CWTEC 2023: The unavoidable complexity of future wireless networks?

Brought to you by Cambridge Wireless

The introduction of new mobile network generations, new spectrum bands and new antenna technology has added complexity to deployed networks. Work on defining the next generation of mobile networks is underway, is this the time to rethink mobile networks?

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About the event

Through in-depth technical presentations, CW TEC 2023 will explore the complexity of future wireless networks, with sessions covering:

How complex are current mobile networks?

  • What is the complexity?
  • What has driven the complexity?
  • multi-RAT, multi-Band,
  • M-MIMO,
  • Multiple backhaul options

How do we deal with today’s complexity?

  • Managing the complexities Tools & techniques
  • What short term techniques can help to manage the situation?
  • Intent based network and service management
  • Wi-Fi / Cellular integration
  • Application of AI

What are the future technologies that are making it simple (or not)?

  • What long term/distributive technique are on the horizon?
  • Integrating space and airborne platforms (LEO/HAPs)
  • Even higher frequency spectrum (THz)
  • Open architectures (Open RAN)
  • Cell-less architectures
  • A new 6G RAT?
  • Spectrum sharing?
  • Neutral host in-building
  • RIC (non-real time, near real time & beyond)

The day will conclude with a panel introducing insights from adjacent industries such as the energy sector, railway signalling, TV broadcasting – how have they dealt with complexities and improved infrastructure?

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


The UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN) is the innovation network for the UK telecoms sector bringing together industry, government stakeholders and academia to catalyse R&D investment, cooperation

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Hosted by Digital Technology Group, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

We are an academic department within the University of Cambridge.

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Exhibitor IoTAS

IoTAS help the wireless community (5G / 4G / 3G / 2G / NB IoT / Cat M1 and Satellite Receivers) to place their products on the market and ensure they perform as expected.

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


Registration and networking with refreshments


Welcome from CW (Cambridge Wireless)

Welcome from CW (Cambridge Wireless)
Paul Crane, CEO, CW
Welcome from our host The Computer Labs
Dr Ian Wassell, Senior Lecturer, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory


How complex are current mobile networks? - Vicky Messer

Session chair – Vicky Messer, VP Product Management, Picocom UK
How complex are current mobile networks?
Exposing the reality of current network deployments; multi-RAT, multi-Band, M-MIMO, many backhaul options…


Talk 1 - Network architecture - Andy Sutton

Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, BT
Where did the complexity of future wireless networks come from? What has happened since we launched 2G GSM with a single technology, single frequency band and a single operator site? This talk will review the evolution of digital cellular site design and explore how the complexity has come about. To do this we’ll explore radio access technologies, frequency bands, antenna systems, RF transmission lines, site sharing and mobile backhaul, we’ll also look to the future to consider how site design will evolve through RAN architecture evolution, including optimisations of today’s D-RAN and deployments of C-RAN with traditional approaches, or vRAN and Open RAN.


Talk 2 - Normal Accidents – Living with high-risk technology - Moray Rumney

Moray Rumney, Director, Rumney Telecom
The limited debate on how brittle our technological world is becoming needs to be addressed or we risk sleepwalking into catastrophe. This talk is based on a 1984 analysis of high-risk technologies by Charles Perrow of Yale. His thesis is that when systems become sufficiently complex and tightly coupled, failure will be unexpected, incomprehensible, uncontrollable, and sadly, unavoidable. Blaming the operator is common, but Perrow’s conclusion is that failure is not unlucky or abnormal but inevitable based on design. The solution is not more risk mitigation features which add complexity but to return to less complex systems that are inherently robust, less efficient, and less vulnerable to failure and attack


Q&A for all speakers


Refreshments and networking


Managing today’s complexity - John Okas

Session chair - John Okas, CCO, Real Wireless - Managing today’s complexity
What are the tools & techniques for dealing with today’s complexities? What short term techniques can help to manage the situation?


Talk 1 - Managing complexity & predicting future capacity upgrades - Peter Love

Peter Love, 4G/5G Densification Architect, Nokia
What if we could predict the future? The overwhelming majority of complexity in current mobile networks is driven by the need for ever growing capacity. In this presentation we will we be answering the following questions.
• Why is capacity growth important and why is it difficult to keep up?
• What is the current arsenal of solutions on the table today to help?
• How to decide what solution best fits the network expansion whist being a justifiable expense?


Talk 2 - Supply Chain Diversification - is it just another name for complexity? - Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson, Head of UKTIN
Economics tells us that monopoly of supply is a bad thing, and in the context of telecoms we seem to be very close to it. Government proposes diversifying the supply chain as a remedy. Industry imagines promoting another large vendor to fill the gap. How can telecoms innovation help the industry meet policy, manage complexity, be affordable, perform well and make common sense all at the same time?


Talk 3 - AI-native 6G – rethinking network architecture - Yue Wang

Yue Wang, Head of Group, 6G Research/SRUK, Samsung
The presentation will discuss the challenges the industry is likely to encounter as we advance towards an AI-native network, and highlight the need to rethink the design and architecture of next generation networks to support the convergence of communication, computation, and intelligence in the 6G era.


Talk 4 – CISCO - Simplifying Wi-Fi Operations - Mark Grayson

Mark Grayson, Fellow, Global Technology and Standardization Group
The session will examine how Wi-Fi is addressing 3 complexity challenges: configuration, cellular integration, and onboarding.


Q&A for all speakers


Lunch and networking


Future technologies – making it simple (or not) - Prof Simon Saunders

Session chair – Prof Simon Saunders, Visiting Professor, King's College London
What long term/distributive technique are on the horizon? Integrating space and airborne platforms (LEO/HAPs); Even higher frequency spectrum (THz) and spectrum sharing; Open architectures (Open RAN); Cell-less architectures; A new 6G RAT; Neutral host in-building; RIC (non-real time, near real time & beyond)…


Talk 1 - Future Network Platform - Nafiseh Shariati Eshkevari

Nafiseh Shariati Eshkevari, Master Researcher, Ericsson Research UK
The talk provides an overview of a future network platform, enabling societal innovation in a cyber-physical continuum. Trustworthiness, sustainability, and simplification are targeted, while strictly meeting societal demands for providing advanced application and consumer services. The presentation also includes the type of use cases a future network needs to address, something about required network capabilities, as well as some of the technology components, ending in a high-level architectural view.


Talk 2 - Integration and Interoperability - Maria Lema

Maria Lema, Weaver Labs
Maria will talk about the use of a decentralized service layer to enable efficient sharing of infrastructure leveraging software and open network interfaces to interconnect and integrate infrastructure on-demand and as a service.


Talk 3 - Intelligent RAN Architecture - Professor Rahim Tafazolli

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, University of Surrey
The talk will give an overview on what is expected for 6G to deliver and more notably the 6GIC vision and strategy of 6G requirements and research challenges. It will propose new RAN architectures that will simultaneously achieve energy and Coverage efficiencies. The idea is based on intelligent Network of Networks in solving an important societal challenge of Digital Divide.


Q&A for all speakers


Refreshments and networking


Insights from other industries - How do we make it simple?

Session chair – Sylvia Lu — Head of Technology Strategy, u-blox UK
Insights from other industries - How do we make it simple?
Does complexity encourage or deter innovation? Broadcast, energy, rail
• Ken Cowley, Senior Solutions Architect, Nomad Digital, an Alstom Transportation company
• Philip Steele, Future Technologies Evangelist, Octopus Energy
• Andrew Murphy, Lead Research Engineer, BBC Research & Development


Closing remarks


Event close


Ken Cowley - Senior Solutions Architect, Nomad Digital

Ken has spent fifteen years in railway communications including design and installation of two of the first trackside dedicated broadband networks in the UK, on West Coast Mainline and Heathrow Express, and a combined signalling and voice communications network for Denver Transit, Colorado. He is currently lead architect and technical manager for the mmWave trackside network being built to deliver multipurpose broadband connectivity to Caltrain services in the Bay Area and for the Internet On Board system, including trackside radio network, being delivered as part of the new Réseau Express Métropolitain in Montreal. He is also technical lead on the integration of current generation LEO and HAP connectivity into Nomad’s aggregating router technology.

Paul Crane - CEO, Cambridge Wireless

Paul is a telecoms technologist. He is a member of the Cambridge Wireless Board and became CEO in November 2022. He was Director of Network Research at BT, a member of the Telco Infra Project board and Wireless Broadband Alliance board. His career includes work in Europe and the USA, building and launching telecommunication joint-ventures.

Paul is a visiting professor at the University of Surrey, Institute for Communications Systems. He is passionate about the benefits of telecommunications, a common theme in his current work is to help drive telecommunications skills and capabilities in the UK.

Mark Grayson - Distinguished Engineer, Cisco

Mark Grayson is a Cisco Fellow in Cisco’s Global Technology and Standardization Group, where he currently has broad responsibility for supporting Cisco's 5G strategy, including defining the role of Wi-Fi based access in 5G environments, chairing the WBA’s OpenRoaming program, leading Cisco’s multi-vendor RAN virtualization efforts, being co-chair of the O-RAN Alliance’s Fronthaul Working Group, as well as supporting Cisco’s enterprise team defining systems for supporting 5G enterprise use cases.

He has over 30 years of experience in the wireless industry, ranging from the development of military HF systems, cellular handset RF/DSP design, the definition of mobile satellite communication architectures, architecting service provider Wi-Fi solutions, the evolution of traditional cellular systems through to the creation of the latest virtualized RAN solutions.

He holds a first class Honors degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Birmingham (England) together with a PhD in Radio Communications. Mark has been granted over 150 patents in the area of mobile communications and is the co-author of IP Design for Mobile Networks (2009) and Building the Mobile Internet (2011), both published by Cisco Press.

Nick Johnson - Head, UKTIN

Nick was founder and CTO of ip.access, the leading small cell infrastructure business based in Cambridge UK from its inception in 2000 to acquisition by Mavenir in 2020. As well as leading the ip.access product line from GSM to 5G, he chaired the Radio and Physical Layer Working Group in the Small Cell Forum and introduced the world to FAPI - the industry standard software/platform interface for small cells.

Nick brings an unequalled commercial experience to the UKTIN and is looking forward to it helping those seeking to exploit and contribute to the unrivalled inventive spirit of the UK, as well as informing the UK Innovation ecosystem into the foreseeable future.

Maria Lema - Co-Founder, Weaver Labs

María Lema is a Co-Founder of Weaver Labs, a Telecoms-software company building a blockchain-based network management tool to open up access to connectivity. Maria leads commercial and strategy activities, as well as building partnerships and handling all company operations. In addition to having a Ph.D. in Telecoms, María has also led all operational activities at King's College London in the 5G Tactile Internet Lab powered by Ericsson.

María often disseminates her work at many important events within the industry and her work has been covered by many top-level media such as CNN business, The Telegraph Business Review, Raconteur, and The Guardian.

She was recently listed as one of Capacity Media's 20 Women to Watch in Telecoms 2022 and was shortlisted Entrepreneur of the Year 2022.

Peter Love - Techno/economic business consultant & programme manager, Independent

I am an experienced leader of diverse sales teams and a trusted advisor for Cx0/CxO-1 leaders. Educated with Six Sigma Yellow Belt, ITIL v3, and with a PMP certification, my skillset lies in my ability to excel in global project delivery, demystify complexities, and handle challenges with tenacity and good humour. I am committed to fostering industry dialogue and have chaired telecoms forums and acted as Special Interest Group champion to drive collaboration and impact. My career has spanned global strategy, operational development, geographic management, and consumer electronics, maintaining an 80:20 balance between sales and operations

Sylvia Lu - Corporate Strategy, u-blox UK, Member of Advisory Board, UKTIN

Sylvia Lu is an award-winning Chartered Engineer and Non-Executive Director. Sylvia has over 15 years of experience in the Telecom industry for four mobile generations with chipset vendors, currently with u-blox at the Corporate Strategy group – a Swiss vendor of positioning and wireless communication chipset, modules, and services.

Sylvia serves on several national and global industry Boards: she is an elected board director of CW (Cambridge Wireless), and serves on the Advisory Board of UKTIN, which provides independent advice on the telecoms sector, champions the opportunities in telecoms research, development, and innovation for the UK, and helps UKTIN provide impartial input to government. She also serves on the Board of 5G-ACIA (5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation), and joins forces with global industry stakeholders to influence 5G development and deployment in line with industrial imperatives to accelerate Industry 4.0.

She holds a first-class Electronic Engineering degree from Birmingham University and a Master of Science degree in Communications and Signal Processing from the University of Bristol. She graduated with a Distinction from the University of Oxford in PGDip Strategy & Innovation, and an Executive MBA degree from the University of Cambridge. Sylvia is also an artist.

Vicky Messer - VP Product Management, Picocom

Vicky Messer is VP of Product Management at Picocom with over 25 years of experience in the wireless industry. Vicky joined Picocom over 4 years ago and leads Product Management, Technical Marketing and partnership activities. Vicky also leads the Picocom Small Cell Forum (SCF) activities and joined the board member at Small Cell Forum (SCF). In recognition leading in multiple work items and a published papers, Vicky was awarded the SCF ‘Outstanding Individual Contribution to SCF award’ in 2020.

Vicky is a certified IET registration mentor, and currently mentors a local young female engineer. In May 2023 Vicky joined Industrial Advisory Board Bath University Electronics and Electrical Engineering and also won a SCF Industry Award 2023 for Women in Wireless.

Andrew Murphy - Lead Technologist, BBC Research & Development

“Andrew Murphy has worked at BBC Research and Development for over 20 years, joining the department directly after graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Masters degree in Electrical and Information Sciences. He has led the development of both hardware and software to support research in a number of fields and has worked within standardisation groups such as Digital Video Broadcasting and 3GPP. He has written and edited a number of European Telecommunications Standards Institute standards associated with digital broadcasting. Andrew is currently leading BBC R&D’s research into the delivery of the BBC’s content and services over mobile networks.”

John Okas - CCO, Real Wireless

John has worked in wireless and telecommunications throughout his career. Initially with Motorola and Racal in engineering and product marketing roles. He was a founding director of NTL (now Arqiva), initially as Business Development Director building and managing the complete commercial organisation. He also managed the R&D Group which developed one of the first commercially available MPEG video compression systems. Then as Managing Director - Telecommunications he was responsible for growing NTL's wireless business using NTL’s extensive tower portfolio and nationwide field operations capability and entering the fixed telecommunications and satellite services markets. Moving to Pell Frischmann, the consulting engineers, he started a telecommunications business and was involved in several large transportation projects including the Highways Agency's NRTS Project which updated the communication systems on the strategic Road Network and he first got involved in smart metering. Currently as CCO for Real Wireless he undertakes business strategy and development activities, as well as delivering various projects. Recent projects include assessing the implications of the sunset of 2G and 3G networks in the UK and analysing various aspects of smart metering in the UK. He takes a strong interest in the evolving NTN and M2M markets and the evolution of energy communication networks.

Moray Rumney - Director, Rumney Telecom, Industrial Fellow, University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

Moray Rumney received a BSc in EE from Heriot-Watt University in 1984. He joined Hewlett-Packard that year and remained with the company through the transition to Agilent Technologies in 1999 and Keysight Technologies in 2015. Moray joined ETSI in 1991 and 3GPP in 1999 where he participated in the development of cellular communications standards and conformance test methods. His recent work has focused on radiated test methods for mobile phones. He was editor and major contributor to Agilent’s book “LTE and the Evolution to 4G Wireless”. From 2018 to 2021 Moray represented Keysight at 3GPP RAN plenary who oversee the development of the 5G radio standards. His recent interests include expert witness work, engineering consulting services, and the safety debate around cellular technology including the evolution of test methods to validate that base stations and mobile phones comply with safety regulations.

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.

Nafiseh Shariati Eshkevari - Master Researcher, Ericsson Research UK

Nafiseh holds a PhD in Telecommunications from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. She is a Master Researcher at Ericsson Research United Kingdom, a newly established 6G research centre to collaborate closely with the UK 6G research ecosystem.

Prior to this role, Nafiseh was working as a researcher at Ericsson Research Sweden and a pre-sales lead at Marketing Area of Europe and Latin America.

Her work experiences include leading and driving research activities for 5G RAN, deployments and multi-antenna systems; identification and development of 6G technology components; and delivering strategic and technical consultancy towards telecom operators and internal stakeholders such as Ericsson product units. She is an author and inventor of several scientific papers, journals and patents, and has been awarded as an Ericsson key contributor in 2021.

Phil Steele - Future Technologies Evangelist, Octopus Energy

Phil is the Future Technologies Evangelist at Octopus Energy, leading the research & development team, and applying cutting edge technology to develop new innovation across the whole of the energy chain. 

Some of the tech-led innovation Phil is working on includes the Octopus Agile tariff, making the grid more flexible to cope with the realities of intermittent renewable generation, and Powerloop, a project that could turn millions of electric cars into mini battery packs to supply the grid when renewables energy is in short supply. 

Phil joined Octopus Energy following the acquisition of his entech startup nCube, a pioneer in IOT platform development, with award-winning tech that acts as a bridge to connect IOT devices, using Z-Wave, WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth and LAN.  

Prior to nCube, Phil helped launch a mobile advertising startup in Canada, and delivered numerous innovations at O2 such as messaging, pre-pay & mobile internet. He regularly subjects his wife and three children to trialling out his latest gadgets in energy tech. 

Andy Sutton - BT Fellow & Principal Network Architect, BT

Andy Sutton is a BT Fellow and Principal Network Architect for Wireless Access. The wireless access domain includes 4G/5G RAN architecture and mobile backhaul/xhaul, along with microwave and millimetre wave radio systems, and satellite communications. Andy holds an MSc in Mobile Communications from the University of Salford and has over 35 years of experience within the telecommunications industry. Andy’s current research interests include advanced RAN coordination techniques, including C-RAN and OpenRAN, optical fibre and radio based backhaul/xhaul, along with LEO satellite communications and High-altitude Platform Systems (HAPS), all in the context of building resilient heterogeneous networks. Andy holds the post of Visiting Professor of Telecommunications at the University of Liverpool and the University of Salford, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds Fellowships from the IET, ITP and BCS. Andy sits on the editorial board of the ITP Journal and is a CW SIG Champion for eMBB and Wireless Heritage.

Rahim Tafazolli - Research Fellow, University of Surrey (ICS)

Rahim Tafazolli, Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, IET, WWRF and Regius Professor of Electronic Engineering, Professor of Mobile and Satellite Communications, Founder and Director of 5GIC, 6GIC and ICS (Institute for Communication Systems) at the University of Surrey. He has over 30 years of experience in digital communications, research and teaching. He has authored and co-authored more than 1000 research publications and is regularly invited to deliver keynote talks and distinguished lectures to international conferences and workshops. He was advisor to the Mayor of London (Boris Johnson) on London 2050 Infrastructure.

Yue Wang - Chief Technologist, China Telecom, Chair of UKTIN AI EWG’, UKTIN

Yue Wang is the currently Chief Technologist at China Telecom. Prior to this role she was the Head of Advanced Network Research, and Head of 6G Research Group, subsequently, at Samsung Research UK. She leads a team of talented researchers working on cutting edge 5G and 6G network technologies such as system architecture, AI-native networks and O-RAN.


Yue is widely recognised for her extensive technical expertise, strategic and thought leadership in 5G, 6G, and AI within the telecommunication industry. She is the Chair of the UKTIN AI Expert Working Group, where she has the honour to lead a group of highly respected experts analysing telco AI’s forward-looking opportunities and challenges across technology, business, economy, and society. She has also led large scale (19 partners, 8M EURO) H2020 project, is an inventor of numerous patents, has been Secretary and Rappetour of ETSI ENI, delegate of O-RAN WG3, and a frequent speaker in conferences, having recently presented in events such as MWC and TMF DTW.


Prior to joining Samsung, Yue held various roles in the US and the UK, all on Communications Research and Standards. Yue received her PhD from University of Victoria, Canada. She is the recipient of ETSI ENI Award for her ‘extraordinary contributions’ in 2019, and CW 'Outstanding Woman Engineer of the Year Award' in 2020.  

Ian Wassell - Associate Professor, Digital Technology Group, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Dr Ian Wassell joined the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory as a Senior Lecturer in January 2006. Prior to this, he was with the Department of Engineering for six years. He received the PhD degree from the University of Southampton in 1990 and the BSc., BEng. (Honours) Degrees (First Class) from the University of Loughborough in 1983. He has in excess of 25 years experience in radio communication systems gained via positions in industry and academia and has published more than 200 papers. His research interests include broadband wireless networks, wireless sensor networks, radio propagation, coding, communication signal processing, compressive sampling, and image processing and classification.

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Cambridge Computer Labs, William Gates Building, 15 JJ Thomson Ave, Cambridge, CB3 0FD

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