With only days to go before the start of this year’s Small Cells World Summit, anticipation is mounting about the most packed agenda we’ve ever put together for this annual event. The pandemic forced us, like most organizations, to postpone last year’s conference, but it certainly didn’t halt activity in the 5G and small cell industries.
In fact, there has been a huge amount of development in the market, and the impact of new or evolved technologies, suppliers and deployers will be reflected in this year’s event programme.
The conference will kick off with a set of keynotes, addressing some of the recent dramatic changes in the sector. We will provide the latest overview of the key trends in the market as well as a look into the crystal ball for what will change in the coming years. Executives from two semiconductor companies, Qualcomm and Picocom, will provide keynotes, indicating the essential role that common chip platforms will play in driving a new generation of small cell networks and services to scale.
There will then be no fewer than 11 sessions, each with several high-profile speakers and a panel debate, which will be spread over two days. There are participants from all round the world, highlighting the global nature of the industry as well as the diversity of business models and regulatory environments that may exist in different regions. Influential people from the USA, Malaysia, Taiwan, India and many European countries are among the speakers.
There will also be a series of fascinating break-out sessions, in which industry executives will drill down in depth into some of the issues raised in the general discussions. Many of these will take place on day three of the event, which will be rounded off with the traditional climax to any SCWS, the announcement of the winners of the annual SCF awards.
Do look at the virtual conference programme for the full details of this packed agenda, and you’ll see how the sessions reflect many of the most important themes that have shaped SCF’s work over the past two years, and will continue to do in the year ahead.
The theme of the Qualcomm keynote, ‘pervasive 5G coverage’, will be picked up many times, whether addressing indoor, city, industrial or automotive coverage enabled by various types of small cells.
In many cases, we believe that extending 4G and 5G coverage to every location will rely not just on flexible small cell platforms, but on a wide variety of deployers, vendors and integrators, that have specialist experience in addressing a particular environment, such as industrial buildings, or a particular vertical sector. Sessions will examine how a neutral host model can improve the economics of deep indoor coverage; and how to address the opportunities and challenges of the commercial property sector in-building.
Two of the most exciting and challenging verticals for 5G deployment are automotive and transport, and industrial/manufacturing. Each of these has a dedicated session with speakers that reflect the diverse range of stakeholders that is required to make high quality 5G coverage happen in these environments. Private networks will be one answer, and a stream devoted to Industry 4.0 will examine that business model, and how it intersects with services enabled by edge computing.