The Small Cell Forum marked its 10th anniversary this week with the release of new specifications that provide a blueprint for the hyperdense networks of the 5G and IoT future.
Release 9 reportedly includes an outline of the densified network architectures needed for next generation services, details on how to manage shared and CBRS spectrum, an installation guide to achieve RF compliance with IEC and GSMA standards, and new FAPI and nFAPI interface standards that now support NB-IoT. On the small cell densification front, SCF said its new release details the technologies involved in network densification, as well as a market analysis, and deployment challenges and considerations.
According to Release 9, the networks of the future will require hyperdense deployments of small cells, which it defines as “a large number” of small cells deployed per square kilometer by a large number of carriers. The exact number of small cells considered hyperdense is currently 150 cells per square kilometer, though SCF noted that figure could rise to 1,000 cells per square kilometer in a 5G scenario. The group said hyperdense networks will come about in response to rising demand for mobile data capacity and improved coverage for new use cases, and enabling factors like virtualization, and evolving technologies that can mitigate interference.
IHS Markit forecasted the small cell market is on the rise, with growth estimates calling for the sector to hit $2.2 billion by 2021. SCF officials said Release 9 is timed to facilitate a smoother transition to these networks over the coming years amid the explosive growth.
“The next few years will see densification on a massive scale of both existing 4G networks as well as next generation 5G systems. SCF is playing a central role in this shift, both from technology and cultural perspectives,” Small Cell Forum Chair David Orloff commented. “Since Day One the Forum has been highly successful in driving small cells into the mainstream and is set to continue to play a central role in densification, working to drive and co-ordinate the industry to revolutionize how networks are developed and deployed.”
A full list of Release 9 documents can be found here.
Filed Under: Infrastructure, Wireless, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0