5G FAPI specs updated with richer 3GPP feature set

5G FAPI suite continues to evolve to meet industry needs and 3GPP alignment

SCF has updated the 5G FAPI and 5G nFAPI specs, extending the feature sets – including NR positioning and 7.2x FH status awareness. This update demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the ecosystem to continually improve the standard, adding new features and maintaining existing ones.

What we do

Current priorities

Small Cell Forum was founded with the aim of ensuring scale and, explicitly, diversity for the small cell industry. Diverse ecosystems are stable, sustainable and resilient. And right now ensuring the right conditions for diversity is our absolute priority:

  • Diversification of market applications
  • Diversification of deployers
  • Diversification of supply chains

An expanding group of players will be using small cells to facilitate 4G and 5G deployment in a wide range of environments in the coming years. To make this happen new approaches to small cell development are needed. There also need to be new business models.

Our members are responding to these needs. They are developing specifications, technical blueprints and guides. Their aim? To facilitate interoperability for physical and virtual small cell networks – and to enable multi-vendor and multi-operator (or neutral host) deployment.

This is a fast-changing environment, one that SCF is helping to enable. But our basic mission has not changed. SCF is accelerating small cell deployments. We are helping to enable low-cost, agile mobile infrastructure. We are working with regulators and municipalities. We are partnering enterprise. And we are supporting new business models.

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Our work program

Our 2020-21 work program addresses requirements from service providers, enterprises and technology providers – all of which will be driving the small cell-enabled 5G future.

5G products and components

Small cells are changing. Their form is changing and so are their use cases. To avoid the risk fragmentation, SCF has produced a consensus view and concise definition of the types of 5G small cells and the key characteristics of the different types of commercially viable 5G small cell RAN products over the next five years.

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FAPI specifications

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. FAPI has already been widely adopted in the vast majority of 2G, 3G and 4G system-on-a-chip based small cells and the 5G version is now on its third release.

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FAPI is an interface between the chipset and the software within a small cell. It enables a small cell maker to integrate a SoC from one vendor with upper layer software from another vendor and combine that into one product. nFAPI provides a transport wrapper around the established FAPI PHY APIs to create a fronthaul interface between an S-RU and S-DU. The combination of FAPI and nFAPI is called Open6.

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Private networks and edge

Today, commercial conditions are ripe for enterprises and government to leverage small cell-based private networks for their business-critical and mission-critical connectivity needs. Private networking technology is also a significant opportunity for operators and vendors, enabling new business models, tailored service offerings and access to new verticals.

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Advocacy and policy

SCF’s role extends to more than small cell technology and business cases, we also work with regulators, governments, and organizations. We act as advocates for small cells; on topics such as standardization, regulation, and health.

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