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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Hosted networks

Over half of new indoor small cells are being installed by alternative deployers including neutral hosts. Neutral hosts will be major force in new network deployment model as 5G rolls out. These new hosting models are now a major focus of SCF’s work plans.

Latest publication: SCF neutral hosts on JOTS

In this paper we provide a neutral host’s perspective on JOTS 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. We also outline SCF’s activities to support commercialization of JOTS in the UK, as well as encouraging similar models which can be supported with common technology and policy frameworks.

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What our members are working on

This area of our work aims to capture the requirements driving technologies, standards and regulation supporting hosted and private small cell networks. This reflects the need to ensure future mobile technology standards and solutions take into account the needs of a new and growing set of alternative deployers, as well as those of mobile operators. New deployers include neutral hosts, private network operators, tower companies and systems integrators.

Hosted network architectures

  • Identifying the global set of hosting architectures supporting multi-operator, private networking and other alternative deployment models.
  • Extracting common requirements and standard approaches for aspects including RAN interfaces, OSS management, virtualisation, spectrum, security, transport, etc.
  • Clarify line items common to all deployment models and those which must remain flexible to customise the hosting offer for different MNOs on the one hand, and venues on the other.

Supporting hosted network model

  • Facilitate cooperation and understanding between MNOs, neutral hosts and enterprises to lower barriers to hosted shared and private networks.
  • Evolve management, operations and analytics to better align with hosted network architectures and the requirements of enterprise users.
  • Drive availability of multi-operator product sets to improve the costs of neutral host deployment.
  • Develop reference deployment designs for specific sectors to speed and scale private cellular networks for industry and enterprise.
  • Share global regulatory best practice, simple and repeatable deployment processes, and socio-economic benefit case narratives.

Related documents

You might also be interested in the following documents

Private cellular networks with small cells

This is a foundational report which sets out the key opportunities, challenges and recommendations in the Private-Small Cell Network market.

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Multi-operator indoor coverage for your enterprise with neutral-hosted small cells

Enterprises demand excellent connectivity – including mobile signals for all operators.

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Options for indoor cellular coverage

Do you want to improve your in-building cellular service but you don’t know what the options are? Then this document is for you.

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The neutral host model

Neutral hosts are third-party providers delivering radio access networks as-a-service. These firms can build platforms at scale while ensuring that they support the specific requirements of enterprise and industrial services – which in many cases are hard for MNOs to invest in, since their successful model focuses on mobile broadband pipes that provide generic capacity to any application.

The clearest example is deep indoor penetration – neutral hosts are emerging whose whole business model is based on indoor small cells, which have generally been hard for MNOs to roll out profitably. As 5G use cases evolve, there will be neutral hosts supporting more specialized requirements on a national or international scale, such as very high availability and security to support businesses with critical communications requirements.

Enterprises, MVNOs, specialist service providers and the MNOs themselves can then ride on top of these shared systems, greatly reducing their own costs of reaching industrial customers.

Related content

You might also be interested in the following content.

Neutral host moves to the top of SCF’s agenda

This article explains why SCF has identified neutral host models as one of its most prominent work items. Neutral hosts can build platforms at scale while ensuring that they support the specific requirements of enterprise and industrial services – which in many cases are hard for MNOs to invest in, since their successful model focuses on mobile broadband pipes that provide generic capacity to any application.

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A wide variety of deployers will be critical to hit densification goals

There is an industry-wide trend to apply mobile communications to many more environments and business cases than in the past, and small cells are an essential enabler of that, bringing high quality cellular connectivity to enterprise premises, public spaces, cities and remote areas. But in many of these environments, the business case for MNOs is unappealing.

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