Small Cell Forum Awards 2018 category descriptions

To be eligible for entry in any of the awards categories, submissions must relate to small cells as defined by Small Cell Forum – low powered radio access points, controlled by an operator, with limited range (typically between 10 and 300 meters). This may include remote radio heads that meet these four criteria. Small cells operate in licensed spectrum, and may also incorporate carrier-grade Wi-Fi capabilities. Wi-Fi-only access points and distributed antenna systems (DAS), while they may address small cells of coverage, are not eligible for these awards.

1. Excellence in Commercial Deployment (Residential)

Entries for this award must refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use in a residential environment. Residential small cells are defined as home access points with cellular connectivity. They may also have integrated Wi-Fi, but must not be Wi-Fi alone. They may be standalone units, or integrated into other home equipment such as gateways.

The judges will be looking for new ideas, either technical or relating to the business model, which have enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use, new applications or quality of service improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

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2. Excellence in Commercial Deployment (Urban)

For an entry to qualify for this category it must refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within the urban environment. Urban small cells are defined as compact public-access base stations deployed by operators to enhance capacity and coverage in dense environments such as city center hot-zones, transportation hubs and retail. This incorporates work within the ‘smart cities’ initiatives, as well as the use of small cells in the context of public transit and street furniture. They are often referred to as microcells, picocells or metrocells.

The judges will be looking for new ideas, either technical or relating to the business model, which have enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of service improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

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3. Excellence in Commercial Deployment (Enterprise)

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within the Enterprise. Enterprise small cell deployments refer to commercial multi-cell deployments that cover a wide range of settings such as enterprise buildings, small offices and shopping malls.

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

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4. Excellence in Commercial Deployment of Rural, Remote and Temporary Small Cells

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use within a rural or remote environment, or on a temporary basis.

This category covers deployments in a variety of settings including rural communities and remote industrial locations. It also includes ‘deployable’ small cells which can provide permanent or short term coverage in challenging environment, for instance for emergency services, disaster recovery and special events. This also includes services for military personnel and for all classes of shipping, aircraft and trains.

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.

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5. HetNet Software and Services

The need to meet increasing capacity demands places an increasing burden on small cells and makes it essential that networks are well planned and managed, to maximise resource efficiency and minimise interference and congestion. Increasingly, that task involves a diverse range of elements including multiple spectrum bands, different cell form factors, and surrounding elements like backhaul links or controllers. Increasingly, as large numbers of elements are deployed, it is becoming necessary to introduce rising levels of automation, using technologies such as SON (self-optimizing networks).

The areas of management and automation of complex HetNet’s is the focus of this category, which places small cells within the broader context of a HetNet that must be planned and managed from end-to-end. This challenge will only increase as these networks achieve greater scale, hence the decision to dedicate a category to this class of tools and services.

Vendors and operators are developing and deploying new techniques for planning dense networks, and for optimization and automation. Judges will be looking for solutions which ease the deployment of small cell HetNets that are capable of scaling to meet the new demands while incorporating a variety of elements.
Examples include tools, services and cloud solutions focused on planning, testing, network management, optimization, or workflow management. These may include SON (self-organising network) and SCaaS (small cell as a service), among others.

The judges will look for entrants which demonstrate an identifiable benefit to the operator business case and to the advancement of the ecosystem. They will assess submissions according to market impact – commercial deployments or trials, numbers shipped, impact on cost of deployment, ecosystem; and/or technical differentiation, including performance, quality of experience, spectral efficiency etc.

Contributions to ease of deployment, interoperability and scalability will be considered also. Reference to commercial deployments or results of large-scale trials will be helpful.

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6. Excellence in Commercial Deployment of a Dense HetNet

For an entry to qualify for this category it must be refer to a small cell deployment that is in current and commercial use and fits Small Cell Forum’s definition of a dense HetNet. It must also demonstrate innovation in the architecture and how that enables a dense, heterogeneous environment to operate efficiently and without interference.

A dense network is one in which large numbers of small cells are deployed per square kilometer, usually in a restricted geographical area, and typically with large numbers of carriers. That means there must be a significant number of non-residential small cells deployed in close proximity. These must be interworking with the macro network, while other examples of HetNet operation include integration with other technologies such as Wi-Fi, multiple spectrum bands, and multiple cellular technologies, such as 3G and 4G.

The judges will be looking for examples of the effective use of emerging architectures such as virtualization of the small cell access network or the packet core; support for edge computing (e.g. MEC).

The judges will be looking for new ideas either technical or relating to the business model which has enhanced the small cell offering to the market. Entrants will be able to demonstrate that they have developed and deployed a capability to service providers or subscribers which provides demonstrable cost savings, revenue generation, ease of use or quality of services improvements.

The judges will consider not just the success and inventiveness of the offering but its market impact and provision in terms of delivery or package. Entrants will also need to explain how their product stands out in the market. This category may include award submissions for real, measurable commercial trials, but not lab trials.
e commercial trials, but not lab trials.

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7. Commercial Small Cell Design and Technology (Network & Xhaul)

In an increasingly software-driven world this category focuses on the physical aspects of the small cell network – including the access point, and other network elements such as gateways, controllers, security, network-in-a-box solutions.

For the first time, this category also includes Xhaul (backhaul and fronthaul), as well as integrated access/Xhaul solutions. Eligible entries include hardware and software developments in wired or wireless backhaul, where these are specific to small cells, and can include associated technologies such as timing and sync.

The judges will look for entrants which demonstrate an identifiable benefit to the operator business case and to the advancement of the ecosystem. They will assess submissions according to market impact – commercial deployments or trials, numbers shipped, impact on cost of deployment, ecosystem; and/or technical differentiation, including performance, quality of experience, spectral efficiency etc.

Contributions to ease of deployment, interoperability and scalability will be considered also. Reference to commercial deployments or results of large-scale trials will be helpful.

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8. Outstanding Innovation in Small Cell Technology or Architecture

While the previous categories related to small cells which are commercially deployed and proven, this category is focused on technical innovations which will help to push the boundaries of the small cell platform and enable new architectures and use cases.

The judges will assess any small cell technology, including access points, network elements, backhaul or virtualized platforms, purely by its level of technical innovation. The entrants can be commercial or pre-commercial, and can relate to current technologies or to pre-5G projects. However, they will need to demonstrate uniqueness in design, performance or functionality, and must clearly state how these will help to improve the small cell business case, now or in the future.

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9. Outstanding Innovation in Small Cell Business Case

The second Innovation category also looks to reward creative thinking and new ideas, which may be commercial or pre-commercial. This category focuses on innovation in the business case for small cells.

Entrants can be at the trial phase but must be able to demonstrate uniqueness and creativity, and describe how the business case is enhanced or enabled by small cells, and what benefits it would bring to service providers. Detailed proof points and customer/trial examples will be helpful to illustrate innovation. The business case can relate to any small cell market – enterprise, urban, residential or rural/remote.

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10. Social Impact - Promoting Small Cells for Social/Economic/Environmental Development

The judges want to look beyond the purely commercial implications of small cells and recognize their potential to have a social and economic impact too.

This is a wide-ranging category. In the past, submissions have ranged from solutions that make it more cost-effective to bridge the digital divide in remote or deprived communities; that improve the quality of life, or business opportunities, of underserved citizens; that lessen the environmental cost of wireless expansion.
The judges encourage entries which demonstrate any form of significant positive impact on the socio-economic climate, and the external environment, in which citizens live in any part of the world.

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11. Special Categories – Judges’ Choice

The Judges’ Choice is a special award which recognizes overall excellence, and an exceptional contribution to the development of the small cell industry. It particularly focuses on an organization whose impact is felt to go beyond specific categories.

The judges will select the winner from among the entries across all the other awards categories, focusing on overall contribution to innovation, commercial success, and/or market development across the sector. The award may relate to the organization’s broader contribution, not to the specific submission in isolation.

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Award winners 2017

  • Chair’s Award

    Huawei_Logo

    Ray Williamson For recognizing the need to develop different & better business models

  • Judges’ Award

     Cisco_logo

    Cisco Open-nFAPI: An Open Source Project to Accelerate the Adoption of Small Cell Forum’s nFAPI Defined Virtualized Small Cell Architecture

  • Individual Contribution to Small Cell Forum Activities

    Nokia_logo

    Tim Carey For leading the definition of the TR-069 based nFAPI PNF management mode

  • Individual Contribution to Small Cell Forum Activities

    Nokia_logo

    Tim Carey For leading the definition of the TR-069 based nFAPI PNF management mode

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