Streamlining small cell approval processes: have your say on a vital initiative

SCF are hosting a call on small cell deployment issues this Wednesday 19 October at 4pm BST. Non members are encouraged to get in touch if you would like to participate.

Meeting Details 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)

Contact elizabeth@smallcellforum.org.

Without a streamlined, cost-effective process for getting small cells approved and deployed, the economics of our industry are compromised. As operators embark on densification projects, it will be even more crucial that small cells can be planned and rolled out in a uniform way, with minimum red tape. But in many areas, local and national regulations are standing in the way of large-scale deployment.

Small Cell Forum has a significant role to play in putting this situation right – indeed, it is the only organization which is well positioned to understand all the issues at stake. A recent, well attended call by the OPS Group made a great start on ways to streamline the procedures for approving small cell equipment and sites, and for speeding up installation. The next step is to get input from as many members and industry professionals as possible, to ensure that we are all aligned on the best way forward.

On this call, we will present the proposals which were agreed by the OPS group, in a call which included leading operators including AT&T, BT and T-Mobile, as well as vendors such as Cisco, Ericsson and Nokia. These proposals will form the basis of a lobbying campaign to local, state and national regulators, government agencies and municipal authorities.

It is important to get the feedback and validation of all our members on such an important issue for the future success of small cells and hyperdense networks. In particular, we aim to align the membership on a standard set of equipment class definitions for different types of small cell, with associated documentation and installation procedures.

This would be a significant foundation for a simplified approval process for agencies certifying equipment or green-lighting installations. It is hoped that many regulators would grant exemption from the full approval process for certain classes of equipment once these were clearly defined – as happens with Wi-Fi. That would greatly accelerate the procedures for deploying small cells within certain limits of power output, antenna height etc.

The Forum will lobby for a streamlined process of this kind to be adopted at state or national level, since fragmented rules which vary between individual localities are another hindrance to large-scale and national small cell programs.

This is vital work and these new processes will be a critical success factor for many smart city and densification projects. With so much at stake, please do join the call on October 19 in order to have your say on the proposed classifications and procedures, and share examples of best practice from your experience. There are also other issues which need to be resolved, and where your input will be very welcome. These include recommendations on pre-qualification of sites (power and backhaul)

Whether you are a vendor, operator or regulator, your efforts will be valuable, both in finalizing this approach to regulators, and in disseminating the recommendations once agreed, early in 2017.

Meeting Details 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT Summer Time (London, GMT+01:00)

Contact elizabeth@smallcellforum.org.