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.

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Small Cell Forum neutral hosts propose Hosted Open RAN global framework

Framework combines the qualities of DAS, CBRS/OnGo and JOTS NHIB with Open RAN disaggregation and virtualisation to provide flexible and modular approach for neutral hosting and private networks

London, UK – 13th July 2021 – Small Cell Forum (SCF), the telecoms organization making infrastructure solutions available to all, today unveiled a proposed global framework for hosted Open RAN networks combining the qualities of established and emerging neutral host architectures ranging from site share and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) to small cells with Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and Joint Operator Technical Specifications for Neutral Host In-Building (JOTS NHIB). The proposal is available to download here.

TowerCos and neutral hosts have long worked with MNOs in supporting network deployments, particularly in scenarios where sharing is beneficial or essential. The deeper the sharing, the more savings are possible, the faster the deployment, and the more standardized the service offering to the MNOs. Neutral hosts recognize all mobile operators have unique strategies for their network build outs, and have different needs for incorporating hosted elements. At the same time, the mix of different sharing models presents complexity for the NH provider, so harmonized approaches are desirable.

Several regions are homing in on hosting frameworks which fit with the specifics of their markets- CBRS/OnGo in the US and JOTS NHIB in the UK. SCF neutral hosts see value in creating a global framework around these to recommend best practice and have proposed this as ‘Hosted Open RAN’. This will provide a flexible and modular approach to hosting to meet different MNO needs, whilst reducing complexity for neutral hosts to lower costs and enable scale.

“As Open RAN is revolutionizing the way in which the mobile technology ecosystem can cooperate to build out 5G networks, so neutral host is having the same impact on the way in which networks are deployed and managed,” said Julius Robson, Chief Strategy Officer, Small Cell Forum. “Our Hosted Open RAN framework, developed by leading global neutral hosts and TowerCos, harmonizes a global approach to neutral hosting and private networks supporting flexibility for MNOs and scalability for neutral host deployers.”

SCF244 Neutral Hosting Architectures was produced by Small Cell Forum with contributions from members including: Cellnex Telecom, Crown Castle, Colt Technology Services, Dense Air, American Tower, BT, Freshwave, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Extanet Systems, Commscope and JMA.

The group is currently working on detailed requirements for the Hosted Open RAN framework and welcomes contributions service and technology providers active in this space.