Press Release

Small Cell Forum (SCF) and 5G Americas today announced the launch of a further detailed guide to support operators in the efficient deployment of small cells. The two leading mobile wireless organizations have cooperated to produce the report, entitled Small Cell Siting and Deployment Challenges in Hyper Dense Networks.

The document is the third output of SCF and 5G Americas’ liaison agreement and a companion piece to the earlier Small Cell Siting: Regulatory and Deployment Considerations. SCF and 5G Americas have created these guides explicitly to support and simplify the planning and regulatory issues associated with the dense Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) deployments that will be typical in our 5G mobile future, and in which small cells will be a significant component. Experts from the forums and their member organizations have been cooperating globally to author the document output, and it is the goal of both organizations to help eliminate potential roadblocks and mitigate challenges that may slow the process of successful small cell deployments. The deployment of millions of additional small cell sites in itself will be a monumental challenge in light of current regulation policy and the costs often associated with the traditional cell siting infrastructure.

Going forward, SCF and 5G Americas will continue to collaborate to make it easier for operators to provide consumers and businesses with the service they demand, and realize the commercial and societal benefits of improved connectivity.

“The large scale deployments driven by massive densification required in 5G will result in many challenges, particularly in cell siting; which could lead to long delays with operators wading through a bureaucratic quagmire,” said David Orloff, Chair of Small Cell Forum. “Our work with 5G Americas is about raising awareness of siting and deployment challenges that accompany densification and recommending solutions that can enable efficient deployment of small cells now and in future 5G environments.”

The guide is specifically operator driven, and seeks to scale down the administrative processes involved in small cell deployments, which in turn will expedite the flow of documents through local planning agencies. It recommends that small cell siting be streamlined where possible to use local infrastructure policies and design guidelines. This is because small cells are similar to access points and as such should not be considered large pieces of network equipment (such as macro cells for example), and thereby no specific planning permissions should be required to roll out such networks. The guide concludes that standard deployment procedures for small cells should be developed and established in all markets to allow for faster deployments and less administrative obstruction.

“No matter what shape the final technical specifications of 5G take, it is clear now that small cells will play a vital role in delivering that experience, and these documents are the first to address the challenges of large-scale deployments of hyper dense networks,” said Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “Our partnership with SCF continues to allow two of the industry’s leading trade organizations to pool their collective resources and speak with one voice to the importance of dense HetNets to facilitate and support not just next generation networks, but better and more cost-effective connectivity today.”

The papers are available for free download on the Small Cell Forum and 5G Americas websites.