Small Cell Forum lays foundations of the 5G HetNet future

London --- Small Cell Forum has published the first tranche of documents which will make up Release 7, a comprehensive deployment blueprint for the HetNet. With small cells at the heart of operators’ move towards multi-technology, multi-domain, multivendor networks, the Forum is ideally placed to provide a blueprint for deployment now, and a roadmap to the 5G future. The documents form the foundations of a full market-defining Release, which will be unveiled in June, addressing the technology, deployment and regulatory issues around HetNets and SON (self-optimizing networks).

Combined, Release 7 will consist of over 20 documents focused on real world issues for operators and vendors deploying HetNets and planning the migration to 5G. For the first time, the Forum is detailing and defining all the components of the HetNet, which it defines as a “multi-x environment – multi-technology, multi-domain, multi-spectrum, multi-operator and multi-vendor.”

At the heart of HetNet Foundations’ release is the ‘Integrated HetNet Architecture Framework: paving the path for 5G networks’. This describes the whole network architecture and the supporting management framework and systems that will be required for HetNets, especially as these become increasingly virtualized.

Other documents include detailed analysis of SON use cases in enterprise and urban environments; an operator survey focused on the key market drivers for deploying HetNets; the Forum’s 5G roadmap; and a collection of early deployment stories.

At the same time, Small Cell Forum released its latest market figures showing that the number of small cells deployed had now passed 14 million. Growth in non-residential small cells continues to accelerate – with 78 per cent growth in Q1 of 2016. The report, by analyst house Mobile Experts, also shows that small cell revenues are now on a steep upward curve with revenues in 2016 set to more than double from 2015’s record breaking $1bn.

The Foundations documents are available free at

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