A crucial meeting to define the work agenda for a turning-point year

Anticipation is mounting for SCF’s European plenary meeting, to be held in Amsterdam on Tuesday October 3 and Wednesday October 4. There is a packed schedule, giving members a unique chance to exchange views and influence the agenda as densification gathers pace, so do go to the members’ site to register and secure your place.

The six working groups will explore a wide range of topics, which will all feed into three key themes, of critical importance for the small cell industry in 2018-2019.

These themes are:

  • Enterprise Engagement, which will be led by the MKT and BIZ working groups
  • Pro-densification Policy, led by the POL and OPS groups
  • Global Technology Alignment, led by the TECH and IOP groups

All three represent important challenges which need to be addressed urgently and creatively, for densification to remain on track, indoors and outdoors; and for 5G small cells to be deployed based on the sound economics of a globally unified platform.

Attending the plenary will allow you to make sure your company’s views are clearly heard as SCF decides on its key work priorities for the year ahead. This year will – as we are all very aware – be a critical one for deployments, with the first commercial 5G roll-outs and major 4G densification programs in the USA, China, India and other markets.

The discussions in Amsterdam will shape the work agenda for the coming months, and those items will map into two major new Releases for 2018-2019 (members can look here for an outline plan for the coming year).

The next two Releases will be:

  • Release 11 – Connectivity for Commercial Property. This builds on the significant engagement which SCF has already built with several enterprise sectors such as hospitality and healthcare. The MKT and BIZ working group members have recently been building strong relationships with the real estate industry to raise awareness of the benefits of planning indoor connectivity at the building design stage. This Release will provide a whole package of valuable, accessible and practical advice and blueprints for managers across the sector.
  • Release 12 – 5G Small Cells. This will document and share early experiences and best practice from the first 5G small cell deployments as well as market research and forecasts to help vendors and operators to plan their strategies, and to support coexistence with, and smooth migration from, existing networks.

In the enterprise engagement stream in Amsterdam, there will also be discussions around building a cross-industry business case and action plan for small cells, especially considering important new developments like the shared CBRS spectrum in the USA; as well as work to maintain the momentum in the healthcare industry.

The global alignment theme will pull together a host of topics regarding technology and standards, for 5G and multi-radio networks. These will include SON, edge compute, orchestration, xHaul and WiFi interworking, to name just a few. These discussions will feed into the 5G release, but will also impact on the enterprise work, working on technical enablers such as shared spectrum, neutral host platforms and the Industrial IoT.

Meanwhile, none of these ambitious enterprise and technology roadmaps can bear full fruit without a positive regulatory environment. The policy and operations groups will be looking at critical issues for densification, such as spectrum and siting regulations, and how SCF, with its partners, can influence these. In particular, it will be defining how it can encourage a densification-friendly framework in the European Union, and an alignment between the EU and the USA.

As you can see, this will be a crowded, important and very interesting agenda, and of course there will also be time to network with old friends and new contacts, and push the agenda forward informally in the lovely setting of the Dutch capital. You can view the full agenda on the members site, and we look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam next month.