Small Cell Forum appoints new chair
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, chair of the Small Cell Forum

The Small Cell Forum (SCF) has appointed Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu as its new chair, replacing AT&T’s David Orloff. Chitrapu leads AT&T’s Converged Access & Device Technology organisation and brings high-level technical and strategic leadership experience to the role.

Unanimously approved at The Forum’s all-member London plenary, Chitrapu laid out SCF’s agenda for year ahead, which emphasises the Forum’s ongoing work in 5G Open Small Cell RAN architectures, together with the development of 5G-era small cell products, deploying them in virtualised cloud environments, enabling the development of multi-operator and neutral host deployments, monetising and developing edge computing opportunities, and the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to all aspects of small cell network planning, deployment and operations.

Chitrapu has previously served as chair of the Forum’s TECH & 5G Working Group, driving a number of work items spanning 5G-era use cases, edge computing, private LTE/5G, Self-Organising networks (SON) & orchestration and leading the Forum’s 5G-RAN, small cell architectures and open specifications work including femto application platform interface (FAPI) and nFAPI ) (network FAPI). He has also spearheaded SCF’s collaborations and interactions across other industry forums, including; OAI, TIP, WBA, ORAN, ONAP, CBRS-A, ETSI-MEC.

Since Orloff was appointed as chair back in 2016, the Forum has strongly increased its engagement with end-users (through programmes such as the Enterprise Advisory Council) and lawmakers. He also oversaw increased collaboration with other industry organisations, including GSMA, 5G Americas, ORAN and CBRS Alliance among others.

Chitrapu said: “I am honoured and tremendously excited to be elected as chair of Small Cell Forum at such a pivotal moment in the development of the 5G-era, in which small cells play such a central role. Having been involved in the Forum since 2010, I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand how our commitment to collaboratively working as an industry has affected networks for the better. On behalf of, and together with, all of our members, I look forward to continuing our hard work and tradition of high quality, timely outputs to drive small cells forward.”

Sue Monahan, SCF CEO, said: “David Orloff’s tenure as chair has been a great success, and I would like to extend my thanks and that of the Forum’s membership for his hard work, excellent leadership and advocacy. Under his stewardship small cells have become an integral part of the discussion around dense networks needed to roll out 5G, and we have continued to set the industry’s agenda while providing critical technical output to develop more efficient, deployable and cost-effective networks. With much work still to do, Prabhakar is a natural choice to succeed David, with a keen technical mind and an exceptional work ethic.”

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