Is 2022 the year of virtualisation?

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

This event will explore the state of virtualisation in the telecoms industry covering important topics such as Open RAN, Infrastructure as a Service, orchestration and market regulation changes.

About the event

The telecoms industry, like every other global industry, has felt the effects of the global pandemic and also the decision by many governments to restrict the involvement of certain vendors in new network deployments. This has affected, and still continues to affect, supply chains and strategic plans within the industry which in turn has affected revenues, business models and investment plans and greatly impacted innovation, especially concepts such as virtualisation.

This event aims to focus on virtualisation in the following areas of the industry:

  • Operators
  • Supply Chains
  • New Technologies

Topics to be covered include:

  • A retrospective look at what happened in 2021 and look forward to what 2022 will bring.
  • Real-world deployments of virtualisation
  • Open RAN and O-RAN and the difference between them; is there a need to be fully open or fully virtualised to realise significant benefits?
  • What does ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ and its variations mean to the market and what hybrid networks can do to increase rollout velocity and innovation across network architectures, supply chains and business models?
  • The promise of NFV, SDN and Orchestration, which promised to deliver “On-demand” and “Programmable” networks, with a view to their impact in 2022 and beyond, including any impact on network convergence.
  • The increase in Cloud deployments, looking at the leaders in terms of rollout and innovation, as well the growth of the Cloud Providers and Hyperscalers in terms of market penetration, influence on networking innovation and their new partnerships with telcos and the impact on the industry.
  • How market regulation changes and innovations will impact virtual networking in 2022. For example, the ability to buy local spectrum licences or share unlicensed spectrum has opened the telecoms market up to new and innovative business models, supply chains and operating models, which will attract non-traditional telecoms companies and lead to disaggregation of the telco value chain and a diversified market.

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWVN.


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration and networking


CW welcome


Introduction to topic and Virtual Networks SIG


Paul Crane, Director of Network Research, BT


Q & A


Rahul Atri, Managing Director, Rakuten Mobile Singapore


Paul Rhodes, Open RAN and 5G Principal Consultant, GSP International, and Felicien Mathieu, Director of Engineering, World Wide Technology


Q & A


Refreshments and networking


David Martin, Associate Senior Analyst, STL


Q & A


Panel discussion




Event closes


Rahul Atri - Managing Director, Rakuten Mobile Singapore, Rakuten Group

Paul Crane - Director of Network Research, BT

Paul Crane is BT’s networks research director. He leads fixed, mobile and wireless research, driving towards BT’s converged network ambition.

Paul has over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry and has undertaken a variety of roles including software development, network planning, network architecture, strategy and research. His career includes work in Europe and the USA, building and launching telecommunication joint-ventures. Paul led the network technology in BT’s disruptive mobile strategy which resulted in the re-entry into mobile services via the purchase of EE. He is responsible for technology developments which underpin EE’s 5G service and BT’s whole home Wi-Fi proposition.

His current research programme includes in depth collaboration with universities, research organisations and industry partners. Whilst his research role is to create and develop new technologies in support future product and services, he also provides advice on the impacts of emerging network technologies, standards and regulation. His current research interests include the application of AI to wireless networks, the enhancement of multiplexing techniques to drive further capacity gains in mobile networks, the virtualisation and dis-aggregation of telecommunications infrastructure. A key element of the research work is the exploration of applications which exploit the bandwidth, latency & reliability inherent in future 5G networks.

Paul is currently a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance board, 5GIC strategic advisory board, Telco Infra Project (TIP) technical committee, represents BT on the TIP board and is a regular conference speaker.

David Martin - Associate Senior Analyst, STL Partners

David manages the Telco Cloud research stream at STL Partners, writing recent reports on topics including the 5G core, open RAN and network disaggregation. He also manages STL's 'Telco Cloud Tracker' product: a continuously updated database and interactive analytical tool looking at live deployments of telco cloud and Virtualised and Cloud-Native Network Functions (VNFs / CNFs) at major telco networks worldwide. He is a telecoms analyst of 23 years’ experience and, in addition to STL Partners, has worked for Ovum (now Omdia) and Analysys Mason. David gained a First Class degree in French and German at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and then spent nearly five years at the same college doing PhD research on 19th century Romantic, Gérard de Nerval.

Felicien Mathieu - Director of Engineering, World Wide Technology

Paul Rhodes - Principal 5G and Open RAN Consultant, WorldWide Technology

SIG Champions

Julie Bradford - Managing Consultant in Wireless Techno-Economics, Real Wireless

Julie has worked in the wireless industry for over 15 years.  At Real Wireless, she is a thought leader in 5G business case analysis including understanding 5G use cases, quantifying (in financial terms) the operational and socio-economic benefits of 5G services and understanding network dimensioning and cost implications under 5G virtualised networks.

She has most recently led Real Wireless’ techno-economic analysis on the EC Horizon 2020 5G-MoNArch project.  Inspired by the project’s smart sea port testbed constructed by HPA, Nokia and DT in the Port of Hamburg, this analysis included quantifying the operational benefits of 5G to port authorities and other port users and the cost implications of delivering these industrial grade wireless services from existing mobile infrastructure via network slicing supported via the virtualised 5G-MoNArch network architecture.

Previously, Julie was Communications Engineer at QinetiQ UK, consultant at PA Consulting UK, and Senior Systems Engineer for Airvana UK. 

Mark England - Associate Director, Cambridge Consultants

Mark England has spent three decades architecting, designing, and implementing a wide variety of wired and wireless communications products, services, systems and protocols; from short range point to point systems to those which operate on a global scale. Mark joined Cambridge Consultants in 2000, and for the past 20+ years he has been providing leading edge design, development and consultancy services to wide range of clients. 

Andrew Palmer - Consulting Director, CGI

Andrew has more than 31 years of experience in IT, Telecoms and TV and Media, having worked in various roles for IBM, AT&T, Ericsson, Motorola and Arris. Andrew's present role is to leverage existing CGI capabilities that match the needs of our clients in the Telecoms sector, as well as building new capabilities that will support the emerging and changing needs of our client base. Andrew has proven experience in developing and delivering complex SI and Services solutions that meet both business and technology needs.

Andrew has co-authored "UK Telecoms For Dummies", an essential guide to the complicated UK Telecoms sector as well as articles for publications such as the Cambridge Wireless Journal including "How do we build the new world of 5g?". He frequently speaks at conferences and provides media commentary on industry topics like 5G, IoT and Smart Cities, as well as being a member of the Digital Policy Alliance’s Smart Society Working Group, techUK Spectrum Policy Forum and the Cambridge Wireless Virtual Networks Special Interest Group.

Justin Paul - Senior Marketing Manager, Ericsson

Justin has over twenty years’ experience in technology marketing in the telecoms and software industries. Prior to joining Ericsson Digital Services he worked for Zeetta Networks, Huawei Technologies in NFV/SDN Marketing and Amdocs where he led the launch of their NFV Portfolio which now forms a major part of the ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform). During his career he has been responsible for the launch and go-to-market for a number of leading-edge technologies including 3G, IPTV, LTE, NFV and 5G. A TED-trained conference speaker he has presented at a number of major international conferences including Layer 123 SDN and Openflow Congress, LTE Asia and SCTE. A CIM qualified marketeer he runs a Bristol-based Digital Marketing knowledge-sharing group.

Event Location

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Location info

Downing College, Downing College, Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1DQ

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