Start-ups and Virtualization in the spotlight at Small Cell Forum’s latest Plenary

New membership options, virtualization and rural and remote use cases the focus of discussions with 44 different member companies in Milan

London, UK, 24 September 2014. The Small Cell Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports small cell deployment worldwide, has closed its 27th Plenary meeting, with 80 representatives from 44 different companies including operators from Asia, Europe and America, coming together in Milan to discuss the future of small cells.

The Plenary also saw Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahan announce a new membership for Start-Ups. Open to companies with gross annual revenue of less than £306,000, the annual membership is just £750 and will enable Start-Up firms to help shape the future of small cells and the work of the Small Cell Forum. More information is available by contacting Member Services.

“We’re really pleased to be able to welcome more start-ups into the Small Cell Forum by offering this new membership option,” said Sue Monahan, CEO of the Small Cell Forum. “Lots of new and emerging companies are doing innovative work involving small cells, so we’d now encourage them to join the Forum and help shape the direction of this industry and the work that we’re doing.”

Virtualization as well as Rural and Remote applications were the two main areas of focus for the Plenary, with work taking place across all groups ahead of the launch of Release Five at Mobile World Congress next year. The Rural and Remote release will address small cell use cases not just in rural areas, but also in transportation, special events and temporary coverage needs.

“It’s been incredibly encouraging to see the hive of activity that’s taken place across all of the working groups at the latest Plenary,” said Alan Law, Chair of the Small Cell Forum. “This is an exciting time for me to be taking on the role of chair and the work that’s taken place in Milan is incredibly important not just for the next part of our Release Program, but for the future of small cells. Virtualization is a really hot topic across the mobile industry and one that the Small Cell Forum is working hard to address.”

The work on virtualization covered its impact on everything from network architecture to the business case. While work has already started in many of these areas, the Small Cell Forum is inviting both members and the wider industry to get behind the initiative and provide input.

About the Small Cell Forum (SCF)
The Small Cell Forum (www.smallcellforum.org) supports the wide-scale adoption of small cells. Small cells are low-power wireless access points that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence. They provide improved cellular coverage, capacity and applications for homes and enterprises as well as metropolitan and rural public spaces. They include technologies variously described as femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells.

The Forum has in excess of 150 members including 68 operators representing more than 3 billion mobile subscribers – 46 per cent of the global total – as well as telecoms hardware and software vendors, content providers and innovative start-ups.

About the Release Program
Launched in February 2013 the Small Cell Forum Release Program provides a comprehensive set of technical and business documents to help deploy small cells in the home, enterprise, rural and urban areas. Each release includes detailed documents on key areas such as market drivers, business case, technology information including standards, operator lessons, and a regulatory overview.

The Release Program is driven by the knowledge that more than 98% of operators think small cells are essential to their future. Whilst existing deployments have centred on almost 50 pioneering large operators in developed markets, the Release Program aims to help every type of operator from across the globe to roll out small cells.

In 2015, the Forum will publish Release Five, themed around small cells for Rural & Remote deployments. View the roadmap here http://scf.io/doc/100

Media contacts
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smallcellforum@emlwildfire.com
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