Industry Focus - Optical Connections 2020



With broadband at the top of operators’ and vendors’ agendas alike, BBWF 2019 came at a very opportune time. Demands for ever-greater data throughput, the onset of 5G and developments in areas such as autonomous vehicles, all provided food for thought and discussion at the event in the Rai Centre, Amsterdam, last October.

W ith 4,297 attendees from 91 countries, the theme for 2019 was ‘separate fact from fiction’ as the event offered the chance to take a deep dive into the technologies that are grabbing industry headlines, such as 5G, FWA, PON, AI, smart home, industrial IoT, and get a pragmatic view of how these technologies are impacting networks today. Understandably, 5G had a particularly prominent place at the Broadband World Forum, with one of the main keynote speakers, Gerry McQuade, CEO at BT Enterprise, using his presentation to discuss the 5G vertical use cases and monetisation. McQuade’s keynote can be seen in full here. Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO of fixed networks at Nokia spoke about the importance of fixed-line broadband in relation to 5G to Ovum principal Julie Kunstler. Vanhastel said, “I would say wireline broadband is more relevant than ever in the 5G world. There are three areas where 5G and fixed access networks can compliment each other. The first one is that you can obviously use 5G to deliver a fixed wireless access service, next to fibre, DSL or cable. Of course, you’re going to have to decide which is the best of those three in any given situation. The second way that fibre, fixed access and 5G complement each other is in mobile transport. At some point we are going to be looking at massive numbers of small cells in every street and every building and we will need to connect those small cells using a fibre network that’s already in place.” He added that if FTTH is already in place, it will not be necessary to build a new network, meaning the cost and

speed at which 5G can be deployed will be significantly reduced. He concluded, “The third way fixed access and 5G can be complementary is that in a 5G world, consumers are going to expect a 5G service wherever they are.” The solution used for 5G access would, he explained, depend on a number of factors such as the terrain and the availability of spectrum. The full interview can be seen here. Other keynotes included Babak Fouladi, chief technology & digital officer at KPN, who explored the journey to becoming a digital operator; Lise Fuhr, director general at ETNO, who discussed the impact of new European Parliament legislature on Very High Capacity Networks and Benoit Joly, chief sales & marketing officer - Services, Renault, who debated automotive driving as the future of connectivity BBWF 2019 also hosted 3 expert workshops, including an ONF workshop on transforming the operator edge with curated open source networking; a 5G BASe workshop, exploring the reality of a 5G world for both consumers and service providers as well as the role of fixed in enabling these services and the Connected Home BASe workshop, delivering a market status update on the impact of consumer demands, partnering for OTT, architecture enablements and redefining Wi-Fi performance with T-398. Another major feature of BBWF 2019 was the Free Stage, which was open to all visitors. Attendees could learn about operator use cases from the likes of Telefónica España, Deutsche Telekom and PT Telkom Akses Indonesia. Also onoffer was the Stakeholder Gathering, which was joined by Match Maker Ventures, The Walt Disney Company, Elisa, UpRamp,

CableLabs US and Veon. A presentation from Barcelona City Council looked at 5G testbed deployment and conclusions drawn based on the city’s urbanistic model. There was also lively discussion during the panel discussion on inclusion, up-skilling and diversity in the broadband industry, joined by European Commission, Virgin Media, Digital Innovation Forum, Doqdrive and Tungsram Group, and finally, there was a presentation from Google Fibre’s Senior Architect & IEEEP9OT.3CS chair, Claudio DeSanti, exploring enabling broadband access for all with super PON. Highlights of the last day included a keynote from Rahul Vijay, global head of connectivity at Uber who discussed connectivity as a competitive advantage; Buzzword Bingo: Cutting through AI, Machine Learning, IA to the solutions beyond, joined by Rogers and MyRepublic and a presentation hosted by Massimo Bertolotti, Broadband CTO at Sky Italia, discussing how to bring intelligent innovation to telco services. The expo also features four content streams covering fixed wireless access, 5G & mobile broadband, next generation networks, connected life and intelligent networks, along with a discussion panel on how to improve opportunities for women in the communications industry, the Start- Up Showcase and, of course the BBWF 2019 awards, the presentation ceremony for which was, of course, fully booked well in advance. BBWF 2020 is scheduled to take place on 13th – 15th October 2020 at the Rai Centre, Amsterdam. More information can be found at bbwf



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