SCF details automation for 5G small cell networks

February 20, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
SCF details automation for 5G small cell networks
The Small Cell Forum (SCF) has published a roadmap for the commercialization of end-to-end small cell automation for the 5G-Era.

The white paper captures 10 years of experience in commercializing SON in over 18 million small cell deployments and details implementation recommendations for key 5G technology trends including disaggregation, virtualization, private networks and analytics with AI/ML.

Building on the small cell industry’s experience in establishing interoperable plug-and-play small cells for 3G and 4G, a collaborative paper has been produced by members AirHop, CommScope, Node-H, Nokia, Parallel Wireless, Reliance Jio and Samsung Electronics.

Ambitions for 5G to address future connectivity needs will see small cells deployed at scale in enterprise and industry verticals. This points to the need for pervasive end-to-end automation to ensure network operation remains feasible and affordable. Furthermore, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been shown to optimize dense het-nets in ways that are beyond human capability.

“With over a decade’s experience of commercializing large-scale plug-and-play small cell deployments, this paper presents SCF’s recommendations of how SON and automation need to be implemented for the broader end-to-end and AI-enabled automated vision for 5G,” said Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, Chair of Small Cell Forum. “Open and interoperable management and orchestration are a pre-requisite to realize these ambitions. Standards are an important first step, but further industry effort is now needed to prioritize scenarios, architectures and features for use in multi-vendor interoperability testing.”

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