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CW TEC 2022: Launching the New Wave of Wireless Networks

Brought to you by CW (Cambridge Wireless)

The CW Technology and Engineering Conference 2022 will look at the technology and challenges behind the transformation of wireless networks and what the future holds.

About the event

Global wireless telecommunications are continuing to evolve rapidly with the introduction of virtualisation, 5G, IoT and low-earth orbit broadband networks. The COVID pandemic has shown how critical the telecommunications industry is to society – for example, the crisis situations in Tonga and Ukraine highlight the fundamental role that wireless plays in understanding and interacting with the world.

Novel wireless networks are seeing a new wave of technology investment, from satellites to airborne networks, allowing new services to be provided around the world. With an engineering focus, CW TEC will look at the technology and challenges behind this transformation and what the future holds, focussing on:

  • How to build hybrid networks that scale globally and provide integrated services which are seamless for the user. Explore hybrid and multi-bearer, radio and optical network architectures and applications.
  • Enhancing ground networks using non-traditional radio and optical access technologies and backhaul.
  • Can wide area mobile communications be delivered from aircraft?
  • How can radio and optical wireless networks support uncrewed aircraft systems and advanced air mobility?
  • Space as a rapidly evolving global communications infrastructure enabling massively scalable business cases for IoT and broadband users.

The conference will be an ideal place to explore and discuss these issues and hear from key players involved in changing how wireless communications is delivered and used.

The agenda will look at four key areas as follows:


Mobile cell sites are evolving to require ever higher capacity backhaul while also increasingly evolving to a centralised RAN architecture in urban areas. This session will explore the use of optical fibre for backhaul and midhaul while also investigating the use of fibre based fronthaul in support of RF over Fibre deployments, carrying CPRI, eCPRI and/or Open Fronthaul. It is increasingly common for radio units to be mounted as close as possible to the passive antenna to maximise radio performance, indeed the introduction of massive MIMO antenna systems has driven the adoption of active antenna units, these require a direct optical fibre connection between the radio/antenna system and the baseband unit, the baseband unit may be located at the base of the tower or some distance away in a baseband hotel, to provide further real-time optimisation for the RAN.


The rapid evolution of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) present some exciting opportunities as both consumer and provider of wireless connectivity. In urban environments, delivery drones and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) 'air taxis' require low-latency, mission critical comms for the command and control and monitoring of aircraft in 3D airspace. Conversely, drones have also been used to provide cellular coverage in disaster recovery situations, or as temporary in-fill in remote areas. High Altitude Platforms (HAPS) extend this concept to the stratosphere, providing 5G coverage over wide areas using phased array, beam steering antennas. This is arguably the sweet spot between terrestrial and satellite comms, with excellent spectral efficiency and the flexibility to rapidly provide coverage where needed. This session will focus on:

  • 5G / 6G networks for UAS
  • Ground-to-Air cellular systems
  • Stratospheric HAPS


Space as a rapidly evolving global communications infrastructure enabling massively scalable business cases for IoT and broadband users.

85% of the earth's surface is not available to conventional networks.  The Low Earth Orbit Satellite revolution has slashed the cost per bit both in terms of energy needed to send data cost to access the network. Furthermore the use of cubesats and small satellites has speeded up deployment of new technology, and much in the same way that cellular networks transformed terrestrial connectivity, LEO massively expands capacity but without the need for local infrastructure.

Hitherto unpractical applications are now possible, with direct sensor to satellite connectivity delivering cheap ubiquitous data can now be deployed widely:

  • Broadband in all areas – Starlink/Oneweb make access available in all areas; event, disaster, conflict pop up networks
  • Agritech, especially for monitoring of water usage and crop health
  • Livestock health for roaming herds
  • Road freight transportation and Autonomous vehicles, bringing valuable information in the existing data desert


The integration of terrestrial and space based communications is happening today, more mobile base stations are using satellite backhaul than ever before; be this as primary connectivity or as a resilient path in the event of a terrestrial transmission failure. This backhaul is typically via GEO satellites today however exciting new developments in LEO satellites mean that additional options, which promise higher data rates and lower latency, will be available to mobile network operators. In addition to mobile backhaul, operators are deploying air to ground networks to provide connectivity to airborne assets such as planes and helicopters, and often using both terrestrial and space based connectivity to such assets. This session will review these use cases and explore recent developments in 3GPP non-terrestrial networks for space based 5G mobile broadband and IoT services.

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


Ben Allen - Director, System Modelling, OneWeb

Professor Ben Allen is Director of System Modelling with OneWeb and Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey. His career has spanned academia and industry, including as a Royal Society Industry Fellow with the University of Oxford and Network Rail. He has led numerous R&D activities relating to satellite communications as well as telecoms for railways, several of which exhibited state-of-the-art advances. Over the years he has published numerous papers and several books on radio and telecommunications research developments. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, Institute of Telecommunications Professionals, and the Higher Education Academy.

Steve Gibson - Managing Director, AST SpaceMobile

Steve brings extensive experience in the space industry and contract management. Most recently, at Lockheed Martin’s largest UK facility, he was responsible for all business development for space activities, leading many international space program pursuits from the UK.

Prior, he held various roles across Europe in the space division of the Airbus Group, including at their subsidiary, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL). While there, he earned the inaugural business excellence award for his innovative commercial work on the Chinese DMC3 program.

He is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and has been a member of the UK Space Agency Space Science Programme Advisory Committee. Steve was also the vice chairman of the Space Science and Exploration Committee for the UK Space Trade association.

Steve holds an MBA from The Open University and a BA in business studies from Coventry University and is currently an honorary visiting professor at the University of Leicester in the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Sriram Jayasimha - Chief Scientist, Commercial Applications, AST SpaceMobile

Sriram brings a 30-year successful track record of IP creation and product design for the global telecommunications markets. He has authored 42 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications in an array of digital-signal-processing applications, including: mobility, satellite communications, modem, VLSI and instrumentation signal processing.

A named inventor on 21 U.S. and European patents, Sriram was a fellow of the Center of Advanced Engineering Study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He earned his B.Tech and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Maria Lema - Co-Founder, Weaver Labs

Maria is a PhD in Telecoms, Co-Founder of Weaver Labs, a Tech Start-up innovating in the telecoms industry, and ambassador of Wagora, a Women in Tech society. She led the 5GUK Testbeds and Trials project at King's College London, and was responsible for all Technical Operations in the 5G Lab. She led teams working on connectivity solutions to real-life business problems: from transmitting the sense of touch to doctors while teleoperating, to connecting different musicians around the world to give the audience a different concert experience. Currently, she's a founder at Weaver Labs, where she leads all strategic activities that involve, business model definition, marketing our products, looking for partners and clients, defining areas of the market where Weaver Labs product Cell-Stack can grow and make an impact.

Andy Marr - Director for Future Networks, CGI

Andy leads CGI’s 5G programmes in Space and Defence. His team have delivered the European Space Agency’s 5G/6G Hub, showcasing how space can enable future generations of telecommunications and connected applications, CGI’s Carnot-Sat hybrid networks planning tool, and their hybrid networks Management and Orchestration toolset, underpinned by CGI’s 5G Accelerator facility in Leatherhead.

Andy has 15 years’ experience working in the Space industry, delivering critical solutions for customers including OneWeb, SES, Inmarsat and AST SpaceMobile.

Luc Perard - Senior Vice President of IoT Business, Eutelsat SA

Luc Perard has 20 years of continuous experience in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, during which he has driven global strategy, sales and business development at Siemens, Jasper, Vodafone, Accenture, PTC and now Eutelsat, one of the world's leading commercial satellite operators. Mr. Perard currently serves as Eutelsat's Senior Vice President of IoT Business. In this role, Mr. Perard defines and executes the company's IoT commercial and go-to-market strategies globally. He leads the IoT business development activities and forges key partnerships with the most prestigious IoT solution providers and network operators across the world. Mr. Perard has studied at Harvard Business School in Boston, MA, McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management from Grenoble Institute of Technology in France.

Jaime Reed - Vice President, Space Data Platforms and Applications, CGI

Jaime loves working with clients to invent the Space services of the future. He leads Space Data Platforms and Applications team in the UK for CGI, the largest IT and business consulting company in the space sector. Using SatCom and Remote Sensing technologies his team work on topics like smart cities, connected transport, AI, 5G, geospatial applications and HAPS. Jaime has spent 20 years in the space industry as a systems engineer and project manager working on some of the most complex ground, satellite and software systems for clients like the European Space Agency and NASA. Jaime has a Doctorate in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics and is a Chartered Engineer.

Andy Sutton - Principal Network Architect, BT

Andy Sutton is a Principal Network Architect within BT Architecture and Strategy team. He is responsible for 5G end to end network architecture, RAN architecture evolution and mobile backhaul strategy and architecture. Andy holds an MSc in mobile communications from the University of Salford and has over 30 years of experience within the telecommunications industry. Andy’s research interests include; distributed and centralised RAN and core architectures and protocols, network dimensioning, QoS and mobile backhaul (optical transmission, microwave and millimetre wave radio systems, network architecture and protocols along with synchronisation and time distribution in telecommunications networks). He also works on low latency and ultra-reliable networks architecture and design. During his career Andy has worked for Mercury Communications Ltd, Orange, H3G, EE and BT. Andy holds the post of Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool and University of Salford. Andy is a chartered engineer and holds fellowships from the IET, BCS and ITP. Andy contributes to International telecommunications standardisation activities and several industry forums. Andy also has an interest in the history and heritage of telecommunications and is a CW Heritage SIG Champion.

Event Location

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Location info

The Computer Laboratory, The University of Cambridge, William Gates Building, 15 JJ Thomson Ave, Cambridge, CB3 0FD

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