Small Cell Forum publishes two new 5G physical layer API specifications

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The Small Cell Forum (SCF) has published a set of key documents that are focused on stimulating a competitive ecosystem for 5G-era small cell hardware, software and equipment vendors. 

These new documents, which extends last year’s 5G Physical Layer API specification, allow small cells to be assembled using components from different vendors to address a mix of 5G use cases relatively easily.

The new release also includes two new specifications, SCF223: 5G NR FAPI P19 FrontEnd Interface Specification and SCF224: Network Monitor Mode API for Small Cells. Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, SCF Chair/Lead MTS – AT&T Converged Access and Device Technology, said the result was a ‘proud achievement’. 

“The 5G-FAPI specification suite enhances and adds to the existing set of 3G and 4G specifications, which have played a significant part in growing the market for small cells by enabling a broad multi-vendor ecosystem,” he said. “The development of the present suite is a proud achievement for the Small Cell Forum, highlighting the dedicated cooperative efforts of various member companies. These APIs also reflect our on-going collaborations with other Industry Forums and this new release incorporates recommendations from OpenAirInterface Software Alliance.”

In July, the SCF had published the PHY API for 5G to encourage a competitive ecosystem for 5G small cell hardware, software, and equipment vendors. The PHY API was developed with the help of a collaborative effort between companies from across the small cell ecosystem, which includes Intel and Qualcomm Technologies among others. Ecosystem players were provided an open and interoperable interface between the physical layer and the MAC layer.

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