Tuesday June 20
Keynote #1 – (UN)Certainties about the future network
Juan Carlos García, SVP technology innovation and ecosystems, Telefónica
With many technology breakthroughs announced every year beyond the pure network innovation (like blockchain and metaverse in the last years, or Generative AI nowadays), it is challenging to foresee how future networks will look like. Nevertheless, there are some clear trends that will influence its shape and behaviour. While fixed networks are clearly heading towards a virtualized Next Gen PON, 6G is still in definition phase, starting to take shape in research projects and standard definition organizations. We can observe some direction, but still have relevant challenges to solve to enable some of the 6G characteristics, like a highly distributed computing, and even some of the ones promised by 5G, like a carrier-grade Telco Cloud. Future Networks are not representing just a technology evolution, but also a significant disruption in operation models (AI-driven) and business paradigms (“as-a-Service”), and this will affect not just technology, topology and architecture, but also mindset, skills and organizations for operating the data-driven autonomous network of the future.
Juan Carlos García is SVP Technology Innovation & Ecosystem at Telefonica, focused on topics like Edge Computing, NaaS, Slicing or AI. He leads Technology Innovation and oversees the participation in SDOs (O-RAN, ETSI, 3GPP…) and industry fora, representing Telefonica at GSMA, TIP, 5TONIC (5G lab), INDESIA (Spanish Association for Industrial Data/AI) and the European Edge & Cloud Alliance. He has led several VP positions at Telefonica GCTIO unit (Technology & Architecture 2017-19, Radio Access 2016-17, Transport 2015-16, Operations 2010-11, Architecture & Plans 2008-9, Fixed Access 2006-7) and worked in different roles in other Telefónica companies (Germany 2011-14, Data Europe Italy 2000-2/Germany 2003-5, Latin America 1998-2000, R&D 1990-97).
He has a Telecom Engineering degree at the Polytechnical University of Madrid and worked for 7 years as Computer Science professor at the Carlos III University in Madrid.
Keynote #2 – Artificial Intelligence and Decentralized Privacy Preserving Mechanisms for "Future" Networks
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is recognized as a main driver for the current and future networking industry. It leads towards increasingly autonomous and intelligent networks, can improve customer experience, and generate significant economic impact. In this talk we will present research and innovation experiences on the interaction of AI and networks. We will overview several use cases including fixed and mobile networks, platforms, digital twin. We will then discuss potential privacy, security and fairness concerns and describe approaches (e.g., federated learning) to deal with some of them. Finally, we will discuss lessons learned and the relevant research and innovation directions.
Diego Perino is an organization manager, technical leader and scientist with passion to work in cutting edge projects with industrial impact. He has been working for different companies in the ITC sector and covered different technologies and research areas. Apart from his industrial experience, he has also been very active in the research community with several publications, participation in conference committees, and editorial board contributions. He holds a Ph.D. from the Paris Diderot-Paris 7 University, MSc. from Politecnico di Torino, Eurecom Institute and Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis.
Wednesday June 21
Keynote #3 – AI-based smart network management across the compute continuum
Aurora Ramos, ATOS
6G is expected to rely on a continuum of high number of heterogenous resources from core cloud and edge nodes, up to extreme edge (including end-user devices), connected through multiple network domains whose boundaries will be blurred through horizontal federation or by the aggregation of elements across domains. This leads to much higher complexity from the management perspective, moreover considering the much more changing nature of resources at the extreme edge of the network. A distributed but coordinated continuum management across domains will be required, jointly for both network and compute resources. Artificial Intelligence (AI) mechanisms, and concretely Machine Learning (ML) can help us to cope to some extend with this increased complexity considering a distributed data-driven 6G architecture approach, but at the same time AI/ML is posing an important challenge regarding environmental sustainability which will require to incorporate specific mechanisms to keep the energy consumption at the minimum level.
Aurora Ramos holds a Master’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering and Research Sufficiency Diploma in Network Engineering by University of Valladolid (Spain). She has been involved for more than 18 years in research and innovation international projects for both academic and industry entities, having a deep knowledge of integration solutions for heterogeneous networks. Her research work specialized in Network Virtualization (NFV) and 5G architecture since 2014 when she joined Atos as Project Director. Since 2020 Aurora is Head of the Smart Networks and Service Unit in Atos Research. She has been involved with relevant technical and management roles in multiple 5G projects, and she is currently leading the Management & Orchestration work package within HEXA-X-II project, 6G flagship project under Smart Networks & Services EC funding programme. Her main research work is now focused on 6G future network management solutions and architecture, enhanced end-to-end multi-domain orchestration and real-time network operations- applying AI/ML for autonomous network management, also involving energy efficiency targets.
Keynote #4 – The journey towards 6G - going beyond connectivity services
Wolfgang John, Ericsson
Today's networks have formed an intelligent digital infrastructure offering enormous possibilities to individuals, enterprises, and governments worldwide. While the ongoing rollout of 5G will enable robust new solutions for a wide range of challenges, we are already on the way towards the next paradigm shift that will take us to the 6G era, giving rise to challenges beyond what even 5G can meet. This presentation will sketch the road Ericsson sees ahead towards 6G as a trusted network platform for an ubiquitous cyber-physical continuum. Starting from expected society needs and use-case scenarios in the timeframe of 2030+ allows us to derive an updated set of capabilities, and discuss emerging technologies trends to develop these capabilities. As the focus of this talk, we want to highlight entirely new capability dimensions offering functionality beyond communication, such as spatio-temporal services and compute-AI services. By discussing related research directions we hope to engage the industrial and academic research audience interested in boosting future networks through convergence of compute and communication.
Wolfgang John is a Principal Researcher at Ericsson Research in Stockholm. His current research focuses on distributed computing and edge system concepts contributing to the long-term vision of 6G. Since joining Ericsson in 2011, he has done research on network function virtualization, software-defined networking and network management. Wolfgang holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and has co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and reports, as well as dozens of patent families.
Thursday June 22
Keynote #5 – Networking is hard: we need offloads!
Gianni Antichi, Politecnico di Milano
The slowdown of Moore’s Law, the end of Dennard’s scaling, and the rapid adoption of high-bandwidth links is creating new challenges when building high-performance end-host network stacks and when dealing with network function virtualization. Recognising this trend, the research community has recently explored ways to help host processing through offloads.In this talk, I will discuss opportunities and challenges when designing application offloads and when boosting network functions virtualization performance. In particular, I will focus on two specific axis of the problem space: re-designing protocols and primitives for NIC offloads as well as enhancing packet-processing capabilities through compiler-driven approaches.
Gianni Antichi is an Associate Professor at Dipartimento Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria of Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science of Queen Mary University of London (United Kindgom). His research interests sit at the intersection of networks and systems and the goal is to develop hardware/software co-designs to improve performance and efficiency of end-host applications as well as packet-processing programs. He received a PhD in Information Engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy). His awards include the best paper at ACM SIGCOMM 2017, the ACM SOSR system 2019, the EPSRC New Investigator and the Facebook Networking Systems Research RFP in 2020.
Keynote #6 – Maximizing value from network softwarisation: a Telco perspective
Paul Veitch, BT
In the 10 years since the ETSI white paper on NFV, network operators have taken different pathways to “telco cloud” deployments. While many of the originally claimed benefits of cloudification are certainly still valid – flexible workload management, supply chain disaggregation, TCO reduction, etc – there have undoubtedly been mixed experiences, and as such widespread adoption of network softwarisation is definitely still a “work in progress”. Rather than taking a simple retrospective look at the journey to this point, this talk takes a level set view of current state of the art, and looking forward, the “big things” needed to deliver value for telco cloud. This will incorporate how to differentiate against public cloud providers (hyper-scalers), how to sweat assets of existing deployments (leveraging optimisation, telemetry and intelligent insights to balance high performance and energy efficiency), and the key ingredients for a credible edge strategy.
Paul Veitch holds M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. After a number of roles both inside and outside of BT, Paul is currently based at BT’s research facility at Martlesham Heath, England. From 2012 to 2018, Paul was responsible for driving BT's practical efforts on ground-breaking research into Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV): from early lab testing and live customer trials, to actual product development and network deployment. Between 2017 and 2019, Paul led BT's involvement on Horizon 2020 Phase 2 Next Generation Platform-as-a-Service (NGPaaS) project, and at the same time managed the converged networks Quality-of-Experience (QoE) research team. Since Nov 2021, Paul has led the "Software Based Networks" research team with a major focus on telco cloud evolution, optimisation and smart resource management to balance performance and energy consumption.