Infrastructure: Virtualisation or Beautification? Choose Both!

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

This event will explore how virtualisation can increase the value of wireless infrastructure to key stakeholders, whilst also reducing the barriers for deployment (including both cost and aesthetics).

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

We’re socially engineered to believe that mobile infrastructure is necessarily inelegant. As a result, we see brand new Housing Developments – ideal for hybrid working – built without adequate Mobile Coverage. We see cities looking to clear the pavements of cabinets, and then see them empty of consumers too, as they can’t find a mobile signal to pay for parking, find a store on a map or bill for EV charging.

But virtualisation creates #HiddenInfrastructure as network elements, which used to rely upon physical appliances co-located with masts, are increasingly able to be split between more simplified on-premises equipment with remaining network elements being delivered by virtualised cloud deployments, edge computing and Open RAN which are pooled into fewer, off-street locations.

The Virtual Networks SIG has noticed a growing trend towards solutions where virtualisation has not simply replaced a vertical proprietary stack with a disaggregated vertical stack, but actively centralised the compute elements. These not only reduce the volume of the equipment at the mast site, they also potentially reduce the volume, energy and cost of the compute network elements, and by centralising we can also start thinking towards adding layers of extra capability such as air quality monitoring and automated video monitoring. By looking wider than ‘how can I virtualise what I already have’ we can deliver Neutral Host, Private Networks and Smart City solutions all through infrastructure deployed in Near Edge and Far Edge DCs. What’s visible in the built environment may even reach ‘de minimis’ through the power of virtualisation!

This event will aim to share some of the above thinking about how to reduce the on-premises aspect of wireless infrastructure to a volume and form-factor which can be hidden in plain sight. We hope to explore the perspectives of local authorities and property developers on the challenges of the aesthetics of mobile infrastructure and then consider these against emerging solutions offered through virtualisation. How – by adopting a unified approach to infrastructure – they might be able to combine mobile infrastructure with already planned infrastructure such as EV charging, street lighting or bus shelters. So our event will cover virtualisation, but also beautification!

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

Agenda

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

13:00

Registration, tea, coffee and networking

13:30

CW welcome and introduction to topic by Andrew Palmer, Virtual Networks SIG Champion

13:45

Welcome from host: Alison Ross Eckford, Partner, Technology & Outsourcing, Mills & Reeve

13:50

‘Digital Twins – Let’s NOT talk about urban lamp posts!’: Dave Happy, Managing Director, Telint

Starting in the fields and on the beaches, we will look at how digital twin mapping will also impact those parts of the UK that, to coin a phrase, most operators do not reach!

14:10

Q & A

14:15

‘Extend the edge: Opening new opportunities for service providers and neutral hosts building 5G networks’: John Bretherick, Business Development Manager, Fujitsu Network Communications

Virtualized RAN can deliver significant benefits for service providers. These benefits – and opportunities – increase in an open architecture. This presentation explores Open vRAN deployment stages, considerations, and advantages – including increased capacity and flexibility, rapid energy savings, and increased Fronthaul range.

14:35

Q & A

14:40

Refreshment break and networking

15:10

'A beautiful path to virtualisation’: Adam Withers, Commercial Lead, Streetscape and Shueb Ahmed, Commercial Lead, Fibre, Boldyn Networks

Boldyn Networks has taken an approach to keep networks simple and free of clutter while remaining impeccably effective and future-proof. Using our work in London and Glasgow as examples of how aesthetics for all parts of a network, not only helps eliminate ‘blemishes’ but also supports existing and future evolutions of virtualisation.

15:30

Q & A

15:35

'Edge Cloudification: How it Benefits (Open v) RAN': Paul Rhodes, Director of OpenRAN, AtlasEdge Data Centres

AtlasEdge’s ambition is to bring the benefits of the Cloud, but with the added benefit of very low latency, to Telecoms Operators, Private Networks and Enterprises. In addition to the economic benefits which this delivers, hosting RAN Compute in Edge DataCentres also reduces the volume of equipment needed in the public domain. In addition to boosting the business case for Neutral Host Infrastructure Providers, this helps the aesthetics of mobile networks, perhaps to the point where we might call them beautiful?!

15:55

Q & A

16:00

Panel session chaired by Julie Bradford, Virtual Networks SIG Champion

16:40

Wrap-up

16:45

Event close

Speakers

Shueb Ahmed - Commercial Lead, Streetscape, Boldyn Networks

Shueb Ahmed is the commercial fibre lead at Boldyn Networks and is responsible for fibre investments and developing buy/sell partnerships. His remit covers the commercialisation of fibre infrastructure (existing and new) for use in 4G/5G, mobile networks, fixed/carrier networks and public networks. Shueb has been working in telecommunications for 17 years with a range and in-depth experiences in technical, commercial and strategy. He is an engineer at heart with a focus on business. Prior to joining Boldyn Networks in 2022, Shueb was O2’s technical strategy lead for fibre and x-haul networks and was central to the pre-integration activities in the £31bn O2-Virgin Media joint-venture looking at network evolution for xRAN, PON and Edge/Cloud networks. Shueb spent 12 years at O2 and prior to that, his experience over 5 years at Orange/France Telecom and EE were key in his experience and his contributions to the industry.

John Bretherick - Business Development Manager, Fujitsu UK

John Bretherick is Director of Business Development at Fujitsu Network Communications, where he focuses on the Fujitsu open networking portfolio, including Optical and Open RAN solutions, for Europe. John has over 35 years of experience in telecom, holding roles in engineering, sales, marketing and business development for both global service providers and equipment vendors. He has a long history of developing customized solutions for global IT, system integrators, and communication service providers, as well as vertical market experience in pharmaceuticals, utilities, government, and health sectors.

John is married with two children, lives in Ilkley West Yorkshire, where he enjoys many spots including golf and cycling.

Dave Happy - Managing Director, Telint Ltd

Dave obtained his Masters Degree from Exeter (UK) and Tilburg (Netherlands) winning 2 scholarships. He has over 37 years expertise in the sector, beginning with Motorola in PMR and Cellular, US WEST and Virgin Media where he obtained their PTO and International Facilities licences, helped build their first Satellite Earth Station, oversaw a £40m subsea cable project, and assisted with France Telecom/Orange’s acquisition of a stake in the business.    

Before organising, writing, winning and managing several 5G research bids to DCMS, he was with Samsung Electronics, as a Vice President in their EU R&D operation, where he won a Digital Europe award from his peers for technical excellence. He also won the individual collaboration award from The Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport and UK5G for his 5G work in 2022/3. 

He is the current Chairman of the UK Telco Data Task-Force (“UKTDTF”), an advisory group mentored by the Department for Business and Trade, working with the Geospatial Commission and DSIT, and comprising Governments, Industry, academia and 5G test-beds. He is a former pro bono non-Executive Director of BT’s “Connected Earth” operation and a Non-Executive Director of 5G connected buoy company Jet Engineering. He was also appointed Chair of the UK Telecoms Innovation Network Security Expert Working Group in 2023. He also sits on the All Party Group for Digital ID. 

He was co-author of the multi-award winning 5G Rural Dorset 5G testbed, whose partners included the Satellite Applications Catapult and Dorset Council, and the recent Dorset Open Network Evolution bid, working with ARM, Vodafone and Keysight Technologies. 

He is a fan of all things Dorset and most things cycling!

Paul Rhodes - Director of OpenRAN, AtlasEdge Data Centres

Paul has a B Eng in Communications Engineering from University of Hull and worked in the wireless industry internationally for over 30 years.

At AtlasEdge he is responsible for RAN and Open vRAN Public and Private network architecture, strategy. He has deployed 4G and 5G small cell networks in both classical architecture and as dark-fibre disaggregated RAN networks and is currently refining the technical and cost implications of centralised classic and virtualised networks.

During his career Paul has worked in Telco Vendors and Infrastructure Providers, significantly for Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, CityFibre and World Wide Technology in Technical and Commercial roles in both Europe and North America. He is also an Expert Working Group Member in Wireless Networking at UKTIN.

Alison Ross Eckford - Partner, Mills & Reeve LLP

Adam Withers - Commercial Lead, Streetscape, Boldyn Networks

Adam Withers is the Streetscape commercial lead at Boldyn Networks and has been working in mobile telecommunications for 17 years. Adam is responsible for the commercialisation of the TfL above ground estate, consisting of over 90,000 vertical assets inc. Lighting/CCTV Columns, Bus Shelters, Land and Buildings. Bringing to market a unique portfolio of assets that can support use cases such a 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, Private Networks, IoT, EV etc. creating a new layer of connectivity across London. Previously, he was sales and business development director at NET CS, developing and growing NET CS’s business and extending the reach of its products or services in the UK the market with a specific focus on neutral host and venues. Adam holds a strong technical/engineering background being technical director and technical lead for 5 years, delivering neutral host and MNO dedicated 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, DAS, Macro, Micro, Small Cells, as well as private networks and C/ORAN deployments.

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.

Paul Rhodes - Director of OpenRAN, AtlasEdge Data Centres

Paul has a B Eng in Communications Engineering from University of Hull and worked in the wireless industry internationally for over 30 years.

At AtlasEdge he is responsible for RAN and Open vRAN Public and Private network architecture, strategy. He has deployed 4G and 5G small cell networks in both classical architecture and as dark-fibre disaggregated RAN networks and is currently refining the technical and cost implications of centralised classic and virtualised networks.

During his career Paul has worked in Telco Vendors and Infrastructure Providers, significantly for Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, CityFibre and World Wide Technology in Technical and Commercial roles in both Europe and North America. He is also an Expert Working Group Member in Wireless Networking at UKTIN.

Event Location

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Location info

Mills and Reeve, 24 King William Street, London, EC4R 9AT

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