Prabhakar Chitrapu appointed chair of the Small Cell Forum

AT&T’s Prabhakar Chitrapu appointed chair of the Small Cell Forum

09 October 2019 | Natalie Bannerman


The Small Cell Forum (SCF), a member association for global small cell deployment, has appointed Dr Prabhakar Chitrapu as its new chair replacing David Orloff.

Chitrapu currently serves as lead at AT&T’s converged access & device technology organisation, bringing to this position vast knowledge in high-level technical and strategic leadership.

“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,” said Sue Monahan, CEO of the Small Cell Forum. “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.”

His tenure was unanimously approved at the Forum’s all-member London plenary, during which Chitrapu detailed his plans for the year ahead. This included continuing the Forum’s critical work in 5G Open Small Cell RAN architectures, developing 5G-era small cell products, deploying them in virtualised cloud environments, enabling the development of multi-operator and neutral host deployments, monetising and solutioning edge computing opportunities, and the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to all aspects of small cell network planning, deployment and operations.

“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, said Chitrapu. “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.”

Chitrapu has 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, SON & orchestration and leading the Forum’s 5G-RAN, small cell architectures and open specifications work including FAPI and nFAPI. He has also led SCF’s collaborations and interactions across other industry forums, including OAI, TIP, WBA, ORAN, ONAP, CBRS-A, ETSI-MEC.