On 20th & 21st of April, Small Cells Asia took place in Singapore. Asia is home to more small cell deployments than any other region, and is seeing data growth that means it will account for almost half of the world’s mobile data traffic in just a few years’ time. Set against the background of a varied and fast moving market, expectations for the event were high – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The event was attended by over 300 delegates with half of these representing some 42 different operator companies from 29 different countries. The event has doubled in size in the past two years and this was a great opportunity to see many familiar faces along with first time visitors to the event.
The highlight of the event was seeing CTOs of the three host nation MNOs – Tay Soo Meng, Group CTO, SingTel; Mock Pak Lum, CTO, StarHub; and Patrick Scodeller, CTO & COO, M1 – in an opening discussion hosted by the Small Cell Forum Chair, Alan Law. This was only the second time that the three CTOs have ever shared a stage and it was great to hear their views on the role of small cells in delivering the next generation of wireless broadband, with a nod to Singapore’s Smart Nation Platform initiative.
The show welcomed many new operators from the region such as Telekom Malaysia, Digi, MyRepublic, Bharti Airtel and Celcom Axiata, all taking part in a range of discussions around ubiquitous wireless broadband coverage, HetNet innovations, LTE-U, satellite backhauling, monetisation, virtualisation and much more.
One of the most telling features of the event was the crossover between the small cells event and the co-located Carrier Wi-Fi summit, with delegates switching in and out of both rooms. The combined used of licenced and unlicensed spectrum was clearly high on everyone’s agenda.
Small Cells Asia will return in April next year and we look forward to seeing the progress made across the year.
The next event in the series will be the flagship Small Cells World Summit taking place in London 9th-11th June. With well over 1000 visitors, the World Summit is the showcase for developments in the small cells market. Small Cell Forum’s Chairman, Alan Law; CEO Sue Monahan and Vice President, Andy Germano will all be presenting on the main agenda and the Forum will also give a number of briefings on the latest work being carried out by the Forum.