Open standards and orchestration to achieve end-to-end virtualised networks

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

At a technology crossroads – which way should our industry turn? Bespoke, specialised, agile (and face more delay) or give the people what they want, open-source style (mass-market lower cost but slower speeds)? YOU decide. This event is the second of four in this month's Virtual Network SIG series.

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About the event

How important are open standards and orchestration for end-to-end virtualized networks? For many years the industry has faced a dichotomy.  Should I take a proprietary non-standardized approach for speed and agility; or should I follow a standards-based or open-source approach for a lower cost, slower but potentially more robust deployment?  

There are no hard and fast rules, but as we see some service providers moving away from their early adopter, proprietary approaches to virtualization towards more robust and scalable solutions based on open standards, what is the best approach and how does 5G impact these approaches?

Join us for the second in this series of Virtual Networks SIG events: 'Open standards and orchestration to achieve end-to-end virtualised networks'.

The session will conclude with a closing panel discussion and opportunity for people to network. Find out more about other events in the Virtual Networks SIG series: Realising the 'true 5G' dream

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

Sponsored by UK5G

The national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the commercial application of 5G in the UK.

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


CW and UK5G welcome by Simon Mead, CEO, CW (Cambridge Wireless)


Introduction to topic by Justin Paul, Virtual Networks SIG Champion and Senior Marketing Manager, Ericsson


'Enabling Interoperability Without Sacrificing Security': James Arias, Co-Founder, Weaver Labs

As open-standards and open-interfaces enable interoperability across vendors, how can we ensure that security becomes a priority, instead of an afterthought?


'Open standards, open platforms and open source for cloud native 5G': Sridhar Rajagopal, VP and Senior Fellow, Strategy Team, Mavenir

This talk discusses the benefits and challenges for operators as they migrate towards “open” eco-systems for multi-vendor cloud-native 5G deployments.


‘The importance of open standards’: Amit Ghadge, Senior Director Product Manager, Parallel Wireless


‘What are the objectives of Emerging Technology at Ofcom?’: Simon Saunders, Director of Emerging Technology, Ofcom


Panel session chaired by SIG champion, Justin Paul


End of session followed by networking


Event close


Amit Ghadge - Senior Director Product Manager, Parallel Wireless UK & EMEA

A Telecom industry professional with 20+ years of experience in various domains like Telecom and Datacom domains and in different roles like Engineering, Product Management and Product Owner. Amit has worked with well-known Telecom/Datacom vendors like Parallel Wireless, Cisco, Starent, Huawei & CoSystems.  As a Product Manager Amit has managed 5G Packet Core Solution, OpenRAN RIC, CUPS Gateway, LTE EPC Gateway products like GGSN, PGW, SGW & SAE-GW. He has witnessed several different evolutions of Mobile Packet Core solution and has several US Patents in Mobility.

Justin Paul - 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.

Sridhar Rajagopal - SVP, Access Technologies, Mavenir

Sridhar Rajagopal is currently a Vice-President & Sr. Fellow, Technology & Strategy at Mavenir Systems, where he is currently focusing on 5G technologies. Prior to this, he was one of the initial employees at Ranzure Networks, a cloud RAN start-up. He also had R&D roles in design, prototyping and standardization of 5G cellular and Wi-Fi systems at Samsung, in UWB technology at WiQuest communications and 3G/4G research at Nokia. He was an associate editor for the Journal of Signal Processing Systems (Springer) and has led leadership positions in standardization bodies such as IEEE and WiMedia. He was a co-recipient of the IEEE 2017 Marconi Prize Paper award for his research on mmWave systems. He has co-invented around 45 issued US patents. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University and is a senior member of IEEE.

Simon Saunders - Visiting Professor, King's College London

Prof. Simon Saunders is an independent advisor and researcher with deep industry and academic background in communication systems technology and a burgeoning interest in the intersection between real and artificial neural systems, communication systems and music. He is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, telecoms advisor to DCMS and Trustee of the charity Music for All.

Simon is a specialist in the technology of wireless communications, with a technical and commercial background derived from senior appointments in both industry (including Google, Motorola and Philips), academia (University of Surrey, Trinity College Dublin) and regulation (Ofcom).

He founded the Small Cell Forum and chaired this industry association from 2007-12, growing membership to 150 companies and working with 3GPP to create the first standards for small cells. He acted as Director of Emerging & Online Technology for Ofcom, leading Ofcom’s Emerging Technology programme and creating their Online Tech team. At Google (2015-20), he worked with operators globally to enhance wireless connectivity via a range of advanced technology initiatives, combining wireless networks, artificial intelligence and network virtualisation. As co-founder and Director of Technology for independent wireless strategy advisory firm Real Wireless (2006-15), he was responsible for overall technical capability and direction, providing independent wireless expertise and advice to operators, regulators, technology and law firms and wireless users. In 2019 Simon organised the world’s first 5G music lesson on behalf of charity Music for All, led by famous musician Jamie Cullum.

He is an author of over 150 articles, books and book chapters, including a popular textbook on antennas and propagation. He has invented over 15 patented wireless technologies and served on technical advisory boards of several companies and universities.

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.

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