Appointments

Small Cell Forum’s new board to reflect sector diversification

Prabhakar Chitrapu - SCF.jpg

The Small Cell Forum (SCF) has named its new board for 2021, with a line-up it said is reflective of “two key areas of diversification in the small cell ecosystem”.

Naming eight new representatives, SCF said the two key areas span the emergence of alternative deployment models, such as neutral hosting and private networks, and Open RAN specifications enabling disaggregation of small cells at both component and network level. Both feature in SCF’s plans for 2021.

As a result, neutral hosts now represent half of the SCF board and along with mobile operators and vendors, represent the developing marketplace.

“I am delighted to see that the Forum board continues to reflect our diversifying ecosystem,” said Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu (pictured), chair of Small Cell Forum.

“SCF was born of innovation – originally at the component and equipment level with the SoC based small cell concept, and now also at the deployer level with rich partnerships between mobile operators, neutral hosts, private networks and heavy MVNOs. I look forward to fruitful engagement with our new board to double-down on our ambitions to capture the needs of alternative deployers, as well as growing the ecosystem around our 5G FAPI Small Cell Open RAN specifications.”

According to SCF’s July small cells market status report a “tipping point” has now been passed in global small cell deployments. More than half of new indoor small cells are installed by alternative deployers including private networks, neutral hosts, heavy MVNOs and ‘direct to enterprise’ models, in addition to those deployed by mobile operators.

SCF said the trend is “set to continue with over 70% forecast to be deployed with the new models by 2026” and the largest share predicted to be neutral hosts.

The new board will comprise:

  • Prabhakar Chitrapu (Chair)

  • AT&T, Nick Thompson

  • BAI Communications, Andrew Conway (New to Exec. Board for 2020-21)

  • Cellnex Telecom, Piercarlo Giannattasio

  • Crown Castle, Mark Reudink,

  • DenseAir, Paul Trubridge

  • Nokia, Randy Cox

  • Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Caleb Banke

  • Reliance Jio, Ravi Sinha

In addition to the board appointments, arQana Technologies has also joined as the newest member of the forum.

Chitrapu added: “arQana is a world leader in supplying components for wireless small cell infrastructure, including mmw solutions, and their expertise marks a valuable addition to the Forum’s strengths as we embark on further work on 5G small cell product open specifications.”