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Virtual Networks

The tagline “IT meets Telecom” captures the increasing trend in building and operating of networks to separate functions from their underlying hardware. This separation allows network operators to move from specialized, proprietary hardware to general off-the-shelf computing systems, which in turn run the network functions as software on virtualized operating systems.

Technologies such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) as well as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are the enablers for this transformative trend with promises ranging from decreased CAPEX and OPEX over increased fluidity in meeting demand for network services (in collaboration with application-level providers) to emulating entire systems in software only for capacity and extreme event planning as well as lowering barriers to entry in terms of new functionality being introduced in networks by virtue of merely deploying a software-realized function rather than a specialized hardware element. Such virtualization does not come without challenges though, in particular in areas of interoperability and integration as well as in scale and dealing with extreme event scenarios.

In this SIG, we want to explore these potential use cases, both from a short but also long-term perspective, separate myth from reality as well as opportunities from hype and bring together practitioners in this space to exchange their views and meet those who want to understand how the future of network operations will look like.

The Virtual Networks SIG Champions

Phil Bridge,

Mark England,
Cambridge Consultants

Justin Paul

Dirk Trossen,
InterDigital UK

Contact the SIG champions at

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Recent Event - To review the presentations from the last event please visit our RESOURCES page

Next Event

Virtual Networks SIG - 'The Time is Ripe for Innovations' - Cambridge

SDN and NFV are proliferating as key technologies for 5G with standards maturing and test deployments increasing. Is this the time to expose some of the innovations we can expect to be enabled by all this technology?