Small cells at MWC16: What to look out for in Barcelona
The clock is ticking for the mobile industry’s massive jamboree in Barcelona, and for those interested in small cells, there will be more than ever to see. Small Cell Forum are once again hosting the Small Cell Zone in Hall 7, stand F61 – it’s the place that visitors return to in order to discover the latest developments within the small cell ecosystem. SCF Chair Alan Law will also be taking part in a panel on LTE Network Diversity on Thursday.
In fact, the specific term ‘small cells’ may be less prominent than in earlier years, because the technology no longer lives in a niche of its own, but is inherent in many of the themes which will dominate events at Mobile World Congress 2016. HetNets, densification, smart cities, LTE in unlicensed spectrum, virtualised RAN – all of these will require small cells to fulfil their potential in the commercial world, and all of them will be loudly debated in Barcelona.
Take the titles of the sessions in the MWC conference – ‘5G: Creating Value for Industry Verticals’; ‘Enterprise Mobility’; ‘Stadium: Enhancing the Fan Experience’; ‘LTE Network Diversity: LTE-Unlicensed and Beyond’, and many more. All of these reflect the priorities which the Small Cell Forum has set itself in its work programme for 2016, and all of them ask questions which could not be answered without small cell technology.
Against that background, the Small Cell Zone in Hall 7 is set to be busier than ever. It provides a centrally located, high profile spot where attendees head first to find out all the latest developments in the market, to talk to prospects and partners, and to listen to the on-stand speakers. This year, that will feature a wide range of topics, including experiences from companies as diverse as BMW and India’s 4G operator Reliance Jio. Access the full speaker program here>>
Of course, many other exhibitors will also be showcasing small cell developments. Nokia, in its first year as the owner of Alcatel-Lucent, will have a greatly expanded portfolio, and has already been first off the blocks in pre-announcing some of its MWC highlights. These include SCORE, a ratings tool for grading small cell sites and reducing cost and time to deploy; and additions to the FlexiZone line-up, including support for LTE-LWA.
Many others will follow on Nokia’s heels, and there will also be plenty of operators demonstrating their HetNet and densification breakthroughs, from NTT Docomo to Reliance to Telefonica. And those with an interest in HetNet will also be making time to check out the growing variety of exhibitors in the smart city, smart home and Internet of Things areas, where many solutions will be relying on the in-building coverage and the presence awareness of small cells.
We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!