London, UK – 6th June 2013 – The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, today announced the winners of the Small Cell Forum Industry Awards 2013. The awards recognize outstanding achievement within, and contributions to, the small cell industry. The awards were presented at a gala dinner at the Small Cell World Summit in London last night.
The awards were open to the whole industry and judged independently of the Small Cell Forum by a panel of distinguished analysts, journalists and industry experts, chaired by Caroline Gabriel, Research Director, Maravedis Rethink. The awards attracted entries from vendors and operators from across the world and the full spectrum of the mobile value chain.
The winners are:
- Residential femtocell access point design and technology innovation (vendor)
Cisco – Scaling Network Vision for Small Cells: Cisco Management Heartbeat Server
“Small cell networks have forced operators to adapt to dramatically different challenges. Perhaps none greater than trying to manage millions of radio access points located in your customers’ living rooms using backhaul and power that are normally not your own. The Cisco Management Heartbeat Server gives operators crystal clear insight into what is happening in their femtocell network in real-time thereby allowing them to find and fix issues before the end-user is even aware of them,” said Richard Webb, the lead judge for the category and Directing Analyst, Infonetics Research.
- Non-residential (enterprise and public access small cell) design and technology innovation (vendor)
SpiderCloud – Transforming the Cellular Service Offering in Enterprises, deployed by Vodafone
“The competition among operators to win major enterprise customers is almost as significant as the challenge associated with delivering the actual service. Campuses of all shapes and sizes, encased in metalized windows, normally require weeks of specialist planning and installation. Vodafone and SpiderCloud have harnessed the power of Self Optimizing Network technology to deliver a solution in a fraction of the time and cost of DAS alternatives and which use a fraction of the spectrum,” said Caroline Gabriel, Research Director, Maravedis Rethink..
- Small cell network element design and technology innovation (open to all)
SK Telecom – SK Telecom’s Commercial Deployment of LTE Femtocells
“To label SK Telecom’s LTE public access femtocell service “pioneering” almost seems an understatement. Not only did its launch last June make it far and away the world’s first LTE small cell deployment, it also incorporates public Wi-Fi, at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, as well as voice over LTE. It has already been densely deployed in urban areas using the same band as the macro network so also includes cutting edge interference mitigation,” said Ken Rehbehn, the lead judge for the category and Principal Analyst, Mobile RAN, Yankee Group.
- Small cell service or application (vendor or operator)
Vodafone Group – Vodafone Greece: Delivering a New Mobile Experience with “Free 3G Hotspots”
“In recent years, the small cell industry has devoted time and effort to thinking up clever small cell service ideas – but sometimes it is the simplest ideas that are the most compelling. Vodafone Greece’s “Free 3G Hotspot” service allows its subscribers to enjoy broadband access, free of charge, at several well known food and coffee retailers. No awkward usernames and passwords, just a text message to tell you to enjoy the free data. It’s little surprise that the service has been so well received by end-users and retailers alike,” said Peter Jarich, the lead judge for the category and Service Director, Current Analysis.
- Innovation in commercial deployment (vendor or ecosystem)
Vodafone Group & Huawei – MetroZone Small Cell Solutions: Enabling ‘Smart Cities’ Today and in the Future
“Much has been made in recent years about smart cities that take advantage of ubiquitous mobile broadband coverage. Public access small cells could help make this vision possible but getting cell sites in the right location can currently be constrained by backhaul. Vodafone and Huawei’s 3G MetroZone small cell solution provides an answer to this challenge by allowing discrete small cell sites to be installed in a more flexible choice of locations using TD-LTE wireless backhaul. For operators with appropriate spectrum assets, the solution offers an alternative to fixed or line of sight microwave,” said Keith Dyer, the lead judge for the category and Editor of The Mobile Network.
- Commercial deployment – innovation in commercial deployment (operator)
SK Telecom – Commercial Deployment of LTE Small Cells, with Contela & Mindspeed
“The cost of being first to market is a daunting set of technical challenges that require genuine innovation. SK Telecom’s dramatically early LTE deployment, which used Contela’s LTE small cell technology and Mindspeed’s Transcede® processor, shows how this can be achieved. The deployment employed X2 handover even before the standard was finished by building the capability into the gateway instead of the small cell – not to mention the inclusion of VoLTE,” said Dean Bubley, the lead judge for the category and Founder, Disruptive Analysis.
- Commercial deployment – progress in deployment (operator)
Vodafone Group – Worldwide Commercial Deployment of “Sure Signal”
“With 14 commercial rollouts including residential, enterprise and public access use cases, and access support ranging from DSL to satellite backhaul, Vodafone Group has shown the universal appeal of small cells. By creating a smooth process that combines a clear consumer proposition, targeted marketing and well thought out technology, there is no stopping the deployments,” said Nick Marshall, the lead judge for the category and Principal Networks Analyst, ABI Research.
- Enabling technology (components, subsystems, modules, software, etc.)
AirHop Communications – eSON: Innovative Cloud Based Client/Server SON Solution for LTE Deployments
“A degree of Self Optimizing Network capability has been an essential ingredient in small cells from their inception, however AirHop are taking the technology to new heights. The need for smart radio management for improved capacity, especially at the cell edge, is now becoming standard. AirHop go the extra mile by offering an innovative cloud-based model that reduces the processing burden at the edge, and a virtualization platform that lets operators fully model a small cell network ahead of deployment,” said Adrian Scrase, the lead judge for the category and ETSI CTO.
- Social vision – promoting small cells for social/ economic/ environmental development (open to all)
ip.access & Altobridge – Small Cells Bring Connectivity to Developing World
“The incredible potential for small cells to transform rural access and bridge the digital divide has long been spoken about. Various pieces of the puzzle have been constructed but it is only now that we’re seeing a solution with actual market traction. ip.access and Altobridge have developed a robust solution that can cover 10 kilometers, support 1,500 subscribers and use optimized satellite backhaul and solar power. Above all, it is economical and has already connected over 1,000 remote communities,” said David Chambers, the lead judge for the category and Editor of ThinkSmallCell.
- Judges choice
“Few operators have articulated the profound role small cells will play in the future of mobile networks more clearly than AT&T. Perhaps no other operator has laid out more ambitious plans for small cells in the near future. Multi-mode public access models that intelligently manage traffic between 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi are definitely coming to AT&T subscribers and the operator is actively involved in the industry to ensure they are a major success,” said Caroline Gabriel, Chair of the Judges and Research Director, Maravedis Rethink.
- Individual contribution to Small Cell Forum activities (nominated and judged by Small Cell Forum working group chairs)
Rupert Baines – For his work as the Small Cell Forum’s Founding Marketing Working Group Chairman (while at Mindspeed)
“Despite having only seven small members, the Femto Forum, launched with a bang back in 2007. Within 18 months it had become one of the most well known telecom industry bodies and attracted over 100 members including 17 of the world’s top 20 operators. In 2012, it successfully navigated a hugely important rebranding exercise when it became the Small Cell Forum. Rupert Baines, the Forum’s Founding Marketing Working Group Chairman, led these efforts with his customary mixture of creativity, professionalism and good humor,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
- Innovation leadership award (judged by the Small Cell Forum Chairman)
Professor Simon Saunders – For his work as Chairman of the Small Cell Forum
“The key ingredient to the Forum’s success and indeed that of the wider small cell industry is the Forum’s Founding Chairman, Professor Simon Saunders. Back in 2007 there were numerous different approaches to femtocell network design and not a standard in sight. Worse still, operators were highly dubious of this upstart technology. Today, standardized small cell networks abound and the world’s operator community is agreed that the technology is central to the industry’s future. Simon was the central figure in this transformation and the industry undoubtedly owes him a great debt,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
- Chairman’s Award (judged by the Small Cell Forum Chairman)
Nick Johnson & Julius Robson – For his work at the Small Cell Forum
“This year’s award, for the first time, will be a joint honor. In 2012, the Small Cell Forum decided to dramatically reshape how its work is planned, organized and presented by embracing a Release Programme. This represented a significant change in the way the Forum works and while we owe a great deal of gratitude to our membership at large for the efforts it has taken to implement this, two individuals, Nick Johnson and Julius Robson, in particular stood out. Nick for leading the Release Steering Committee and establishing the roadmap for Release Two and beyond. Using his in-depth knowledge of the work we do and leveraging his strong relationships, he has put the Forum on the path to future success. And to Julius, for his part in delivering one of the most downloaded documents of Release One, the Backhaul Whitepaper and his continued support as part of the release steering committee for Release Two and beyond. He embodies a new wave of membership, representing the broader ecosystem that will be needed to support the expanded scope of the Small Cell Forum and its future success.”
“The judging panel was very impressed with the caliber of the award submissions. The small cell industry continues to evolve to meet the increasingly challenging demands of operators in an ever widening range of different use cases. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners and all those who participated,” said Caroline Gabriel, Chair of the Judges and Research Director, Maravedis Rethink.
For more information on the Small Cell Forum Industry Awards 2013, please visit: https://www.smallcellforum.org/events/awards/