SCF Chief Strategy Officer Julius Robson shares some insights into the 2018 work program for SCF – and details how you can have your say in the work that is defining the future of our industry.
SCF has been prolific in its output over the last ten years. We have a phenomenal body of work in our release program that covers everything from detailed technical specs through to accessible infographics and videos that help spread the word on the benefits of small cells. But it doesn’t stop there. At our San Jose plenary, a great deal of work went into defining and detailing our 2018 program. This program needs to balance advanced technical work on emerging architectures with initiatives to address pragmatic deployment issues such as better access to city sites, not to mention essential work on refining the business case for dense networks.
The first of these topics will be a strong focus for the Technology and 5G Working Group, which will be busy working on enterprise small cell network architectures for IoT and URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communications) applications – both key to 5G – and also mapping out roadmaps for edge computing and SON platforms, as well as looking ahead to network slicing. Tech & 5G will also be responsible for building on one of our key partnerships – with the XRAN group.
The Regulatory Working Group will be focused heavily on cities, looking at ways to streamline approval processes, including a standard, municipality-focused definition of an urban small cell, plus input into regulatory efforts in the European Union and elsewhere. This group will also be finishing off the small cell power level emission project with the MWF.
On the Marketing Working Group side, the enterprise program, which flourished in 2017, will be expanded further, with a special focus on the healthcare sector, and on building on the work of the Enterprise Advisory Council. Of course, Mobile World Congress is also a significant event for Marketing and SCF will make its usual splash there in a year when densification will be high on the agenda.
The Business Principles Working Group will be aligning closely with Marketing’s enterprise activities, developing alternative business models for healthcare. Another priority will be shared spectrum and networks, and the implications for the small cell business case. This will involve close cooperation with another key partner, the CBRS Alliance.
Also on the partnership front, the Operations Group will be taking forward the collaboration with the TIA, and the key deliverable of a smart building certification. Other important areas of focus in 2018 will be Xhaul (backhaul and fronthaul issues and challenges), and the impact of emerging architectures – including edge computing, NFV and automation – on how small cell networks are deployed and managed.
Last but not least, the Interoperability Working Group will be preparing for another significant event, the HetNet SON Plugfest, which will help to establish a minimum feature set to be standardized in a heterogeneous network. This group will also be working with another important ally, ITRI in Taiwan, to create a one-stop shop for testing and implementing technologies from several other key SCF partners – ONAP, XRAN, ETSI’s Mobile Edge Computing and the Open Mobile Alliance.
If any of these work items are of interest to you, and you are not yet a member of Small Cell Forum, get in touch to see how you can get involved.
If you are a member – you can access the full list of work via the member site here https://extranet.scf.io/filemanager/filesystem/1148