5G FAPI specs updated with richer 3GPP feature set

5G FAPI suite with richer 3GPP feature set to underpin supply chain diversification

SCF has updated the suite of 5G FAPI specifications which underpin the high-performance low-cost components integral to 5G mobile base stations, whether small cell or macro. This update demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the ecosystem to continually improve the standard, adding new features and maintaining existing ones.

Neutral host requirements

Hosted Open RAN

Neutral hosting enables shared infrastructure which reduces the footprint of mobile networks, making them less visually obtrusive but also more cost- and energy-efficient. Such savings make mobile networks more affordable to everyone who benefits from the connectivity they provide – enterprise, industry, public buildings and the people who wish to stay connected wherever they are.

SCF neutral host members are proposing a global framework for Hosted Open RAN networks. The framework will aim to combine the qualities of established and emerging neutral host architectures, ranging from site share, DAS, to small cells with CBRS and JOTS NHIB.

This paper sets out the range of neutral hosting architectures in use and emerging today. In addition to site sharing and DAS, we look at the new hosting models being enabled by CBRS licensed shared access in the US and the JOTS NHIB framework proposed by MNOs in the UK.

In parallel with the clarification of architectures, SCF’s neutral host group is comparing and contrasting them to inform the next stage of this work. We will publish these analyses which will provide the foundations for developing technology and other requirements and recommendations in support our Hosted Open RAN framework.


About Hosted Open RAN

In this video, Julius Robson, SCF’s Chief Strategy Officer, explains the background to SCF’s Hosted Open RAN framework, progress to date and future developments. With contributions from Cellnex Telecom, Colt Technology Services, Crown Castle, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Freshwave and BT.

Neutral hosts on JOTS

SCF represents a growing group of neutral hosts and other alternative deployers that have been closely following the development of the JOTS NHIB specifications since they were discussed at Small Cell World Summit 2019. We see this pioneering operator agreement as a significant step forward in the cost-effective delivery of multi-operator services into small- to medium-sized business premises in the UK, as well as being a template for other regions. In this paper we provide a neutral host’s perspective on these consensus UK MNO requirements – both for the UK indoor cellular market, but also how global neutral hosts view this model compared to established and emerging models in their own regions.


Options for indoor cellular coverage

This guide is for building owners and enterprises. It explains the diversity of service providers that enterprises could be dealing with – carriers/MNOs, neutral hosts, system integrators, private networks providers; as well as the technologies that they’ll be using, including small cells, relays, private LTE/5G, Edge, and DAS. Drawing on real world examples, we aim to help organizations of all sizes to understand what they can do to improve mobile connectivity on their premises, be that as a landlord or a tenant.


Private networks with small cells

This work builds on earlier work on in-building coverage, shared spectrum small cell architectures, private network deployment case studies and Plugfest activities SCF has conducted over a number of years. Our deployment examples demonstrate how small cells and private networks have a natural synergy. LTE-based solutions have already been commercially deployed in a wide-range of settings – from retail and tourism to industrial warehousing and ports, educational campuses, and transportation and logistics.


Neutral host content SCWS 2021

Towerco and neutral host models

The shape and evolution of global tower market – Laura Graves, TowerXchange
New models, new architecture? – Bill Cune, Corning
Optimizing neutral host small cell networks – Paul Senior, Dense Air Ltd.
Small cells for neutral host deployments in a 5G world – Roger Galuban, Ericsson
Neutral host networks for smart transport and smarter cities – Andrew Conway, BAI Communications UK


Neutral host in-building coverage

Joint Operators Technical Specification for Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB)– Dave Morris, JOTS and Telefonica O2
Joint Operator Technical Specification for Neutral Host In-Building – Katie Pontin, Vodafone UK
Delivering in customer environments – Graham Payne, Freshwave
Architectural flexibility for neutral host networks – Stuart Holyoak, CommScope
Neutral host advanced connectivity, indoor & outdoor – Victor Dot Piulachs, Cellnex Telecom
● Stuart Bryden, BT Wholesale, Panelist


As a strong advocate of emerging small cell neutral hosting, we at Small Cell Forum are delighted to see the release of the Joint Operator Technical Specifications for Neutral Host In-Building – JOTS NHIB. Before we get too technical, it’s…

London, UK 19th November 2020 Small Cell Forum has welcomed the first release of the Joint Operator Technical Specifications for Neutral Host In-Building (JOTS NHIB), agreed by the four UK mobile network operators, Telefonica O2, EE, Vodafone and 3UK. The…

Neutral host requirements: Architectures