14 Sep 2017

SCF & TIA aim to accelerate smart cities

Small Cell Forum (SCF), the telecoms organization driving universal cellular coverage, and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech connectivity networks, have announced a far-reaching alliance to address two of the most important growth areas in connectivity – smart communities and smart buildings.

The two organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work on technical, commercial and regulatory solutions. They will share existing work and expertise and develop solutions that simplify and accelerate deployment of dense networks and in-building connectivity. This effort will help make smart communities a reality everywhere and drive advanced connectivity into every enterprise building.

David Orloff, Chair of SCF, said, “Every enterprise and community needs to be ‘smart’ to provide the best services and take advantage of the Internet of Things and other developing technologies. But this presents complex challenges which no one organization can fully address. TIA and SCF share many of the same goals and we expect this alliance to lead to significant results, especially in advancing our drive towards 5G.”

Brenda Boehm, Chief Strategy Officer of TIA said, “Industry collaboration is clearly needed to realize the full potential of smart communities, whether they take the form of buildings, campuses or entire cities. There are enormous opportunities to drive efficiencies, improve operational effectiveness, deliver faster and safer transportation, and more. Working together, we will be well positioned to accelerate the development and deployment of critical micro-wireless 5G technology in the community ecosystem.”

At SCF’s first-ever Partners’ Day, the two organizations discussed the priority areas where combined efforts can lead to meaningful progress. From that came several specific goals, including: simplified regulatory regimes, especially in cities; new approaches to enterprise deployment, including neutral host; common deployment frameworks that meet the needs of all stakeholders; and, new architectures, such as virtualization, to enable flexible, efficient networks.

As part of its “Transforming the Network” strategic initiative, TIA previously identified smart communities and smart buildings as critical areas of focus. These dovetail with SCF’s two major programs for 2017: Hyperdense Networks – including a focus on smart cities; and, the Digitized Enterprise. The common factor is that densification will bring high quality connectivity to every citizen and business, and enable a wide range of new services.

To drive progress in these areas, the partners will share technical and commercial solutions, identifying common ground and avoiding duplication. The organizations have also agreed to explore opportunities for technical collaboration, particularly in the following areas:

  • Process for efficient implementation of small cells across a campus or city.

  • In-building infrastructure and wiring for smart enterprises.

  • Creation of a smart building ‘blueprint’ that can be used across the real estate market.

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