Small Cells: Realising the 5G Opportunity for Pioneering Spectrum Access - Beyond Exclusive Licensing

Brought to you by The Small Cell Group

In our last event the Small Cell SIG was looking forward to the arrival of the DCMS Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review as we took the temperature on the UK's readiness for 5G. Now, having digested the report, we explore some of the opportunities that have been identified.

About the event

Opportunities are highlighted; opening the supply chain to new entrants through verticals such as industrial applications, neutral host business opportunities and private networks to address those hard to reach coverage and capacity locations. Global trends in flexible 5G licensing strategies – many countries are progressing down this path - and the potential for shared access models focussed on 3.6-3.8GHz (later upto 4.2GHz) are muted. But haven’t we heard these aspirations before…? What commercial and policy approaches can deliver change, and surely the small cell provides an ideal pioneering focal point to bring about change.

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWSmallCell.


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration, networking and refreshments


Introduction to CW/UK5G from Simon Mead, CEO, CW (Cambridge Wireless) (Cambridge Wireless)


Introduction to Small Cell SIG from Simon Saunders, Google


Gareth Holvey, Head of Mobile & 5G Policy, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

5G policy framework - a view from Government

An update from Government on the 5G policy framework and measures proposed in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review to support 5G / mobile development and deployment in the UK


Q & A


Dave Wright, Director of Regulatory Affairs & Network Standards, Ruckus Networks (President of the CBRS Alliance)

CBRS: The Industry Response as the United States nears Commercial Launch

This session will provide an overview of the broad industry activity that has resulted from the spectrum access opportunities and resulting use cases enabled by the CBRS framework for 3550-3700 MHz in the United States. It will also offer an update on the timeline for commercial launch of services in the band and the recent milestones that have been achieved.


Q & A


Stephen Temple, 5G Further Faster

Delivering “further” rural and indoor coverage and “faster” 5G networks by embracing the government’s 5G market expansion spectrum sharing model

A mobile band as high as 3.6 GHz presents a natural challenge to 5G coverage extending much beyond dense urban areas. Then the fragmentation of spectrum under the current 4G regulatory model hits users outside of dense urban areas a second time by most single operator cells lacking the full 100 MHz channel width needed for peak performance. The government’s proposed market expansion spectrum sharing model is the first initiative of substance to create a 5G regulatory framework fit for purpose to meet these new challenges. 5G Further Faster (5G FF) is an innovation common interest group brought together by the IET to present the case for the market expansion model.


Q & A


Refreshments and networking


Alastair Davidson, Director, Wireless Infrastructure Group

Spectrum access to enable neutral host indoor coverage

Mobile coverage within larger buildings across the UK is one of the greatest coverage challenges, and affects productivity in offices, factories, hotels, hospitals, educational facilities and other public buildings. Affordable solutions to deliver mobile signal for all operators into larger buildings require licensed spectrum. The problem needs to be addressed now and WIG urges an innovative approach to spectrum allocation in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band with at least 20MHz set aside to develop new business models including the neutral host approach to drive indoor mobile coverage across the UK’s Enterprise market.


Q & A


Caroline Gabriel, Owner, Rethink Technology Research

Shared spectrum and vRAN – opportunities to shake up the mobile landscape

Shared spectrum lowers barrier to entry for non-MNOs, but it is not enough on its own WiFi has shown there are other key enablers for an open market. In 4G and 5G, some of these are now emerging in cellular small cells – vRAN, vEPC, open interfaces. The new architectures, combined with flexible spectrum policies, are well suited to neutral host models. These will be critical to achieve objectives for 5G in enterprise and IoT use cases. However there are barriers – how can policy help lower them?


Q & A


Lunch and networking


Nick Johnson, Founder, CTO and Head of PLM, ip.access

The UK FTIR. Was it more than ‘faster horses’?

The recently published UK Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review was welcome, but how far forward did it really look? Did it herald a brave new world of spectrum value realised by new models, new services, new providers, new technology? Or does it perpetuate a dinosaur age, just waiting for the next extinction event? Perhaps it does both, but what does it all mean for the vendor community?


Q & A


Joe Butler, Director for Telecommunications, Ofcom

Small Cells, 5G and Spectrum Access, A regulator’s view

Joe will give a short talk outlining some of the issues for the regulator in this space and the actions they are taking.


Q & A


Panel session with all speakers


Wrap-up by Small Cell SIG Champion


End of session followed by refreshments and networking


Event closes


Joseph Butler - Director for Telecommunications , Ofcom

Joe is a director at Ofcom, (the independent organisation which regulates the UK’s broadcasting, telecommunications and wireless communications sectors) where he has played a number of roles mainly in the area of mobile and radio spectrum, including CTO for the spectrum group. Joe was one of the authors of the National Infrastructure Commission report on 5G and the future of mobile communications in the UK (an independent commission chaired by Lord Adonis), which made recommendations accepted by UK government on the future of mobile in the UK. He has also undertaken an interim role as Director for Telecoms at DCMS. Prior to working in Telecoms Joe worked in a number of tech startups, in computer vision, AI/machine learning and signal processing. He is a visiting Professor at the University of Bristol, has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from UCL and a first degree in Physics.

Alastair Davidson - Director, Wireless Infrastructure Group

Alastair is responsible for strategy, regulation and business development at WIG - an independent infrastructure company with over 2,000 assets including rural communications towers and fibre connected small cells in buildings and on city streets.  All of these infrastructure assets have been designed to support multiple networks and are open access to all operators. Backed by long-term low-cost capital from 3i Infrastructure plc, WIG has ambitions to invest a further £1bn in UK wireless infrastructure. Alastair has spent over 20 years in the communications industry working in the mobile infrastructure, public safety and fibre sectors. He is a member of the UK5G Advisory Board.

Caroline Gabriel - Chief Research Officer, Rethink Technology Research

Caroline has been engaged in technology analysis, research and consulting for 30 years and since 2002, has been focused entirely on mobile and wireless. As co-founder and research director of Rethink Technology Research, Caroline has developed a significant research base and forecast methodology, based around deep contacts with mobile and converged operators round the world. This addresses critical issues and trends in mobile and wireless infrastructure, and particularly operator deployment intentions for 4G, 5G, small cells, Cloud-RAN and other technologies. She is also a senior contributor to Analysys Mason’s Next Generation Wireless research programme. She has led research and consulting projects with a wide range of clients, including mobile infrastructure vendors, large and start-up operators, regulators, trade bodies, government agencies and financial institutions. Her advice and forecasts have helped inform strategic decisions at a wide range of vendors, operators, start-ups and finance houses. Prior to setting up Rethink, Caroline held various executive positions at VNU Business Publishing BV, then Europe’s largest producer of technology related B2B reports and publications. She was the European content and research director, and was a member of the leadership team for VNU’s online business. She holds an MA from the University of Oxford.

Gareth Holvey - Head of Mobile & 5G Policy, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

Experience policy professional. Joined the civil service in 2009 and worked in HM Treasury and the British Business Bank before joining DCMS in late 2016 to lead on 5G policy matters. Most recently developed the mobile chapters of the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review. Authored the Government's 5G strategy and Update to the 5G strategy.

Nick Johnson - Chief Technical Officer, ip.access

Nick founded ip.access in 1999, and has been CTO ever since.  He was founding chair of the Radio and Physical Layer working group of the Small Cell Forum and the Innovation Architect in the Horizon2020/5G-PPP project SESAME.  He represents ip.access technically in its CBRS Alliance activities. Currently leading the Product And Technology group Nick is responsible for keeping ip.access at the leading edge of small cell innovation in its major markets. Nick is an inventor on 20-odd patents worldwide, has a PhD in Microwave Scanned Imaging Techniques from University College, London, and an MA in Physics from the University of Cambridge.

Stephen Temple - Visting Professor, University of Surrey (ICS)

Prof Stephen Temple is visiting professor at the University of Surrey 5G IC and member of the IET Communications Policy Panel. His recently published book “Casting the Nets” reveals the extent of his involvement in the digitalisation of Britain’s communications networks.

Dave Wright - Director of Regulatory Affairs & Network Standards, Ruckus Networks (President of the CBRS Alliance), Ruckus Networks

Dave leads Ruckus’ policy and standards initiatives, ensuring the intersection of Ruckus’ technology and product innovations with suitable regulatory environments and technical specifications. Dave is a champion of open spectrum, including both unlicensed and dynamic sharing frameworks, while acknowledging the vital role that all spectrum management regimes play in our increasingly wireless world. In addition to his role with Ruckus, Dave participates in a number of SDOs and ITOs and is currently the President of the CBRS Alliance. Dave began his odyssey in networking/telecom/mobile/wireless in the early ‘90s while serving in the US Marine Corps. He then transitioned to the commercial sector as a systems engineer. In the intervening years he has spent much of his time in Technical Marketing, Standards Development, and Policy Advocacy. Dave is a Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) Emeritus (#2062) as well as a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA).

SIG Champions

Simon Fletcher - CTO, Real Wireless

Simon joined Real Wireless in January 2016 as Chief Technology Officer, taking overall technical and technical strategy responsibility across the company. He has chaired various conference committees including the Cambridge Wireless Annual International Conference and is recognised as a regular speaker at industry events. He is a Small Cell SIG Champion. His long-standing association with the UK innovation eco-system through roles such as Director of mVCE and the Innovate-UK ICT-KTN brings a wealth of practical knowledge on open innovation to accelerate product and services delivery. Simon spent the past 20 years working in telecoms infrastructure systems and product development. In NEC Corporation he played a key role in the formation of Joint Ventures for development of 3G and 4G products and established a core team that developed the first-generation of technology for 4G systems culminating in a Steering Board position in the LTE SAE Trials Initiative (LSTI). In recent times he has directed projects on future cities, the application 5G and IoT in industry verticals with an event horizon towards 2030. His long participation in Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and then directing Real Wireless engagement in H2020 5G-NORMA, 5G-MoNArch and the 2016 NIC study on Future Comms infrastructure brings great foresight on a range of architectural evolutions underway in 5G architectures.

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Neil Piercy - Head of Research, ip.access

Neil has been developing base stations for various communications systems for over 25 years, during which time he has performed roles throughout the whole development lifecycle as well as management roles. He joined ip.access as a small cell System Architect when the company was in its infancy in 2000, and has since designed GSM, UMTS and LTE small cell RAN equipment and systems. His specialist areas include security and networking, as well as a focus on all aspects of protocol design and implementation, and on system performance and simulation. Now as Head of Research he is responsible for ip.access future products and technologies. He is an active member of the Small Cell Forum, a Champion for their work on the Virtualisation of small cells. He is currently a representative for the EU project SESAME on the 5GPPP Architecture group.

Simon Saunders - Principal, Google

Simon is a specialist in the technology of wireless communications, with a technical and commercial background derived from senior appointments in both industry (including Philips and Motorola) and academia (University of Surrey). He is an adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin and Access Technology Principal at Google. As co-founder and Director of Technology for independent wireless strategy advisory firm Real Wireless, he was responsible for overall technical capability and direction, providing independent wireless expertise and advice to operators, regulators, technology and law firms and wireless users. Customers included Ofcom, Cisco, European Commission, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Inmarsat and many others. He is an author of over 150 articles, books and book chapters. He has acted as a consultant to companies including BAA, BBC, O2, Ofcom, BT, ntl, Mitsubishi and British Land and was CTO of Red-M and CEO of Cellular Design Services Ltd and has acted as an expert witness in legal proceedings in England and the US. Simon speaks and chairs a wide range of international conferences and training courses and has invented over 15 patented wireless technologies. Particular expertise includes in-building wireless systems, radiowave propagation prediction, smart antenna design and mobile system analysis. He has served on technical advisory boards of several companies, was Visiting Professor to the University of Surrey, member of the industrial advisory board at University College London, founding chairman of Small Cell Forum (formerly Femto Forum), which he chaired from 2007-12 and a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board from 2007-14.

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Future Cities Catapult, London, One Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE

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