Small Cell Forum wants Telecom Operators to Rapidly Deploy HetNets for 5G

The Small Cell Forum (SCF) has called upon industry regulators to help build a consistent and supportive regulatory environment for the deployment of dense HetNets worldwide. A HetNet is a network that uses a combination of legacy systems (e.g. GSM en UMTS) and modern radio access technologies such as LTE and Wi-Fi to provide better coverage. In the absence of the necessary frameworks to enable next generation network roll-outs, SCF warns that 5G deployments are likely to be significantly impacted.

To support this initiative, the Small Cell Forum (SCF) is developing different best practice guidelines for states, regulators and municipalities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In Europe, SCF is preparing responses to the UK Digital Economy Bill, which is currently before the Public Bill Committee and closely following the review of the European telecom framework, the Electronic Communication Code that contains regulatory proposals aimed to facilitate the deployment and operation of small cells. SCF aims to disseminate best practice to all stakeholders and help drive global alignment.

At the same time, They are continuing to urge national governments to strengthen deployment provision in support of the societal and commercial benefits associated with enhanced connectivity.

While the air interface continues to dominate industry discussion, the biggest challenges in rolling out the dense networks associated with 5G lie in the underlying network architecture and fragmented and outdated national regulatory frameworks. The SCF is actively engaged in defining operator and vendor priorities for bringing interoperability and consistency to the enabling technologies that will be the foundations for 5G networks. At the same time, it is critical that the industry works in conjunction with regulatory bodies to create an environment in which these networks can be swiftly and cost-effectively deployed.

SCF believes that dense HetNets represent a fundamental shift in telecoms infrastructure, providing the underlying communications backbone for pervasive and robust connectivity, and more efficient utilization of spectrum and network resources.