Evolution or revolution? How will the 5G core network/networks be built and operated?

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

The mobile community envisages that 5G will include a virtualised core network. But moving to a new core network is always challenging for operators, with many legacy services and systems that need migration and a risk of network instability and outage. Places are limited, early booking advisable.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

University network partners have already developed virtualised core networks, often based on open source software. Might this be the basis for an approach to migration or is something different required? Will operators work with their chosen core network vendor, or is there a function for some sort of national-level testbed? Is there a need for an experimental core that innovators can work with when exploring novel forms of implementing core functions or new concepts that link into the core? More fundamentally, how important is it that the core is migrated quickly - can the benefits of 5G be delivered on existing cores?

This event will explore the most likely route to arrive at a next generation core. What role do Mobile Operators, Universities and the Government have to play?

We are grateful to Huawei Technologies for sponsoring this event.

Full agenda to follow shortly. 

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter.

Sponsored by Huawei Technologies R&D UK Ltd

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Driven by a commitment to sound operations, ongoing innovation, and open collaboration, we have established a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices, and cloud technology and services. Our ICT solutions, products, and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world's population. With 180,000 employees, Huawei is committed to enabling the future information society, and building a Better Connected World. www.huawei.com/uk

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Supported by IET RF and Microwave Professional Network

The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 168,000 members in 150 countries. It offers a range of services and resources to the engineering community. The RF and Microwave Technical Professional Network is made up of volunteers and is the go-to place for the community to keep up to date with latest developments and insights as well as connecting other professionals. The network covers radio frequency, microwave and millimetre-wave science, engineering and technology.


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


Registration and networking with refreshments



Robert Driver, CEO, CW (Cambridge Wireless)


Welcome from event sponsor

Justin Paul, Marketing Director - NFV and SDN, Huawei Technologies


Mobile network operator (MNO) perspective

Session chaired by, Simon Fletcher, Chief Technical Officer, Real Wireless

Philip Bridge, Principal Network Architect, BT

To realise true 5G services the 5G core has to be based on Cloud concepts. The magnitude of the change this implies is starting to become apparent. Great opportunities beckon, but they are accompanied by huge challenges on a number of fronts. This short talk attempts to set out the landscape that MNOs will have to navigate in the coming years.


Panel session/discussion

Session chaired by, Simon Fletcher, Chief Technical Officer, Real Wireless

Philip Bridge, Principal Network Architect, BT

Mike Eales, Head of Network Services Strategy and Architecture, Three UK


Audience Q&A


Emerging Business Models and Future Trends’

Professor Mischa Dohler, Professor in Wireless Communications, King’s College London

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Professor of High Performance Networks, University of Bristol

Alan Carlton, Managing Director & VP, InterDigital Europe

Core networks have been developed for test bed and trials of 5G. What are their implications at scale? This talk will cover unlicensed spectrum; neutral hosting; white box opportunities; open source; network automation/intelligence and cross-tech/vendor/domain orchestration.


Panel session/discussion


Audience Q&A


An Equipment provider’s perspective

Session chaired by Steven Hartley, Senior Analyst, Western European Market Insight, Huawei Technologies

Davide Astuti, Head of Packet Core Solution Planning, Cloud Core Network Product Management, Huawei Technologies

How equipment providers are enabling 5G evolution. Why do we need 5G? What are the new use cases that 5G enables? How vendors will ensure a smooth transition from legacy 4G Core to 5G Core.


Panel session/discussion

Session chaired by Steven Hartley, Senior Analyst, Western European Market Insight, Huawei Technologies

Alessandro Bovone, UK&I Customers Chief Solution Architect, Nokia


Audience Q&A




Bringing the strands together: concluding workshop session

Chair: Simon Fletcher, Chief Technical Officer, Real Wireless

An opportunity for the audience to give their feedback and impressions of the discussions thus far.




Davide Astuti - Head of Packet Core Solution Planning, Cloud Core Network Product Management, Huawei Technologies R&D UK Ltd

Davide has over 15 years’ experience in the mobile communications field, including roles in strategic product management, sales & marketing operations and telecom network consulting. He joined Huawei in 2008, where he is currently responsible for global product strategy definition and cloud core network products planning processes (PS/EPC) - encompassing customer engagement and strategic requirements management to ensure product competitiveness. He has accumulated broad experience in multiple telecom domains during his work for several telecom operators and vendors. He holds a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering - Telecommunications from the University of Catania, Italy.

Mischa Dohler - Chief Architect, Ericsson

He was Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London, driving cross-disciplinary research and innovation in technology, sciences and arts. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); and a Distinguished Member of Harvard Square Leaders Excellence. He is a serial entrepreneur with 5 companies; composer & pianist with 5 albums on Spotify/iTunes; and fluent in several languages. He sits on the Spectrum Advisory Board of Ofcom, and acts as policy advisor on issues related to digital, skills and education. He has had ample coverage by national and international press and media. He is featured on Amazon Prime.

He is a frequent keynote, panel and tutorial speaker, and has received numerous awards. He has pioneered several research fields, contributed to numerous wireless broadband, IoT/M2M and cyber security standards, holds a dozen patents, organized and chaired numerous conferences, was the Editor-in-Chief of two journals, has more than 300 highly-cited publications, and authored several books. He is a Top-1% Cited Scientist across all science fields globally.

He was Professor at King’s from 2013-2021, and the Director of the Centre for Telecommunications Research from 2014-2018. He is the Cofounder of the Smart Cities pioneering company Worldsensing, where he was the CTO from 2008-2014. He also worked as a Senior Researcher at Orange/France Telecom from 2005-2008.

Mike Eales - Head of Network Services Strategy and Architecture, Hutchison 3G UK

Mike has 25 years experience in the Telecoms and Media industries performing technical roles in Network/IT design, architecture and strategy. He joined Three in 2010, where he is currently responsible for network services strategy and end to end network architecture, core network and OSS architecture and is Chief Architect for Three UK’s ongoing core network telco cloud transformation programme. Prior to Three Mike worked at Sky, Three, Orange and Vodafone in the UK in various network and IT roles. Mike has seen and worked in the evolution of the UK Mobile industry through every G - TACS, GSM, 3G, 4G and now 5G.

Simon Fletcher - CEO, Real Wireless

Simon joined Real Wireless in January 2016 as Chief Technology Officer, taking overall technical and innovation strategy responsibility across the company. He is a member of the UK5G AB, co-chair of the International WG, and member of the Climate WG. His long-standing association with the UK innovation eco-system through roles such as Director of mVCE and the Innovate-UK ICT-KTN brings a wealth of practical knowledge on open innovation to accelerate product and services delivery. Simon spent his formative years in telecoms infrastructure systems and product development. In NEC Corporation he played a key role in the formation of Joint Ventures for development of 3G and 4G products and established a core team that developed the first-generation of technology for 4G systems culminating in a Steering Board position in the LTE SAE Trials Initiative (LSTI). In recent times he has directed projects on future cities, the application 5G and IoT in industry verticals with an event horizon towards 2030. His long participation in Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and then directing Real Wireless engagement in H2020 and the 2016 NIC study on Future Comms infrastructure brings great foresight on a range of architectural evolutions underway in 5G architectures, in particular for Open RAN and Diversification. He is a CW Small Cell SIG Champion, and in February 2022 the Small Cell Forum (SCF) appointed Simon as their Chief Strategy Officer, drawing on 25 years direct industry experience and work as an advisor to governments, regulators and big business.

Steven Hartley - Senior Analyst - WEU Market Insight, Huawei Technologies R&D UK Ltd

Steven is a Senior Analyst in Huawei's Western European Carrier Business Group Market Insight team. Working across Western Europe, he is responsible for providing insight and analysis of market and technology trends to Huawei's marketing and sales teams. The role seeks to identify how Huawei can help its major telco clients to optimise their business performance covering topics such as carrier business service opportunities in Western Europe; EU content regulation and The EU's Digital Single Market Initiative. Steven regularly attends events, such as the Mobile World Congress, Broadband World Forum and Huawei's Global Mobile Broadband Forum, providing analysis of the key themes and the implications for Huawei.

Justin Paul - N/a, Independent Consultant

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.

Dimitra Simeonidou - Professor of High Performance Networks, University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

Dimitra Simeonidou is a Full Professor at the University of Bristol, the Co-Director of the Bristol Digital Futures Institute and the Director of Smart Internet Lab. Her research is focusing on the fields of high-performance networks, programmable networks, wireless-optical convergence, 5G/6G and smart city infrastructures. She is increasingly working with Social Sciences on topics of digital transformation for society and businesses. Dimitra has been the Technical Architect and the CTO of the smart city project Bristol Is Open. She is currently leading the Bristol City/Region 5G and Open RAN pilots.

She is the author and co-author of over 600 publications, numerous patents and several major contributions to standards.

She has been co-founder of two spin-out companies, the latest being the University of Bristol VC funded spin-out Zeetta Networks delivering SDN solutions for enterprise and emergency networks.

Dimitra is a Fellow of the Royal Academy  of Engineering (FREng), a Fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE) and a Royal Society Wolfson Scholar.

SIG Champions

Julie Bradford - Head of techno-economic analysis, 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 been working with city councils around their wireless strategy and related Green Book outline business case development. She also 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. In addition to working at Real Wireless, Julie is a CW board member and champion for the CW Virtual Networks Special Interest Group (SIG).

Andrew Palmer - Consulting Director, CGI

Andrew has more than 33 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 Space, Defence and Intelligence sectors, 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 techUK Spectrum Policy Forum and the Cambridge Wireless Virtual Networks Special Interest Group.

Event Location

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Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG

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