Small Cell Forum collaborate with industry standards bodies to support densification ahead of 5G
Network densification is seen as an imperative to support the vision of 5G. This requires many things: more fiber, more cell sites–at both the macro level and major increases in the number of small cell locations–broad support for all types of spectrum, interoperability and collaboration among industry stakeholders. To help drive these needs, Small Cell Forum has developed a vision for the evolution of networks in cooperation with 3GPP, GSMA, NGMN, ETSI, CTIA, ONAP, X-RAN, CBRS, TIA and MEF.
Based on conversations at Small Cell Forum’s Partner’s Day event, a new report titled “Network densification in the 5G era,” outlines five major technological points to define next generation networks:
- Co-existence of LTE and 5G–“Architectural changes such as virtualization and edge computing must apply to legacy LTE as well as new 5G components…”
- The key role of automation, self-organizing networks and orchestration to ensure “there are open and interoperable interfaces to enable instrumentation and dynamic configuration of network functions, transport and other resources.”
- Furthering virtualization efforts to promote network “agility and flexibility, multi-vendor efficiencies and innovation, and cost reduction.”
- Alignment around the dynamic use of licensed, unlicensed and shared spectrum. “The seamless and secure cellular user experience will not be realized unless core network interworking is enabled.”
- And, given the complexity of these future networks, doing what’s possible to address engineering complexity. “For rapid, low-cost deployment we need this to be simple to understand and easy to design for, as well as robust in real-world conditions.”
According to the report, the set of partners agree that collaboration around the role of small cell deployments, in the context of evolving networks, “will enable it to reach all the diverse stakeholders which will be involved with 5G and will maximize the impact of its network. This, in turn, will help accelerate progress to hyper-dense and 5G networks.”
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