FutureNet World 2021: Event Preview

Contributed by Giles Cummings, Founder & CEO, FutureNet World.

Network Automation and AI are core to the Industry’s growth in a 5G & Industry 4.0 era

FutureNet World returns for the 3rd edition on 20-21 April. The event brings together a global audience of over 1000 senior telco executives to discuss the strategic and commercial considerations and decisions that CSPs are making today and the implications for the network. ‘Network Automation and AI’ is the umbrella topic of the event, a key foundational pillar for the next wave of growth in the telecoms market, and the agenda is built around 6 core themes: The network of the future and the future telco; Delivering on the 5G and Edge promise; Intelligent orchestration and service assurance; The open telco and automation; Automation and AI – operational transformation; and, Towards autonomous networks

As operators are focused on their digital transformation, they need to radically re-think their network, from their design to the different technologies that they can deploy. Networks need to be dynamic, intelligent and flexible to deal with the increasing demand placed on them. It is predicted that by deploying AI on the network and for service management, service providers could cumulatively save $27 billion over the coming decade and increase operating profit by $46 billion through savings in customer acquisition costs and lost revenue through better network performance.

Virtualisation, edge computing, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) are creating complexity that cannot be managed without a high degree of automation. Zero-touch automation, therefore, remains the end goal for far-reaching operational efficiency, acceleration of new service introduction and enhancement of customer experience that is being demanded today.

The agenda features 60 speakers, including 30 CSPs with case studies from Emmanuel Lugagne-Delpon, CTO Group Networks, Orange who will share insight into how Orange use AI to develop smarter networks and enhance operational efficiency, and Juan Manuel Caro, Director Operations Transformation, Telefonica who is leading a group wide operational transformation programme and will reveal how Telefonica is using automation as the basis for their next generation operating model.

Other Keynote speakers include CxOs from airtel, BT, Rakuten, Reliance Jio, Swisscom, TDC Net, TELUS, Telefonica, TIM, T-Mobile USA, Vodafone, and many others who will discuss how they are evolving their networks, adopting new technologies and ensuring they are ready for the 5G, data-driven world, and the next wave of commercial opportunities.

day one’s keynote panel setS the scene for the event

The growth imperative is expected to be driven by the intersection of edge computing, 5G and AI but this is a significant industry shift that will not materialize overnight. Consistency in strategy execution, creating the right culture and environment to integrate AI into telco DNA, and acquiring the human capital that embraces these new technologies are three strands that will be discussed and debated at FutureNet World.

The consensus of opinion coming out of FutureNet World 2020 was that federated access calls for alliances, partnerships and an ecosystem that extends the utility of IT-designed solutions to the telecom domain.  These alliances are starting to materialise, but the next stage of telco profitability will likely depend on these. FutureNet World 2021 will drive this agenda and provide a platform to facilitate these partnerships. There is a great deal more to achieve particularly if the industry aims to emulate cloud and web-scale companies in scale, reach and agility. This may require a degree of sophistication on the technology, organisational and cultural fronts. Progression on those fronts should shed the slow and time-consuming standardisation approach typical of telecoms. This is an ongoing discussion in the industry and will certainly be a theme at FutureNet World 2021.

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