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22.4.2018 : 8:22

Network operators’ perspective on Future Networks challenges

Session Chairs

undefinedBeatriz Fuentes, Telefónica I+D
undefinedDr. Eleni Patouni, University of Athens

Session Organisers

undefinedDr. Nancy Alonistioti, Department of Informatics & Telecommunications National & Kapodistrian University of Athens,
undefinedDr. Christian Destré, France Telecom
undefinedBeatriz Fuentes, Telefónica I+D
undefinedDr. Antonio Manzalini, Telecom Italia
undefinedDr. Eleni Patouni, Department of Informatics & Telecommunications National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Session Description

The advancements in telecommunication networks during the last 30 years have revolutionized our lives, our social behaviour, the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we learn, and it is even at the heart of numerous innovative companies around the world.

If there is one sector that has been impacted the most by this evolution, that one is the telecommunication industry. In order to accommodate the evolving requirements of their customers, network operators have developed a wide range of technologies e.g. mobile radio, satellites, optical fiber, UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) or 3G radio networks. Huge investments were needed to accommodate the increasing demand of bandwidth and to provide service to the exponentially growth of connected devices. The network operation had to evolve accordingly, in most cases just with the adaptation of the existing Operation Support Systems (OSS), but without being able to drastically reduce the technical personnel needed for the maintenance of networks and services.

This situation is going to be exacerbated in the near future, with the explosion of the Internet of Things, where every device will be able to connect to the network and exchange data with other devices in the ecosystem. To this end, there is a high demand for optimised network management solutions and simultaneous provision of higher levels of broadband access to more demanding customers. The latter should be also materialised to reduced or at least constrained Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and especially the Operational Expenditures (OPEX). New dominating trends including Software defined Networks (SdN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) promise minimization of the [cost * complexity]/ [performance * functionality] ratio, as well as flexibility, diversity and security. Such emerging technologies offer enhanced features, however a key question remains: can they really solve the network operation and management issues faced today by network operators? For example, SDN provides the ground for easing the management of the network resources. What about the management of the network virtualisation process itself? Moreover, will the new technologies smoothly fit into the current OSS ecosystem, or will their integration require strong adaptations that just add complexity to it, as it has already happened in the past? And will the research solutions developed during the last years be able to accommodate these new trends? The operational challenges implied by them should not be underestimated, and need to be carefully analyzed by the network operators for the implementation roadmap. On one hand, the management of these emerging technologies like SDN and NFV implies an evolution or even a revolution (a clean slate design) of the current OSS map. On the other hand, the resulting management ecosystem must be able to govern the complexity and dynamicity of the future networks and the scalability issues derived from the explosion in the numbers of connected devices. This session target is to shed light to these important challenges.

The “Network Operators perspective on Future Networks challenges” session aims to provide a forum for network operators, industry and researchers to present and discuss network operators’ views for advances towards the Future Networks. The focus lies on emerging management, operation and governance schemes for future networks and Internet technologies. The session’s participants will be able to learn how to think differently on network management, from three complementary points of view. On the one side they will be given the chance to look behind the curtains of network operators focusing on the challenges and possible solutions foreseen for network governance in the mid- and long- term, taking into account not only the current situation but also the requirements introduced by the emerging technologies. In addition, they will be able to approach the vendor’s point of view on the practical implications of these trends, their applicability and their proposals for gradual deployment and migration. Finally, the fresh vision of the academia on the open research topics will highlight how the cooperation between academics and industry can help to build solutions for current and future management problems.


Session introduction, Beatriz Fuentes, Dr. Eleni Patouni
undefined“Reconsidering network operation:providing flexibility to face the future” - Beatriz Fuentes (Telefónica I+D)
undefinedOpen Research Topics & Trends in Future Internet Technologies - Dr. Eleni Patouli (National &Kapodistrian University of Athens)
undefinedBuilding the Edge ICT Fabric - Dr. Antonio Manzalini (Telecom Italia)
undefinedChallenges for future wireless networks from an European research perspective - Dr. Bodgan Timus (Ericsson)
undefinedTowards Software-Driven/Enabled Networks Internet softwarization - Prof. Alex Galis (UCL)
undefinedThe "TeraStream" Approach - A Means for the provision of Cost Efficiency and Service Integration - Mr Christos Mizikakis (Hellenic Telecommunications Organization)

Panel Discussion - Mrs. Beatriz Fuentes, Dr. Antonio Manzalini, Dr. Eleni Patouni, Dr. Bodgan Timus, Prof Alex Galis, Dr. Fritz Joachim Westpfahl (DTAG)