The Joint Operators Technical Specifications (JOTS) forum publishes technical specifications that enable mobile operators and their vendor or neutral host partners to deploy common, shared radio network infrastructures. These shared radio networks are often found in stadiums, shopping centres, public transport settings and increasingly in office buildings.

    Although JOTS has a purely UK focus, it has nonetheless managed to engage numerous global tech suppliers to collaboratively design and test common standard architectures for shared mobile networks; this is arguably because it has strong engagement by all UK MNOs and it is therefore seen by some as a necessary check-box for UK MNO shared network business.

    Historically, JOTS has mostly focused on delivering a Distributed Antenna System specification and extending this from its 2G origin to span 3G, 4G and 5G. More recently, the JOTS NHIB (Neutral Host In-Building) specification stands out as a pioneering UK initiative that has culminated in a detailed five-part, commonly agreed, open 4G/5G small cell architecture for neutral host solutions to securely connect to all four UK MNO core networks and can serve the subscribers of all four UK MNOs, intended to streamline and reduce the cost and complexity of multi-operator small cell deployment and is well suited to an open RAN approach.

    The NHIB specification goes well beyond simply defining common interfaces and radio performance requirements in that it contains details spanning:

    • Architecture
    • Radio Requirements
    • Test and Acceptance
    • Operational Processes
    • Fulfilment

    JOTS is specifically excluded from looking at anything even remotely commercial, for competition regulation reasons, and has no remit to ensure that any of the technical solutions it designs or approves would ever find a market beyond the UK. Having said this, several international operators, technology vendors, neutral hosts and industry standards organisations have shown great interest in leveraging this initiative beyond the UKĀ 


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