SCF Chair David Orloff (AT&T) reflects on the build up to his first Mobile World Congress.
I am very excited about my first Mobile World Congress as chair of Small Cell Forum. More than ever before, SCF’s work will be at the heart of the agenda in Barcelona, and we have so much progress to share with the broad mobile industry.
Small cells underpin three major areas of mobile operator activity – densification to enhance LTE performance and capacity; more effective enterprise business models; and defining the roadmap to 5G. Just a glance at the MWC show themes and conference topics this year show that these three issues are pressing concerns for MNOs and their partners.
Small Cell Forum will be addressing all three, offering real world solutions and powerful tools to take operators to the next stage in their networks and businesses.
If you’re starting to think about 5G, and feeling bewildered by the choices and the uncertainties, our 5G Panel is a must for your Barcelona calendars. Two sets of commercial rivals – AT&T and Sprint; and Ericsson and Huawei – will share the floor, providing us with a real variety of takes on 5G issues, and no doubt some healthy debate!
The two operators have very different approaches to 5G migration, in these early stages of the planning process, but both have advanced thinking to share, and both are already working on the 4G densification which will provide the foundations for 5G. The two vendors have taken part in a large number of trials all round the world, and no-one has a deeper knowledge of the technology and use case choices, and how fundamentally 5G will be built around small cells.
Long before moving to 5G, operators want to expand their current business cases by adding small cells to their networks, indoors and outdoors, to support new services that require high capacity and excellent coverage and QoS. Enterprise services are top of the list for many MNOs, and SCF’s new Enterprise Taskforce and Enterprise Advisory Council (EAC) will be showcased on our stand.
These have been set up to understand and address the needs of all kinds of commercial organizations, initially focusing on the hospitality sector, where there is an urgent requirement for improved indoor mobile connectivity. But if you work in any enterprise which ticks that box, come along to the stand to discuss your needs and speak to our experts; and sign up to be part of the EAC.
And for all those operators grappling with the practical challenges of densification, come and meet us too. You will be surprised how many of the barriers which have existed to deploying small cells at scale have been addressed. SCF groups have been working away behind the scenes on the issues of cost-effective, large-scale roll-out of small cells, and now, with the publication of Release 9, all that effort has come out into the light of day. Release 9 provides a complete blueprint for planning and deploying hyperdense networks, and for making them deliver new revenues now, while laying the groundwork for even greater density in 5G.
So be sure not to miss the 5G Panel, and do come along to the stand to network with experts from across the small cell ecosystem; to learn more about our enterprise and hyperdense networks programs; and to listen to our running series of speakers talking about the practical solutions to small cell deployment.
I look forward to meeting you in Barcelona and helping to address your small cell challenges, for today’s business and for 5G.