5G small cell product definition

Early on, small cells looked fairly similar, regardless of the environment in which they would be deployed. But things have moved on in the 5G era. This initiative is about avoiding the risks of the industry fragmenting between hundreds of different designs that have insufficient common features to achieve any scale.

In the 5G era, small cells will be deployed in a wide range of scenarios, and the form factors and architectures will be extremely varied. The introduction of virtualized, disaggregated networks means that some small cells will consist of two or three elements, while others will still be all-in-one. Our aim is to provide a consensus view and concise definition of the types of 5G small cells and the key characteristics of the different types of commercially viable 5G small cell RAN products over the next five years.

This project is underpinned by a major survey of operators, other small cell deployers and supply chain members of SCF.

It is the first such study of its kind and will result in a quantitative view of the most important configurations and specifications for companies deploying small cells between now and 2025.