Hosted RAN will allow new entrants to deploy coverage and capacity at pace, and support tenants including MNOs, private networks, MVNOs and enterprises both indoors and outdoors

June 29, 2022, United Kingdom – Small Cell Forum, the global membership organization committed to supporting low-cost, agile mobile infrastructure through small cells, today released part two of its Neutral Host Requirements series of documents, which details the proposed global Hosted RAN framework for neutral host and private networks.

Version SCF245

SCF245 Neutral Host Requirements Part 2: Hosted RAN high-level design is the result of collaboration over the past year between SCF member companies: BT, Cellnex, CommScope, Crown Castle, Dense Air, Freshwave and Reliance Jio .

The document aims to globalize and build on the groundbreaking work initiated by UK MNOs with the Joint Operator Technical Specification for Neutral Host Buildings (JOTS NHIB), which sets out the technical requirements for shared solutions in buildings using small cellular base stations.

SCF’s 245 goes further, making Hosted RAN applicable to a range of tenants, not only Mobile Network Operators, but also Private Network Operators, MVNOs and Enterprises.

Mike Ferris, Dense Air’s Chief Network Architect responsible for CFS Collaborative Work Elements, said: “Hosted RANs can complement mobile network operators’ national macro networks, allowing new deployers such as neutral hosts to deploy in locations that would otherwise not be viable, such as small and medium-sized businesses, rural areas and industrial environments that need custom connectivity for IoT and mission-critical communications.Hosted RANs are also an opportunity for mobile network operators to outsource RAN deployment and management.

George Aguilera, Head of CFS Collaborative Work Element, Technology Strategy, Crown Castle, added: “Hosted RANs are already available in some developed markets, such as JOTS NHIB in the UK and CBRS-enabled private networks in the US. The goal of our work in SCF245 was to capture the best practice design established in these deployments and also make them available in other regions for 5G and outdoor hosting scenarios.

SCF245 considers Hosted RAN from the perspective of multiple stakeholders – tenants, neutral hosts, sites and vendors and explores several design aspects, all of which are crucial for success, including:

  • Management, OSS and Security
  • Spectrum requirements
  • Compute and PNF hosting to support ORM VNFs
  • Radio and antenna capabilities
  • Transport networks
  • Synchronization
  • Resilience
  • Capacity provisioning

Future work on the Hosted RAN framework and neutral host requirements were identified in the document, including openness, network slicing, KPI sharing, reporting and analytics, blockchain and content security, quantum computing and migration scenarios. But first, the task force will focus on developing a global neutral host business model structural framework, to inspire new markets to take a positive and collaborative approach to neutral hosting.


For press inquiries, please contact: Claire Marshall, Small Cell Forum
[email protected] / +44 (0)7771652363

About CFS
Small Cell Forum develops the technical and business catalysts to accelerate the adoption of small cells and drive densification at scale.

Large-scale deployment of small cells will make high-level mobile connectivity accessible and affordable for rural and urban industries, businesses, and communities. This, in turn, will create new business opportunities for an expanded ecosystem of service providers.

These service providers are at the heart of our work programme. Our operator members set the requirements that govern the activities and results of our technical groups.

We have driven the standardization of key elements of small cell technology including Iuh, FAPI, nFAPI, SON, service APIs, TR-069 evolution and X2 interface enhancement. These specifications enable an open, multi-vendor platform and reduce barriers to densification for all stakeholders.

Today, our members offer solutions that include:

  • Components, products, 5G networks
  • Disaggregated 5G small cells
  • Planning, management and automation
  • 5G regulations and security
  • Neutral hosts and multi-operators
  • Coexistence of private and public networks
  • Compute at the edge with Small Cell Blueprint
  • End-to-end orchestration

The Small Cell Forum launch program has now established business cases and market drivers for all major use cases, clarifying market needs and removing deployment barriers for small residential cells, enterprise, rural and remote and urban. It has also put in place initiatives relating to both public and private coordination (ORM).