UK5G: Show me the money: Understanding the business case for NFV

Brought to you by The Virtual Networks Group

Despite being one of the most hyped new technologies in the industry there is a great deal of scepticism about the real value of NFV/SDN. This Cambridge Wireless event will attempt to outline key business cases at all stages of the value chain and discuss whether NFV/SDN offers real benefits.

About the event

Some believe that NFV will create exciting new revenue streams for a struggling industry; others believe the operational savings are what will drive the adoption on NFV/SDN as a way of improving profitability; another group increasingly believe that NFV/SDN is just another example of technology hype and that the real benefits are limited and outweighed by complexity…

This Cambridge Wireless event will attempt to outline key business cases at all stages of the value chain and discuss whether NFV/SDN offers real benefits.

Thanks to our event sponsor Runway East - if you’re after a startup coworking space in London, you could do far worse than check out their locations here, for more info from Runway East sign up to their newsletter.

Does the business case for next generation networks work?

Many people are willing to embrace 5G and NFV/SDN as technologies that will save the telecommunications industry. Networks will become simpler, more agile, cheaper to run, easier to manage and able to support the world’s insatiable demand for an always on, always connected future. NFV/SDN will create scalable, efficient and heavily automated networks which will drive down CAPEX and OPEX. 5G has the potential to support new and exciting use cases and revenue models with network slicing allowing highly specialized and optimized networks to drive new revenue streams. Combined NFV/SDN and 5G support a strong business case of evolution.

However, others see this as technology for technology’s sake. They see these as expensive, distracting new technologies, pushed by the establishment, rather than pulled by any real customer need. Mobile operators, completing their roll out of 4G/LTE networks want to monetize that investment, leverage the recent developments of LTE-Advanced and perhaps take some time to breathe before decommissioning the 2G and 3G networks and reducing the complexity of their operations. For this group, 5G is a technology too soon, and they can’t justify the huge investment to roll out yet another network technology. Fixed and Mobile Operators see NFV/SDN as unproven, and possibly an unnecessary step from a “Cloud Native” future where multi-vendor systems can easily interoperate with no integration costs.

So the industry is at an impasse, the UK operators have already invested £1.35bn in 5G licenses, as table stakes. If you don’t have spectrum you simply can’t offer 5G Services, but many in the industry are not convinced that 5G has a viable business model. The industry are actively investigating new use cases that can only be delivered with the bandwidth, low-latency and flexibility of 5G, but use cases like Augmented Reality (AR), Automated Drone Management and Industrial Control systems while innovative may not be mass market services. Arguably the aim of the DCMS 5G trials and testbeds programme is to explore and validate these demand-side issues.

This UK5G/CW event. curated by the CW Virtual Network Special Interest Group, will look at some of the innovators and thought leaders who are looking at the business case for 5G/NFV/SDN today, and their early results from trials and early deployments of this technology. The event may not answer all of the open questions, but it will show how some organizations have addressed or plan to make money from this evolution.

Whatever side of the debate you are on join us for an enlightening discussion.

About the Virtual Networks Group

The tagline “IT meets Telecom” captures the increasing trend in building and operating of networks to separate functions from their underlying hardware. This separation allows network operators to move from specialised, proprietary hardware to general off-the-shelf computing systems, which in turn run the network functions as software on virtualised operating systems.
Technologies such as Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) as well as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are the enablers for this transformative trend with promises ranging from decreased CAPEX and OPEX over increased fluidity in meeting demand for network services (in collaboration with application-level providers) to emulating entire systems in software only for capacity and extreme event planning as well as lowering barriers to entry in terms of new functionality being introduced in networks by virtue of merely deploying a software-realised function rather than a specialised hardware element. Such virtualization does not come without challenges though, in particular in areas of interoperability and integration as well as in scale and dealing with extreme event scenarios.

In this SIG, we want to explore these potential use cases, both from a short but also long-term perspective, separate myth from reality as well as opportunities from hype and bring together practitioners in this space to exchange their views and meet those who want to understand how the future of network operations will look like.

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

Hosted by Runway East

Runway East’s flexible coworking, private offices and events connect over 100 London startups and 1000 startup workers in three prime locations in Old Street & The City.

On behalf of UK5G

UK5G is the new national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the commercial application of 5G in the UK.

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.

Agenda

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

13:30

Registration and networking

14:00

Introduction to the Virtual Networks Group

Justin Paul, Huawei Technologies

14:15

Measuring the impact of NFV in 2018

Session chaired by SIG Champion, Justin Paul, Huawei Technologies

Dean Ramsay, Research Director, Telecoms Tracker

A progress update on the rate of adoption of NFV in the industry and where we are in Q2 2018, including an analysis of the effect NFV is having on the wider operational ecosystem.

14:35

Q&A

14:40

How NFV is delivering value – today!

Nigel Stephenson, Market Development Manager, Telco NFV Group, VMware

Operators who are thinking about a virtualised service delivery model may already be too late. As many in the industry are postulating the value of NFV, others are realising that value today. What separates these two camps? Nigel Stephenson will overview the NFV business justification and deployment strategies being adopted by leading communication service providers, and the broader implications of NFV as a path to 5G and IoT.

15:00

Q&A

15:05

Panel session

Chaired by SIG Champion, Justin Paul, Huawei Technologies

Dean Ramsay, Research Director, Telecoms Tracker

Nigel Stephenson, Market Development Manager, Telco NFV Group, VMware

James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

Robert Curran, Chief Marketing Officer, Aria Networks

Julie Bradford, Senior Technology Consultant, Real Wireless

15:35

Refreshments and networking

16:00

Network Virtualisation and Splicing/Slicing in real-life: The Ashton Gate Stadium case

Vassilis Seferidis, CEO, Zeetta Networks Limited

Zeetta Networks has deployed NetOS® in a “First-of-a-Kind” deployment at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol. This presentation will discuss that deployment as an example of managing complex civil infrastructure in a dynamic and future-proof way using network virtualisation and splicing/slicing technologies.

16:20

Q&A

16:25

Presentation title to be confirmed

Conn Crawford, Partnership Development Manager, 5G North East

Xavier Priem, Programme Director, 5G North East

16:45

Q&A

16:50

Panel session

Vassilis Seferidis, CEO, Zeetta Networks Limited

Conn Crawford, 5G North East

Xavier Priem, Programme Director, 5G North East

Philip Bridge, Principal Network Architect, BT/EE

Nektaria Efthymiou, Independent Consultant, Nektaria Consultancy

17:20

Event wrap up

17:30

Event closes

Speakers

Vassilis Seferidis - CEO, Zeetta Networks

Vassilis Seferidis is CEO and co-Founder of Zeetta Networks an innovative spin-out company from the University of Bristol, UK offering Open Networking solutions that monitor, manage and automate the operations of ICT networks to extract greater efficiency and agility while enhancing the end-user experience and reduce the overall networking costs. Vassilis has more than 20 years’ experience in the Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics industry. Before starting Zeetta Networks, Vassilis was VP of Business Development for Samsung Electronics responsible for driving revenue growth and strategic development of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics business in Europe. Prior to Samsung, he held executive management positions at BT, Toshiba, Philips, QIO Systems and British Standards Institute. Vassilis holds a BSc and MSc from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, a PhD from Essex University, UK and an MBA from Cass Business School (City University), London. In 2011 Vassilis has been included in the Euro50 list of the 50 most influential people in the broadband and Telecommunications industries in Europe. http://www.digitaltveurope.net/20617/the-euro50-qa-vassilis-seferidis-samsung/

Nigel Stephenson - Market Development Manager, VMware

Nigel Stephenson is a market development manager and founding member of the Telecommunications and NFV group at VMware. Nigel joined VMware in 2014 with over 25 years’ experience at leading network equipment providers in roles including technical consultancy, product management and solution marketing. Nigel’s earlier roles included the implementation and project management of packet and cell-based services on behalf of leading European enterprises and operators during the early days of the Internet. Nigel has a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nottingham University, UK.

Julie Bradford - Managing Consultant, Real Wireless , Senior Technology Consultant, Real Wireless

Julie Bradford received her 1st class MEng degree in Electronic Engineering with Business Management from the University of York UK, 2002, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Management with a distinction from Bath University UK. She works at Real Wireless in techno-economic analysis to quantify coverage, capacity and user experience in wireless networks. Most recently Julie has been part of the Real Wireless team providing the commercial and socio-economic assessment of 5G network architectures within the European Commission 5G NORMA and 5G MoNArch projects. Previously, she was Communications Engineer at QinetiQ UK, consultant at PA Consulting UK, and Senior Systems Engineer for Airvana UK.

James Crawshaw - Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

James leads Heavy Reading's CSP IT & Automation research service. He examines the breadth of systems and software used by communications service providers in customer, business, service and infrastructure management. James's areas of focus include BSS (CRM, monetization, order management), OSS (orchestration, intent-based policy, closed-loop service assurance) as well as horizontal applications such as robotic process automation and artificial intelligence. He is particularly interested in the operational challenges posed by SDN and NFV and how operators can boost their agility by adopting new IT practices and systems while running existing IT infrastructure more cost-effectively. James holds a BSc and MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester, England.

Justin Paul - ‎Marketing Director - NFV and SDN, Huawei Technologies (UK)

Justin Paul works at Huawei Technologies, in the Western European Marketing team. He has worked in telecommunications for 20 years in product marketing and product management roles for leading telecommunication companies specializing in bringing new technologies to market. At Huawei he is part of the emerging technologies marketing team focusing on NFV/SDN and IoT. Prior to joining Huawei, he worked for Amdocs as Head of NFV and OSS Marketing; as an independent consultant to the Scottish Government; Airwave, the UK Public Safety Network Operator (TETRA) as Head of Product Marketing; Alcatel-Lucent as Head of Segment Marketing and Nokia as System Marketing Manager for the early GPRS and 3G data networks.

Philip Bridge - Principal Network Architect, EE

Phil Bridge has spent over three decades in the telecommunications and networking industries. He has worked in research labs, academia, start-ups, equipment vendors and service providers, in the UK and Switzerland, in technical, marketing and management roles. From 2002 he worked at Orange as a network designer and architect, and continues that role at EE since it was formed from the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK. Currently he is concerned with the technical strategy for mobile data in general, and the evolution of the architecture of the mobile data core network in particular.

Dirk Trossen - Principal Engineer, InterDigital Europe

Dr. Dirk Trossen is a Senior Principal Engineer at InterDigital Europe, the European branch of InterDigital Inc. Dirk has more than 20 years of experience in network architectures, services and wireless technology. He is currently leading the 5G networking efforts in the International Labs of InterDigital in London. He is currently technical leading the European efforts FLAME, POINT and RIFE, developing novel service routing solutions for upcoming 5G networks. Prior to joining InterDigital, Dirk was co-founder of TecVis LP, a UK-based software solution company in the mobile, context-aware solution space and he held prior positions as a Senior Researcher with Cambridge University, Chief Researcher with BT Research and as a Senior Principal Scientist at Nokia Research. He is also a research affiliate with the Advanced Network Architecture group at MIT CSAIL. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Technical University of Aachen, Germany. He published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers in international conferences and journals and has currently more than 35 international patents.

Mark England - Associate Director, Cambridge Consultants

Mark England has spent three decades architecting, designing, and implementing a wide variety of wired and wireless communications products, services, systems and protocols; from short range point to point systems to those which operate on a global scale. Mark joined Cambridge Consultants in 2000, and for the past 17 years he has been providing leading edge design, development and consultancy services to wide range of clients.

Dean Ramsay - Research Director, Telecoms Tracker

Dean Ramsay is head of research for Telecoms Tracker, a communications-focused research and consulting company based in London, UK. Dean has been in the telecoms industry since 1999, working mostly with network operations and OSS systems in network builds, data migration projects and service delivery for MCI Worldcom, Verizon Business, Epsilon and several European CSPs. For the last 8 years Dean has been a telecoms analyst in the UK, providing some of the industry's foremost thought leadership in the OSS/BSS sphere and helping operators, software and software vendors through the fledgling years of NFV and SDN. He has advised, spoken and written on cutting edge subjects such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Network Virtualisation and 5G, while remaining a subject matter expert for operational and business support software systems.

Nektaria Efthymiou - Independent Consultant, NEKTARIA Consultancy

Nektaria has been in Telecomms since 1995 and has gained experience in various disciplines in the industry working for Mobile Network Operators (Telefonica and Three) and manufacturers (NEC, Motorola, Fujitsu). Whilst in Telefonica Nektaria was leading various assignments from Radio Network technology strategy, Device and Handsets technology strategy and Telefonica’s UK end to end Network Strategy. Nektaria has been deputy CTO for CAPITA’s smart metering programme gaining a good understanding of non-mobile specific technologies, IT systems and consumer devices. Nektaria has a very strong academic background including MEng in Electronic and Electrical engineering, MSc in RF communications, MBA and a PhD in Telecommunications and holds 10 international patents. In 2017 she founded her own consulting company and she is working with companies from Telecoms, Energy and IT industry on strategic, technology and innovation projects. She is an independent expert advisor for H2020 EC programme.

Conn Crawford - Partnership Development, 5G North East

Conn hails from Belfast and has spent more than 30 years in economic development and IT management roles, with local government in the North East. 

Xavier Priem - Project Director, 5G North East

Xavier Priem leads the drive to position the North East as a key focus for the UK’s 5G revolution. He has a rich background in product line management within the vendor community and more recently with innovation centres in France and Australia. Xavier has extensive experience working for multiple telecom suppliers, their customers and, network operators. He has established specialist 5G research and innovation centres and projects across Europe. Xavier’s previous posts include three years as business development and portfolio manager at the French Institute of Research and Technology (IRT) B-COM.

SIG Champions

Philip Bridge - Principal Network Architect, EE

Phil Bridge has spent over three decades in the telecommunications and networking industries. He has worked in research labs, academia, start-ups, equipment vendors and service providers, in the UK and Switzerland, in technical, marketing and management roles. From 2002 he worked at Orange as a network designer and architect, and continues that role at EE since it was formed from the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK. Currently he is concerned with the technical strategy for mobile data in general, and the evolution of the architecture of the mobile data core network in particular.

Mark England - Associate Director, Cambridge Consultants

Mark England has spent three decades architecting, designing, and implementing a wide variety of wired and wireless communications products, services, systems and protocols; from short range point to point systems to those which operate on a global scale. Mark joined Cambridge Consultants in 2000, and for the past 17 years he has been providing leading edge design, development and consultancy services to wide range of clients.

Dirk Trossen - Principal Engineer, InterDigital Europe

Dr. Dirk Trossen is a Senior Principal Engineer at InterDigital Europe, the European branch of InterDigital Inc. Dirk has more than 20 years of experience in network architectures, services and wireless technology. He is currently leading the 5G networking efforts in the International Labs of InterDigital in London. He is currently technical leading the European efforts FLAME, POINT and RIFE, developing novel service routing solutions for upcoming 5G networks. Prior to joining InterDigital, Dirk was co-founder of TecVis LP, a UK-based software solution company in the mobile, context-aware solution space and he held prior positions as a Senior Researcher with Cambridge University, Chief Researcher with BT Research and as a Senior Principal Scientist at Nokia Research. He is also a research affiliate with the Advanced Network Architecture group at MIT CSAIL. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Technical University of Aachen, Germany. He published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers in international conferences and journals and has currently more than 35 international patents.

Event Location

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Runway East, The Engine Room Runway East Moorgate 10 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1AF

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