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About the 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 virtualisation 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.

Follow us on Twitter @CambWireless, and join the conversation using #CWVN

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...

    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...

    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.

  • Mr 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...

    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.

SIG Related Resources

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