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The symbiotic relationship between small cells and 5G

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Prabhakar Chitrapu, Chair of Technology & 5G Working Group, Small Cell Forum

The Small Cell Forum has two broad work streams: the hyper-dense network, and the digitised enterprise. The Technology and 5G Working Group takes input from both of these to identify the major work items required. It provides an overview for operators and vendors, so they have a full picture of the technology behind the individual topics. Also, the Group investigates whether or not there are specific requirements for a particular use case and checks against solutions and standards being developed by other standards groups, such as 3GPP. Where there are gaps, with no work underway, appropriate action is taken – either by producing an MRO requirements document that is submitted to a particular standards organisation, or else the Forum will develop the standards itself.

The Forum sees 5G as a framework to enable new services and business opportunities; the so-called 5G Era. Some of these opportunities can be realised today with LTE-A networks, so the Forum sees a bi-directional approach, with small cells both driving 5G, and the development of small cells being driven by 5G.

Integrated management and orchestration needs to be developed for small cells networks, along with self organising network capabilities, which is one of the Forum main work items this year.

Filmed at: SCWS World, London, 2017

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