Abstract: 5G technology is still in the process of development and we may need to wait for a while before having a fully operational 5G network, as defined by 3GPP standards. The reality is that 5G deployment is ongoing across multiple sites around the word. However, we need to consider the multi-granularity of a full, complex 5G network architecture including all network segments from RAN through transport and far deep into 5G core network. Because of this, 5G deployment is still a challenge for operators, and industry needs to prioritize the deliverable enablers for it. This industry panel will address the current status of 5G evolution and what are the most important supporting technologies that need to be developed to enable a multi-sliced automated 5G network. The panelist are leading experts from prominent operators and solution providers.

  • The order for presentations as following:
1 Dr Giovanni Romano TIM,  Italia 5G Deployment in Italy: Challenges and Opportunities
2 Dr Diego R. Lopez Telefonica, Spain The Application of Digital Twin Mechanisms for Network Management
3 Dr Xavier Costa-Pérez NEC, Germany Open Radio Access Networks Revolution
4 Prof Panagiotis Demestichas WINGS ICT Solutions and University of Piraeus Deployment 5G-powered applications: directions and challenges
5 Scott Sumner EXFO, Canada Current and Future Monitoring Solutions for 5G Networks


Biographical Sketch of Presenters:

Giovanni Romano
Giovanni Romano is currently coordinating Telecom Italia activities on technical standards related to radio access and spectrum. The role implies the identification of requirements to be transferred to standardizations fora such as 3GPP to define new technical solutions for the radio interfaces of GSM, UMTS, LTE, 5G/IMT2020 and their evolutions, and the evaluation of technical solutions under development. In March 2015, Giovanni was re-elected Vice-Chairman of 3GPP Technical Specification Group RAN for the period 2015-2017, following a first term period (2013-2015). Since 1996 Giovanni has been active in several international standardizations fora and he is currently attending 3GPP RAN and NGMN. Giovanni also coordinates Telecom Italia’s activities in ITU-R, GCF and groups dealing with radio aspects in 3GPP and ETSI. Until 2005 Giovanni was project leader of several activities within the R&D center of Telecom Italia, including UMTS performance evaluation, quality of service verification, standardization, field trials and testing.

Diego R. Lopez
Diego R. Lopez is leading the Technology Exploration at the Global CTO Unit, within Telefónica I+D. His responsibilities are related to the definition and coordination of research projects in the areas of new networking technologies and network infrastructures. He is directly involved in activities related to network virtualization, core optimization, AAA, traffic analysis, and infrastructure security. He is the chair of ETSI ISG on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and the representative of Telefónica in bodies related to network technologies and chairing the IRTF NFV Research Group. He has been appointed by the European Commission as member of the High-Level Expert Group on Scientific Data e-Infrastructures (HLEG-SDI). He received my MS from the University of Granada in 1985, and PhD degree from the University of Seville in 2001, with a thesis related to AI and fuzzy logic, and their application to control problems. Since 1985, he has worked for several private and public organizations, developing, and deploying communication services. From 2000 to 2011, he was responsible for the Middleware Area of RedIRIS, the Spanish National Research and Educational Network. As part of these tasks I actively participate in national and international working groups and projects, and I have collaborated in several versions of the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group White Paper, under the auspices of the EU Presidency, in areas related to security and digital identity services. His current areas of interest are network middleware, network virtualization, infrastructural and mediation services, infrastructural security, the application of AI techniques to network management and security, and new network architectures.

Xavier Costa-Pérez
Xavier Costa-Pérez is ICREA Research Professor, Scientific Director at the i2cat Research Center and Head of 5G Networks R&D at NEC Laboratories Europe. His research focuses on the digital transformation of society driven by the interplay of mobile networks and AI. His team generates research results which are regularly published at top scientific venues, produces innovations which have received several awards for successful technology transfers, participates in major European Commission R&D collaborative projects and contributes to standardization bodies such as 3GPP, ETSI NFV, ETSI MEC and IETF. Xavier has experience raising funding both internally inside a company as well as externally in competitive public R&D programs. He has held multipe leadership positions both in industry and research organizations such as Deputy General Manager, Chief Researcher, Technology Board member and Scientist Advisory Board Member. As a standards delegate, he contributed to multiple standardization bodies (e.g. IEEE 802.11, 802.16, WiFi Alliance, 3GPP, …) and was recognized in several standards as a top contributor. He has served on the Organizing Committees of several conferences (including IEEE Greencom, WCNC, and INFOCOM), published papers of high impact and holds tenths of granted patents. Currently, he is serving as Associate Editor at IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC), IEEE Transactions on Communications (TCOM) and Elsevier Computer Communications journals (COMCOM). Xavier received both his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Telecommunications from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona and was the recipient of a national award for his Ph.D. thesis.

Panagiotis Demestichas
Panagiotis Demestichas is a Professor at the University of Piraeus, School of ICT, Department of Digital Systems, Greece. Currently, he focuses on the development of systems for WINGS ICT Solutions (www.wings-ict-solutions.eu) and its spin-out Incelligent (www.incelligent.net). WINGS focuses on advanced solutions, leveraging on IoT / 5G / AI / AR, for the environment (air quality), utilities and infrastructures (water, energy, gas, transportation, construction), production and manufacturing (aquaculture, agriculture and food safety, logistics and industry 4.0), service sectors (health, security). Incelligent focuses on products for banking, the public sector and for telecommunication infrastructures. Panagiotis conducts research on 5G, cloud and IoT, big data and artificial intelligence, orchestration / diagnostics and intent-oriented mechanisms. He holds a Diploma and a Ph.D. degree on Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). He holds patents, has published numerous articles and research papers, and is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Scott Sumner
Scott Sumner is the Director of Commercial Insight at EXFO, covering strategy, sales enablement and analytics. Scott has extensive experience in wireless and mobile telecom, AI and analytics, and service assurance. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including in roles as Director of Strategy and Communications at Nuvoola, VP of Marketing and Analytics at Accedian, GM of Performant Networks, Director of Program Management at MPB Communications, VP of Marketing at Minacom (Tektronix), as well as project and engineering management roles at PerkinElmer (EG&G). Scott has led numerous acquisitions and industry partnerships, and has authored numerous patents and conference papers. Scott has Masters and Bachelor degrees in Engineering (M.Eng, B.Eng) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and completed professional business management training at the John Molson School of Business, the Alliance Institute, and the Project Management Institute.


Anwer Al-Dulaimi
Anwer Al-Dulaimi is currently a Senior Manager 5G Technology & Solutions and Distinguished Staff Member at EXFO Inc., Montreal, Canada. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Brunel University, London, U.K., in 2012 after receiving M.Sc. and B.Sc. honors degrees in communication engineering. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, sponsored by Blackberry’s advanced research team. He is the chair of the newly IEEE FNI 5G Testbed Project working to develop a virtual testing platform for E2E network innovation. His research interests include 5G and 6G networks, cloud computing, Blockchains and cybersecurity. Dr. Al-Dulaimi is the editor of Future Networks Series on 5G & 6G in IEEE Vehicular Technology magazine, Editor of Vehicular Networking Series in IEEE Standards Magazine, Editor of IEEE ITSS Series on Intelligent Autonomous Transport, Associate Editor of IEEE Communications Magazine, and guest editor for many IEEE journals. He was the recipient of the 2013 Worldwide Universities Network best paper for outstanding research in cognitive communications, best IEEE/WWRF VTM best paper award for 3 times, as well as many other awards and grants. He has published many papers in refereed publications and patents. He is the chair of the IEEE 1932.1 ‘Standard for Licensed/Unlicensed Spectrum Interoperability in Wireless Mobile Network’. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), Associate Fellow of the British higher education Academy (AFHEA) and registered as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) by the British Engineering Council since 2010. He is a member of NSERC discovery grants committee, senior member of IEEE and a voting member of IEEE MobiNet Standards Committee.