, different cell form factors, and surrounding elements like backhaul links or controllers.

This is the focus of Small Cell Forum’s second award which places small cells within the broader context of a HetNet, which must be planned and managed from end-to-end. This challenge will only increase as these networks achieve greater scale, hence the decision to dedicate a category to this class of tools and services.

Vendors and operators are developing and deploying new techniques for planning dense networks, and for optimisation and automation. Judges will be looking for solutions which ease the deployment of small cell HetNets that are capable of scaling to meet the new demands while incorporating a variety of elements.

Examples include tools, services and cloud solutions focused on planning, testing, network management, optimization, or workflow management. These may include SON (self-organising network) and SCaaS (small cell as a service), among others.

The judges will look for entrants which demonstrate an identifiable benefit to the operator business case and to the advancement of the ecosystem. They will assess submissions according to market impact – commercial deployments or trials, numbers shipped, impact on cost of deployment, ecosystem; and/or technical differentiation, including performance, quality of experience, spectral efficiency etc.

Contributions to ease of deployment, interoperability and scalability will be considered also. Reference to commercial deployments or results of large-scale trials will be helpful.

6. Commercial Small Cell Network Design and Technology

This category covers technology and market impact in the small cell network, and includes the access point itself and other elements of the wider network. This has become a broader category as the scale and complexity of small cell deployments has increased, and it now includes virtualized as well as physical network solutions. These include gateways, controllers, security, network-in-a-box solutions etc.

The judges will look for entrants which demonstrate an identifiable benefit to the operator business case and to the advancement of the ecosystem. They will assess submissions according to market impact – commercial deployments or trials, numbers shipped, impact on cost of deployment, ecosystem; and/or technical differentiation, including performance, quality of experience, spectral efficiency etc.

Contributions to ease of deployment, interoperability and scalability will be considered also. Reference to commercial deployments or results of large-scale trials will be helpful.

7. Commercial Small Cell Backhaul Design and Technology

Backhaul has been one of the biggest challenges to large-scale small cell deployment, especially in urban and public environments, and so it has also attracted some of the most innovative solutions, many of which are now enabling commercial roll-outs on a new scale. This category aims to recognize those efforts and to highlight the variety of solutions which are now available for many different deployment scenarios.

Eligible entries include hardware and software developments in wired or wireless backhaul, where these are specific to small cells, and can include associated technologies such as timing and sync, and backhaul optimization.

Entrants will need to demonstrate technology differentiation and innovation; measurable impact on network performance, QoS, cost efficiency and/or flexibility; impact on the operator business case for small cells. Reference to commercial deployments or results of large-scale trials will be helpful.

8. Outstanding Innovation in Small Cell Technology or Architecture

While the previous categories related to small cells which are commercially deployed and proven, this category is focused on technical innovations which will help to push the boundaries of the small cell platform and enable new architectures and use cases.

The judges will assess any small cell technology, including access points, network elements, backhaul or virtualized platforms, purely by its level of technical innovation. The entrants can be commercial or pre-commercial, and can relate to current technologies or to pre-5G projects. However, they will need to demonstrate uniqueness in design, performance or functionality, and must clearly state how these will help to improve the small cell business case, now or in the future.

9. Outstanding Innovation in Small Cell Business Case

The second Innovation category also looks to reward creative thinking and new ideas, which may be commercial or pre-commercial. This category focuses on innovation in the business case for small cells.

Entrants can be at the trial phase but must be able to demonstrate uniqueness and creativity, and describe how the business case is enhanced or enabled by small cells, and what benefits it would bring to service providers. Detailed proof points and customer/trial examples will be helpful to illustrate innovation. The business case can relate to any small cell market – enterprise, urban, residential or rural/remote.

10. Social Impact – Promoting Small Cells for Social/Economic/Environmental Development

The judges want to look beyond the purely commercial implications of small cells and recognize their potential to have a social and economic impact too.

This is a wide-ranging category. In the past, submissions have ranged from solutions that make it more cost-effective to bridge the digital divide in remote or deprived communities; that improve the quality of life, or business opportunities, of underserved citizens; that lessen the environmental cost of wireless expansion.

The judges encourage entries which demonstrate any form of significant positive impact on the socio-economic climate, and the external environment, in which citizens live in any part of the world.

11. Special Categories – Judges’ Choice

The Judges’ Choice is a special award which recognizes overall excellence, and an exceptional contribution to the development of the small cell industry. It particularly focuses on an organization whose impact is felt to go beyond specific categories.

The judges will select the winner from among the entries across all the other awards categories, focusing on overall contribution to innovation, commercial success, and/or market development across the sector. The award may relate to the organization’s broader contribution, not to the specific submission in isolation.

Award winners 2016

  • Excellence in commercial deployment (Residential)

    Nokia_logoT-Mobile_logoQualcomm_logo

    Nokia, T-Mobile & Qualcomm T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot

  • Excellence in commercial deployment (Enterprise)

    SpiderCloud

    SpiderCloud Wireless US national small cell rollout

  • Excellence in commercial deployment (Urban)

    Parallel-Wireless-logoM1_logo

    Parallel Wireless & M1 Delivering seamless mobility and high throughput to public transit riders with M1 and Parallel Wireless in-vehicle HetNet Technology

  • Excellence in commercial deployment (Rural & Remote)

    Parallel-Wireless-logo

    Parallel Wireless Parallel Wireless meets the FirstNet Vision at Super Bowl 50

  • HetNet management software and services

    Jio_logoJio_logo

    Jio & AirHop Communications JioSON powered by eSON from Jio and AirHop Communications

  • Small cell access point design and technology

    Nokia_logo

    Nokia World’s first small cells to deliver more than 1Gbps peak data rates

  • Small cell network element design and technology

    SoftBank_Logo

    SoftBank World’s number one fastest satellite LTE system

  • Small cell backhaul design and technology

    Vodafone_LogoHuawei_Logo

    Vodafone & Huawei Innovative 60GHz solution for small cell outdoor deployment

  • Small cell technology or business case innovation

    CommScope

    CommScope Cell virtualization with OneCell C-RAN small cells

  • Social impact

    Vodafone_Logo

    Vodafone Foundation ‘Connecting for good’ with Vodafone Instant Network

  • Judges’ choice

    ip.access_logo

    ip.access The Viper Platform

  • Chair’s award

    Mike Cronin

    node-h_logo

    For his significant contribution to the work of the Interoperability Group

  • Individual contribution to Small Cell Forum activities

    Neil Piercy

    ip.access_logo

    For his work supporting NET aspect of virtualization

  • Outstanding contribution

    Nick Johnson

    ip.access_logo

    In recognition of his long term leadership of the RPH Working Group

    Lisa Garza

    Cisco_logo

    In recognition of her long term leadership of the Marketing Working Group

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