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 suite of 5G FAPI documents was made possible by an extended collaboration of some of the small cell industry’s companies, including: Intel, Qualcomm, Picocom, ip.access and Cisco.
“The RF and digital frontend control APIs serve as companion documents to the 5G PHY API specification. These documents define the messaging protocols that allow the upper stack to tightly control and configure the RF, the digital front end and the analog beamforming units – which is crucial in meeting 5GNR’s stringent timing requirements,” said Samel Celebi, Principal Engineer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Thanks to this flexible API, the integration of units from different vendors, and their configurations for a diverse mixture of use cases, becomes relatively easy – a common goal to all Small Cells Forum specifications.”
“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.”
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