Network slicing – vision or reality? (Delivering private services from public networks)

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

In this event, we will provide a reality check on network slicing and the vision of delivering private services from public network infrastructure.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

Our previous Virtual Networks SIG event examined the rise of private networks with the focus very much on bespoke, local, private deployments of infrastructure to deliver bespoke services to closed user groups. This approach is fine over limited geographies but how do we deliver private network like experience over regional or national coverage areas?

The original vision of 5G was a network capable of breaking away from the one size fits all consumer focused services of previous generations to deliver the infamous triangle of services. 5G was always meant to be flexible enough to deliver a range of service experiences to meet the requirements of disparate user groups; from high bandwidth and low latency immersive applications, to low bandwidth IoT and sensors, to safety critical control signalling for autonomous vehicles and every blend across these. To deliver this a new Service Based Architecture (SBA) was envisaged in 3GPP built on the pillars of network virtualisation and Software Defined Networking (SDN). This SBA can ideally orchestrate resources on demand and as needed to deliver customised service chains to meet the requirements of individual user groups; this is the concept of network slicing.

Ideally, network slicing provides the opportunity to deliver private network like experience from existing public network infrastructure. Benefits of this include potential for:

  • New higher value revenue streams for mobile network operators from non-consumer user groups with bespoke service requirements
  • Infrastructure cost savings by:
    • Reusing existing public network infrastructure as a baseline to build upon and add incremental infrastructure to
    • Benefitting from “elasticity” and new infrastructure as a service models in virtualised networks when dimensioning for peak demands

Whilst network slicing is promising in theory it has been slow to gain momentum in practice. Key challenges include:

  • End to end orchestration of network resources
  • How to dimension infrastructure for slices and guaranteed service levels
  • The business case for slicing – there is some hesitancy to invest in new infrastructure until willingness to pay amongst these new user groups is clear
  • The business practices of slicing – changing ways of working in mobile network operators to take full advantage of more agile, IT based infrastructure whilst still delivering guaranteed service levels. Also mechanisms for charging for a slice are yet to be established.

In this event, we will provide a reality check on network slicing and the vision of delivering private services from public network infrastructure. Our speakers will give a status update on slicing, key remaining challenges and the roadmap to deployment.

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 (Cambridge Wireless) welcome


Introduction to topic by Julie Bradford, Virtual Networks SIG Champion and Managing Consultant in Wireless Techno-Economics, Real Wireless


‘An update on VMO2’s 5G roadmap and thinking on integration of private networks’: David Owens, Head of Technical Trials, Virgin Media O2 and Dez O’Connor, Senior Manager, Cisco

David will give an update on the current status of VMO2’s 5G & Fibre rollout, describing the opportunity for Slicing and Network of Networks technology, finally covering some of their current trials and activities. Dez will then describe a possible future for Private Networks & Open Roaming for UK enterprise. And how the 5G DRIVE project, a co-funded collaboration with the UK government (DCMS), CISCO, Ori, University of Warwick, VMO2, and Wave Mobile, looks to drive forward the integration and roaming between private and public networks at scale.


‘Network Slicing – “Begin with the End in Mind”’: Afolabi Agbede, Mobile Services Architect, BT Network Services

The promise of Network Slicing in 5G is constantly under scrutiny, and rightly so. Beyond the challenges and prevalent misinformation, it is evident the position of the customer is often overlooked. Afolabi’s talk will aim to refocus our attention on delivering solutions for the customer rather than solely being technology focused. He will briefly cover the evolution and complexity of standards coordination for Network Slicing as well as reflect on deployment practicalities.


‘The Role of Next Generation Converged Packet Core in Unleashing the Power of Service Innovation’: Tarek El-Basyouny, Chief Architect - Strategic Accounts Europe, Mavenir

Mavenir’s Converged Packet Core offers a flexible, cost-effective journey to 5G with multi-generational support for all Gs to modernize existing mobile networks while evolving to 5G. Join Tarek El-Basyouny, Chief Architect at Mavenir, as he presents how Mavenir’s Converged Packet Core supports data, voice, and messaging services and network slicing – powering Deutsche Telekom’s 5G Standalone (SA) Network in Germany.


Refreshment break and networking


Koen Mioulet, Communications and secretary for EUWENA, European Users of Wireless Enterprise Networks Association

Private Wireless Networks are increasingly finding their way into industries and verticals for automation and optimisation of company processes . There are multiple alternatives, of which a dedicated network on one’s own, private spectrum is one. This presentation will position the various alternatives and provide a glance at what goes on in Europe.


Panel session chaired by Julie Bradford, Virtual Networks SIG Champion




Event close


Afolabi Agbede - Mobile Services Architect, BT

Afolabi has over a decade of experience within the Mobile Network Operator and Vendor space where he’s been responsible for the architecture, design, and evaluation of a number of radio, mobile and wireless projects. He holds an MSc (Distinction) in Personal, Mobile & Satellite Communications from the University of Bradford.

Afolabi is a BT Accomplished Engineer, a Fellow of the Society of Broadband Engineers (FSCTE), a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a STEM ambassador. He actively collaborates with Industry where he has contributed to standards development and specification working groups. Afolabi is also a committee member and secretary of his local IET branch and volunteers more widely within the Registrations and Standards Unit (RSSU) of the IET. Afolabi currently works in the Architecture function within BT Network Services with a focus on Mobile Network Standards & Architecture Evolution.

Tarek El-Basyouny - Chief Architect - Strategic Accounts Europe, Mavenir

Tarek is Chief Architect - Strategic Accounts Europe, at Mavenir. With in-depth knowledge and experience in telecommunication systems design, Tarek provides technology leadership across wide range of product portfolios, including 5G, O-RAN, cloud platforms, edge computing, analytics, and automation frameworks, aimed at enabling strategic projects and transformation programs to foster innovation and achieve business objectives. Previously, Tarek led the next generation voice platform’s cloudification program at Deutsche Telekom and held leading technical and product management roles at Vodafone Group . Tarek has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Ain Shams university and an MBA from Heinrich Heine University. He contributed to multiple granted patents in mobile communication and IP networking.

Koen Mioulet - Communications and Secretary, EUWENA (European Users of Wireless Enterprise Networks Association)

Koen has worked in the mobile industry for decades; starting with major vendors such as Ericsson and Nortel and consecutively for many Dutch and international players; the latter of which is Cellnex in its private wireless provider role and he wrote  multiple of their white papers. Recently, he worked with port of Rotterdam and Amsterdam Airport for private spectrum and – solutions in the mainports. In 2021 he was one of the founders of EUWENA, a pan EU association for all verticals and all countries, aiming at accelerating the market. In that capacity he holds presentations at international seminars and for the EU/RSPG.

Desmond O'Connor - Senior Manager, Cisco

Dez has been innovating across the telecoms sector his entire career. Having lead product development in several service providers, Dez has overseen the network evolution from 2G, to 5G. He also ran a telecommunications management consultancy serving customers across Europe, Americas and Asia.

More recently Dez develops Cisco’s global 5G and WiFi6 business, leads on many of cisco’s open V-RAN, Open Roaming and Private 5G initiatives. Dez also plays instrumental rolls across a number of UK Governments 5G initiatives such as 5G Rural-First, 5G New Thinking, NeutroRAN and 5G DRIVE. All consortium testbeds designed to increment 5G coverage either via technology, business model or ecosystem evolution.

David Owens - Head of Technical Trials, Virgin Media O2

David is an engineer, with a passion for bridging the gap between business & technology.

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

The XCHG, Floor 7, 22 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AJ

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