Packed SCF Virtual Plenary Brings Members Together, Apart

In these uncertain and disrupted times, it was fantastic to see such a strong turnout for the Forum’s first ever member-only ‘virtual plenary’, held on Wednesday 29th April.

At the halfway point in the membership year, and with the annual SCWS London event postponed until later in the year, the plenary gave members an excellent chance to come together and receive an update from the SCF leadership team and work item leaders, as well as hearing insights and learnings gained so far in what has been a tremendously busy and productive year to date.

The session was opened by SCF Chair, Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, who delivered a ‘State of the Forum’ address and updated members on the implementation of his ambitious agenda for the year laid out following his election to the role in London in September 2019. This focused on addressing the needs of the evolving mobile ecosystem as it transitions from a B2C legacy towards a future which will be both B2C and B2B, bringing new players, new business relationships and new opportunities for small cells.

2020 has seen a restructuring of the Forum’s internal processes, moving away from disparate working groups and prioritising instead the activity of the Forum to align with work items – all of which remain closely collaborative and with teams in constant communication. Work items have assigned leads or co-leads and a champion at board level, and regular updates are shared across the Forum to ensure transparency and deliverability. Prabhakar expressed delight at how these revised processes have performed so far, highlighting the successful delivery of work items in the year to date, and celebrating the marketing-focused redesign of deliverables to include additional content and collateral (including presentations by lead authors, interviews and additional practical information).

Prabhakar concluded his remarks with an encouraging initial update on recruitment and announced the introduction of a new academic membership category, bringing technical universities and their expertise into the Forum’s fold. He also provided an update on collaborations with other organisations, which included a very successful co-release with 5G Americas in October 2019.

The floor was then handed over to work item leads to update on their items’ progress or, for the already published work, report analytics from the promotion campaigns to help understand the traction received with different target audiences. By getting updates from across the SCF’s workplan, we hope members can get a sense of what’s happening across the different parts of our industry, and join the dots to draw the bigger picture. These included a new marketing-led initiative providing members with detailed release analytics, including document download figures and social media and PR metrics for individual campaigns.

The work item updates covered the 2019-2020 workplan, and included:

  • 5G Regulation and Safety
  • 5G Small Cell Components, Products and Networks
  • 5G nFAPI and Split Option 6
  • Planning Management and Automation
  • Neutral Host
  • Private Cellular Networks
  • Edge Computing
  • Enterprise Engagement (incl. Transportation Vertical)

In closing, Prabhakar cited the excellent collaborative work members have undertaken and what they have achieved this year so far, and was keen encourage members to express what they might like the Forum to assist them with, borrowing a phrase to suggest that they ‘ask not only what you can do for Small Cell Forum, but also what Small Cell Forum can do for you!’.

Small Cell Forum will hold an open webinar to update the industry on its 2019-20 workplan on Wednesday 13th May. Please register for further details.