Accelerating deployments, commercializing small cell technology

Sue Monahan, CEO of Small Cell Forum, reflects on the success of our first Small Cells Champions event in Rome last week.

We first had the idea for a Small Cells Champions Day following the Small Cell Forum Industry Awards held in London back in June. Reflecting on the winners and shortlisted entries, we were excited by the scale and diversity of achievement – in terms of technical ingenuity, commercial significance and end-user value. We recognized that it was time to celebrate these stories, and the pioneers and innovators at the heart of them.

We also wanted to explore the demand from our operator members to accelerate particular areas of technology development which identified the six key work items where we needed to focus our energies. These are:

  • Small cells in Enterprise
  • License Exempt Spectrum
  • HetNet & SON
  • Virtualization of small cells
  • Multi operator support
  • The role of small cells in 5G, IOT & M2M

And so to Rome. Over 100 attendees represented 54 companies from across the globe. The State of the Market workshop in the morning saw nine companies presenting on how they are using small cell innovations in the real world. You can download all the presentations here »

The latter part of the day saw an exploration of the Small Cell Forum work plan and presentations around each of the work items. These were genuinely inspiring sessions – mission-critical work items championed by individuals and firms that were passionate about their subjects. And an absolute focus on commercializing the technology. There was free and open discussion on technology between companies that would, outside of the room, be in competition. Deployment stories were shared and connections were made which will benefit everyone who works in the industry, not just individual companies.

Small Cells Champions Day was a celebration of the partnerships between carriers and vendors – and a shameless determination to leverage that relationship to motivate, encourage and enthuse our members and potential members into accelerating deployment.

Next stop Dallas. As part of Small Cells Americas, we’ll be hosting a workshop on Monday 2 November at which we will seek to progress each of these work items further, and hosting another State of the Market workshop. If you’d like to get involved with this event and our ongoing work, please get in touch directly.