Small Cell Forum Appoints AT&T’s Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu as Chair

Forum to continue leadership in developing 5G Open Small Cell RAN, enable new stakeholders and opportunities in evolving mobile ecosystem, and develop Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to revolutionise small cell network rollouts

London, UK 9th October 2019 Small Cell Forum (SCF), the telecoms organization making mobile infrastructure solutions available to all, today announced the appointment of Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu as its new Chair, replacing outgoing Chair David Orloff. As a lead at AT&T’s Converged Access & Device Technology organization, Dr. Chitrapu brings a wealth of high-level technical and strategic leadership experience to the role, making him an ideal candidate to continue SCF’s critical work in 5G-era.

Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu

Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu

Unanimously approved at The Forum’s all-member London plenary, Dr. Chitrapu laid out an ambitious agenda for the year ahead, with emphasis on continuing the Forum’s critical work in 5G Open Small Cell RAN architectures, developing 5G-era small cell products, deploying them in virtualized cloud environments, enabling the development of multi-operator and neutral host deployments, monetising and solutioning edge computing opportunities, and the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to all aspects of small cell network planning, deployment and operations.


Dr. Chitrapu has previously served as Chair of the Forum’s TECH & 5G Working Group, driving a number of work items spanning 5G-Era Use Cases, Edge Computing, Private LTE/5G, SON & Orchestration and leading the Forum’s highly successful 5G-RAN, Small Cell Architectures and Open Specifications work including FAPI and nFAPI. He has also spearheaded SCF’s collaborations and interactions across other industry forums, including; OAI, TIP, WBA, ORAN, ONAP, CBRS-A, ETSI-MEC.


New Small Cell Forum Chair, Dr. Prabhakar Chitrapu, said: “I am honoured and tremendously excited to be elected as Chair of Small Cell Forum at such a pivotal moment in the development of the 5G-era, in which small cells play such a central role. Having been involved in the Forum since 2010, I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand how our commitment to collaboratively working as an industry has affected networks for the better. On behalf of, and together with, all of our members, I look forward to continuing our hard work and tradition of high quality, timely outputs to drive small cells forward.”

CEO of the Small Cell Forum, Sue Monahan, said: “David Orloff’s tenure as Chair has been a great success, and I would like to extend my thanks and that of the Forum’s membership for his hard work, excellent leadership and advocacy. Under his stewardship small cells have become an integral part of the discussion around dense networks needed to roll out 5G, and we have continued to set the industry’s agenda while providing critical technical output to develop more efficient, deployable and cost-effective networks. With much work still to do, Prabhakar is a natural choice to succeed David, with a keen technical mind and an exceptional work ethic.”

Small cells have made significant progress since David Orloff’s appointment in 2016, with huge technical achievements including the first blueprint for network virtualisation and the SCF’s 10-year vision in 2017. The Forum has grown over the last 3 years to encompass an unprecedented level of engagement with both end-users – through programmes such as the Enterprise Advisory Council – and lawmakers, to ensure the applicability of what is being deployed, while advocating for the process to be efficient and expeditious. Orloff also oversaw vastly increased collaboration with other industry organisations, seeing the Forum take the lead in projects with partners such as GSMA, 5G Americas, ORAN and CBRS Alliance among others.

More information on the Forum’s plans for 2019-2020 can be found here:

About Small Cell Forum (SCF)
Small Cell Forum develops the technical and commercial enablers to accelerate small cell adoption and drive wide-scale densification.

Broad roll-out of small cells will make high-grade mobile connectivity accessible and affordable for industries, enterprises and for rural and urban communities. That, in turn, will drive new business opportunities for a widening ecosystem of service providers.

Those service providers are central to our work program. Our operator members establish the requirements that drive the activities and outputs of our technical groups.

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

The Small Cell Forum Release Program has now established business cases and market drivers for all the main use cases, clarifying market needs and addressing barriers to deployment for residential, enterprise, rural & remote, and urban small cells. The Small Cell Forum Release Program website can be found here:

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