When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, killing more than 6,000 people and wreaking widespread devastation, a small cell system developed by ip.access, Private Mobile Networks (PMN) and TLC Solutions (TLC) restored vital communications in some of the worst affected areas of the country in the early aftermath of the disaster. This was invaluable in helping humanitarian aid workers to save lives and support survivors. The small cell system is part of the Pre-Positioned Expeditionary Assistance Kit (PEAK) that the U.S. Department of Defense deploys in humanitarian aid and disaster relief situations.
“It is important that small cells are assessed beyond their purely commercial or technical merits and in the broader context of how they may help change society – either by bringing benefits directly to certain communities or situations, or by giving individuals new choices and behaviours” said Gordon Mansfield, Chair of the Small Cell Forum. “The entry from ip.access, Private Mobile Networks and TLC, demonstrated that small cells can rapidly deliver vital improvements in access, health and disaster relief.”
The Small Cells Forum Industry Awards is an annual get together to celebrate innovation, thought leadership and most importantly successful small cell deployments on a global scale.
The awards were open to the whole industry and judged independently of the Small Cell Forum by a panel of distinguished analysts, journalists and industry experts, chaired by Caroline Gabriel, Research Director, Maravedis Rethink.
ip.access is no novice to the awards, in fact I remember when we walked away with double honours back in 2009 for our nano3G Enterprise Solution and Services Demo. Each year we eagerly look forward to this event, curious to learn more about deployment success stories, interesting partnerships and the suspense to see whether our submissions would make it through to the finish line.
Well this year’s awards ceremony was a glamorous event like no other. The night kicked off with a warm welcome by the Chair of the forum, Gordon Mansfield and CEO of the Forum, Sue Monahan. The gala dinner proceeded blissfully bouncing tunes of a local British Jazz quartet – until silence came upon us, as the judges started working their way through the award shortlist.
“This year saw a record number of entries, outstanding not just in range but also in quality,” said Gordon Mansfield, Chair of the Small Cell Forum. “As small cells become more widely adopted, as an industry we have become more creative, more disciplined and more focused. The awards categories for 2014 were updated to reflect these changes and we were not disappointed by the industry’s response. As a result, it was incredibly tough to pick the winners this year and my congratulations go not just to the winners, but to all of the shortlisted companies.” Full list of winners can be found here.