Last week Small Cell Forum met in Dallas for our final plenary of 2014. Co-located with Avren’s Small Cells America, the plenary meetings matched the pace set by a well-attended conference with a series of effective meetings, driving us towards Release Five: Rural & Remote.
74 delegates across 47 organizations attended our sessions – it was great to see representatives from USA & Canada, Europe and Asia all well represented, building on the success of the regional events earlier this year. I was especially pleased by the strong carrier presence at one of our most productive operator meetings to date. The aim here was to ‘prioritize our priorities’, considering key requirements that will inform our work program and the focus of the new study group structure that has been so successful in driving our virtualization work.
With the sound of the conference line dancing band still ringing in our ears, we settled in for an intensive two days of meetings. The key focus for most groups was Release Five: Rural & Remote, with our steering group working on the timelines and logistics to pull this together in time for MWC 2015.
It’s a significant release – tackling everything from business case to coverage obligations to vertical service requirements and optimum architectures for rural deployments and the impact of backhaul performance. The steering group is also looking ahead to the publication of the first phase of our virtualization work stream in June.
Other groups meeting included the radio group, which focused on SON API and in a joint session with Backhaul considered transport & performance for virtualized small cells; the network group reviewed virtualization use cases with the radio group and in their own session considered network architectures in the context of rural deployments.
The Regulatory team also met, looking to finalize its Release Five document and, in a series of joint sessions, moving on its work on health, security and services. Deployment applied itself to the special challenges associated with rolling out small cell services in a rural context, while services worked to finalize Release Five outputs and kick off new work on evolution of the services API and M2M applications.
The marketing group had two big announcements – the launch of our new public website and the publication of our first ever annual report. We’re delighted with both and welcome any feedback, comments or suggestions. In Dallas the Marketing team also convened a group to look at different and better ways to communicate the benefits of small cells to a range of verticals.
Still plenty to be done before we can down tools and relax with family and friends over the holidays. And while I know I’ll speak with many of you before then, if not I’d like to wish you a great break and a very Happy New Year.
Next SCF Plenary co-located with Avren’s Small Cells Asia Conference, Singapore, 20-21 April 2015 with SCF Plenary 22-23 April 2015.