Small cell experts raise questions of standards, interoperability and performance

While small cells have the potential to meet growing demand for mobile data and improve urban connectivity, they need to be automatically and smoothly incorporated into the existing macrocell network, raising questions of standards, interoperability and performance, according to industry experts at the Cambridge Wireless Small Cells Special Interest Group (SIG) conference yesterday (Weds).


“Operators and vendors are facing the question of how networks will cope with managing multiple technologies across the different layers and the load balance between 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi traffic,” said Nick Johnson, Chief Technical Officer at ip.access. “We need to learn the lessons from past interoperability failures and create a true heterogeneous network based on industry standards.”

Other speakers at the CW event, ‘Interoperability of Small Cells & Existing Cellular Networks - What’s the Hold Up?’, included Bert Esser of Keysight Technologies, David Swift from Alcatel Lucent, Neeraj Gupta and Kreso Bilan from NEC UK, Phil Claridge of JDSU UK and Alessandro Bovone from EE.

“Multivendor Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets) offer operators and consumers a wide choice of small cell products and seamless coverage while also facilitating economies of scale,” said Neeraj Gupta, Senior Manager at NEC UK. Together with Kreso Bilan, Telecommunications System Architect at NEC, Gupta presented examples from 3GPP, Small Cell Forum, ETSI and NGMN collaborations along with NEC’s first Small Cell LTE Plugfest, involving a broad range of macro and small cell eco-system vendors.

The event culminated with a panel session chaired by Professor Simon Saunders, Director of Technology at Real Wireless that gave the audience a unique opportunity to explore further the need for interoperability along with the potential benefits and sacrifices for operators and vendors.

The event was hosted by PwC and jointly sponsored by Microlease & Keysight Technologies. The Small Cell SIG is championed by Paul Kenworthy of Ranplan, Simon Saunders of Real Wireless, Simon Fletcher of NEC Telcom MODUS, David Chambers of ThinkSmallCell and Zahid Ghadialy of eXplanoTech.

About Cambridge Wireless (CW)

CW is the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless & mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies. With 400 members from major network operators and device manufacturers to innovative start-ups and universities, CW stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge, and helps to build connections between academia and industry. CW's 19 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide its members with a dynamic forum where they can network with their peers, track the latest technology trends and business developments and position their organisations in key market sectors. CW also organises the annual Future of Wireless International Conference and Discovering Start-ups competition along with other high-quality industry networking events and dinners. With headquarters at the heart of Cambridge, UK, CW partners with other international industry clusters and organisations to extend its reach and remain at the forefront of global developments and business opportunities. For more information, please visit

For Cambridge Wireless please contact:
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