Small Cell Forum and The Future Network: a partnership focused on small cell potential
From 12-13 December the Small Cell Forum will be participating in the Tower Xchange/ Future Network Asia Meetup at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore – and we would like to invite our members to join us.
Small cell potential in Asia will be a strong focus of this event. Not just MNOs but also towercos are playing a major role in network development in the region, and at Tower Xchange/Future Network Asia you will have the opportunity to meet over 100 senior representatives from both MNOs and towercos, the majority of which have a remit to integrate small cells into their network topographies.
This is more than just a one-off collaboration. Small Cell Forum and The Future Network are working together to address the deployment and siting challenges facing small cell projects around the world, with a view to devising a common roadmap to realize the role of small cells in the digital economy.
The background to this partnership – and the event in Singapore – explains why this focus is of particular relevance to Asia.
The Future Network is a global online community, research and market analysis company that focuses on two areas in particular. It showcases the coverage and capacity solutions that will be required to unlock the potential of mobile broadband for cellular networks in developing markets. It also highlights the solutions required to evolve cellular networks in developed markets to fully realize the LTE experience, and to ready the network for 5G.
The most near-term evolution requirement is for infill solutions to densify urban networks and improve the economics of rural coverage. That means a significant focus on small cells.
As we have already noted, The Future Network Asia event will host not only MNOs but another important player in network development: the telecom tower sector. In fact, The Future Network is a sister company of TowerXchange, the world’s only network for the telecom tower sector. This audience of emerging infrastructure stakeholders is increasingly demonstrating a desire to deploy distributed networks. Today, more than 20 major towercos around the world are actively looking at incorporating small cells into their catalogues this and next year.
This new and important stakeholder group will be crucial in negotiating with municipalities and civic authorities for the deployment of outdoor small cells. However, increasingly, towercos are also looking to roll out indoor cellular networks.
This is an important development for Asia in particular. In many Asian countries, where towercos are acquiring the majority of the passive infrastructure (notably in Indonesia, India, Myanmar, China and, more recently, Pakistan), The Future Network anticipates that the telecom tower sector will deploy a significant proportion of in-building solutions, quickly overtaking the MNOs in terms of the scale of the addressable market. For example, edotco will lead the rollout of venue DAS and indoor small cells in Pakistan, and towercos have provided, and continue to provide, indoor coverage in Myanmar. Furthermore, towercos such as Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel and American Tower in India will be key stakeholders in smart cities and indoor coverage.
A closer look at one Asian market illustrates the scale of this opportunity for small cells. At the Future Network Asia Meetup attendees from Asia’s leading tower companies will include Protelindo, Tower Bersama and STP – Indonesia’s three largest towercos. Between them these companies own a third of the country’s towers. That is a total of some 34,000 sites – in Indonesia alone.
SCF CEO Sue Monahan will be moderating a panel session at the Meetup, and the Small Cell Forum will be hosting a working group that will aim to share the experiences of participants addressing some of the regional deployment challenges, and engage with towercos and solution providers to arrive at practical solutions.
The Forum will also be participating in a regulatory working group whose task will be to move towards creating a new entity designed to lobby for an enabling regulatory environment to facilitate the roll-out of small cells and macro cells across Asia and around the world.
This is an exciting opportunity to engage with major players in a key market for small cell roll-out and Small Cell Forum has secured a number of invitations for our members to attend the event. Please contact Zara Hughes Ellis, Managing Director, The Future Network to book your place.
For more information, please visit: www.towerxchange.com/the-future-network/
Small Cell Forum members can access a 10% discount code.