Small Cell Forum unveils roadmap for automation of 5G small cell networks

Small Cell Forum (SCF) has published a new white paper which sets out the roadmap for the commercialisation of end-to-end small cell automation for the 5G-Era.

The white paper captures 10 years’ experience of commercialising SON (self-organising networks) in over 18 million small cell deployments.

The ‘SCF233 Small Cell SON and Orchestration from 4G to 5G’ paper details implementation recommendations for key 5G technology trends including disaggregation, virtualisation, private networks and analytics with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

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

Explaining the reasons behind producing the paper, SCF said that 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 optimise dense het-nets in ways that are beyond human capability.

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