By Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Technology Research
The SCF Small Cell Awards stand out from the crowd of industry prizes. They have been rewarding both commercial and technical innovation and achievement for over 10 years now. In that time, they have reflected the huge changes in our industry, with small cells moving to center-stage as dense networks become the norm for 4G and 5G.
This close alignment to commercial success and real world requirements makes these awards highly valued and extremely competitive. For these reasons, I am really excited to be the chair of judges once again, leading a team of prominent and fiercely independent analysts and experts from round the world. The profile of the judges is one of the key factors which differentiates these awards from many others, insisting on objectivity and transparency throughout the process.
We all take on the considerable task of evaluating a huge number of entries in 11 categories, because we believe in the important contribution small cells make to the mobile industry, providing operators and enterprises with the tools to transform their businesses.
Our awards categories this year reflect the change in the sector as 5G comes closer. Some of the categories stay the same. Technologies may evolve, but it remains as important as ever to reward excellence in commercial deployment in different sectors. But this year, we have introduced three new or amended categories, which we believe reflect the changes in small cell architecture and ecosystem.
The new awards will recognize:
- excellent solutions and services for management, automation and orchestration of dense HetNets, including virtualized ones
- development of architectures which are deployable now, but provide a clear migration path to future platforms including 5G, virtualized RAN or hyperdense networks
- contribution to open RAN initiatives, or solutions which implement open technologies and so help to drive a multivendor ecosystem
I believe these new categories, combined with our established awards, reflect the diversity of the small cell industry and provide every vendor, operator and partner with an opportunity to showcase their achievements.
This is the best opportunity in this industry to highlight your contributions and bring your solutions to the attention of the whole ecosystem. When you submit your entry, you can be sure it will be discussed, compared and analysed in great detail and with considerable knowledge.
We hope to have a record number of entries again, so do make sure you don’t miss out! The awards are open to SCF members and non-members, and the closing deadline is 29 March 2019.
The full list of awards categories is here. We really look forward to seeing your entries, and perhaps to celebrating with you at the awards ceremony in London in May.