SCF Releases 5G Functional API to Enable 5G RAN/Small Cell Vendor Ecosystem and Accelerate Deployments

– Update to 5G PHY API for small cell silicon & stack vendors, widely adopted in 3G and 4G

– Efficient support for beamforming, mmWave and tighter timing requirements which impact the RF and digital front end

– Additional 5G capabilities to existing API, including 2G, 3G and 4G Network Monitor Mode

Small Cell Forum (SCF) has today published an important suite of documents focused on stimulating a competitive ecosystem for vendors of 5G-era small cell hardware, software and equipment. The expanded set of specifications contained in these documents can be found here.

Expanding upon the 5G Physical Layer API specification, published in July 2019, the new specifications enable small cells to be constructed piece-by-piece using components from different vendors, in order to address the diverse mixture of 5G use cases relatively easily, a common goal to all of the specifications made by Small Cell Forum.

The new release also includes two completely new specifications, SCF223: 5G NR FAPI P19 FrontEnd Interface Specification and SCF224: Network Monitor Mode API for Small Cells.

“The Network Monitor Mode (NMM) API specification is the third document of the 5G FAPI suite, and adds 5G to the existing 4G, 3G and 2G radio environment monitoring capability,” said Vicky Messer, Director of Product Management at Picocom. “This capability, known as network monitoring or network listening, involves the small cell receiving RF signals and decoding system parameters from any nearby cells enabling SON (self organizing networks) to optimize the RAN deployment parameters accordingly. The NMM API makes this information available to SON software in a standard form, helping to fulfil the goal of an open 5G ecosystem.”

The suite of 5G FAPI documents was made possible by an extended collaboration of some of the small cell industry’s leading companies, including: Intel, Qualcomm, Picocom, ip.access and Cisco.

Read the full Small Cell Forum FAPI suite update press release here.

For full details on the latest FAPI suite, including links to the three specifications, please visit the FAPI suite landing page on the Small Cell Forum website.