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SCF: New Entrants will Operate More than 70% of Indoor Enterprise Networks by 2026

London, UK 9th July 2020 Small Cell Forum (SCF) today announced the publication of its 2021 work program, detailing commercial and technical initiatives to expand the small cell ecosystem, address deployment barriers and evolve technologies to make secure mobile infrastructure accessible to organizations and communities of all sizes globally.

The work program is supported by the findings of SCF?s latest market status report, also published today, which identifies rising demand for new cellular services and use cases, particularly in the connected enterprise, community and industrial settings.

The report details how such opportunities and deployment scenarios will be supported by new types of service provider partnerships involving, amongst others, neutral hosts, private network operators and system integrators, in addition to traditional MNOs.

The report projects that, by 2026, as many as 30% of the installed base of outdoor small cell networks, and 71% of indoor enterprise systems, are likely to be operated by new entrants to the cellular segment. Not all will be new companies ? there will be incomers from the cloud, Wi-Fi, tower and enterprise/private network spaces, among others. But there will also be increasing opportunities for innovative new players, such as neutral hosts, private network operators, city or enterprise specialists, who will favour flexible mobile infrastructure with end-to-end security offered by small cells.

Over the next 12 months SCF will continue to focus on the evolving role for small cells in the digital transformation of industry, enterprise and communities by working to ensure access to secure, scalable, low-cost and light touch mobile infrastructure. Its new program is focused on:

? private networks and edge computing
? neutral host requirements
? planning, management and automation of small cell network operations
? APIs for 5G products and components, and split 6 open RAN networks

?In what has been a tumultuous year for the global economy, we have to recognize opportunities to reinvent and reinvigorate. Digital transformation not only improves process efficiencies to reduce costs and environmental impact, but also drives the pace of change,? said Prabhakar Chitrapu, Chair of Small Cell Forum. ?SCF believes that cellular connectivity, increasingly delivered by small cells, is a critical accelerant for this transformation.?

Sue Monahan, CEO of Small Cell Forum, said: ?This year?s Market Status report and forecast show that small cell networks are at a critical juncture, with rising demand for new cellular services and use cases, especially in enterprise and industrial sectors, which will deliver opportunities for many new deployment scenarios, with new services delivered by new providers. There are important emerging enablers of this growth, such as shared spectrum, open interfaces and automation, and all these key enablers are being actively developed and promoted by SCF work items. SCF?s work program for the year ahead will focus on lowering barriers, increasing confidence and enabling new use cases and business opportunities.?

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