In our latest blog, Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahon shares her thoughts on the recent three day plenary in Milan.
It’s not often the worlds of technology and fashion collide but that’s what happened last week in Milan. Yes, the 2014 Small Cell Forum European Plenary took place at the same time, in the same city as the 2014 Milan Fashion Week. I’m certain the suits were sharp in both locations, but I suspect the Small Cell Forum’s deliberations will have a more relevant and lasting impact.
Over 80 delegates joined us from 44 companies around the world in our most important plenary of the year. Seventeen new members have joined the Small Cell Forum in the past 12 months, which has not only added to the number of organizations involved but also to the range of experience and expertise the Forum can call upon. That range was evident as we uncovered a series of deployment case studies that will become the cornerstone of Release Five: Rural & Remote, due to be announced at MWC 2015.
The other hot topic at the plenary was Network Function Virtualization, which was the subject of many cross-working-group meetings over three days. I’m confident we have some of the best minds in the industry working on the impact of virtualization, studying everything from network architecture to the business case.
However, these are enormous projects, even by the standards of the Releases we have completed to date. To ensure that we do them justice we are welcoming contributions not just from across the industry but from new entrants and teaching bodies. That is why in Milan we also announced new membership options that will make the Forum more accessible for startup companies and academic institutions. More information on these new membership categories will follow.
It was an important plenary for other reasons too. This plenary gave us a chance to thank our departing Chair, Gordon Mansfield, and congratulate him on his highly productive and successful two-year tenure, and to welcome our new Small Cell Forum Chair, Alan Law. We are sorry to say goodbye to Gordon, although he assures us he will remain very much involved in the small cell industry. However, in Alan we know we have a supremely well-qualified successor.
The 2014 Small Cell Forum European Plenary was an excellent week made successful by the dedication and hard work of Small Cell Forum members. Thank you for your contributions. I look forward to seeing you at our next plenary which will be co-located with the Small Cells Americas event in Dallas in December. There won’t be any competition from the fashion world at this one, but through our work on Release Five and Network Function Virtualization, we will certainly have a chance to be trendsetters.