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Global Mobile Broadband Forum: An Overview

Huawei GMBBF 2017 graphic

By Anne Morris, Contributing Editor. This blog was sponsored by Huawei.

Mobile AI, the evolution of mobile broadband architectures and the latest insights into 5G will all feature prominently at this year’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London.

The mobile broadband world is moving inevitably towards 5G, but how will the industry transition from 4G LTE to the promised world of 5G?

That’s a key topic to be explored in London in November when the great and good of the mobile industry gather to discuss latest progress in the development of the next generation of mobile technology, as we move closer to the point when 5G standards will be ratified.

The two-day Global Mobile Broadband Forum (Global MBB Forum) 2017 provides an opportunity for the industry to explore developments in the 5G standard to date, as well as gain an overview of the huge advancements that have been made with 4G. It’s now recognised that 4G will continue to play a significant role both in the standardisation process for 5G as well as in the types of services that will be available in the future.

The title of this year’s event, which takes place on November 15 and 16, is “Mobile Reshapes the World” — and few would regard this as mere hyperbole given the huge changes that mobile technology has already brought to our lives. The purpose of the event is not only to provide a snapshot of progress to date, but also to make some important decisions regarding future steps. Indeed, some of the most influential decision makers from the ranks of operators, vendors and other participants in the mobile ecosystem will be attending. Importantly, representatives from vertical industries — which are expected to provide key use cases for 5G technology — will also add a further dimension to discussions on how to achieve sustainable growth.

What can you expect to see? As things stand, the event expects to attract more than 900 attendees with many holding C-level positions within their companies. The impressive line-up of keynote speakers includes: Ken Hu, rotating CEO, Huawei; Rajendra Rao, CEO, Ford Smart Mobility; Johan Wibergh, CTO, Vodafone Group; Enrique Blanco, GCTIO, Telefonica Group; and Hiroshi Nakamura, CTO, NTT DoCoMo. There will also be live demos and an innovation expo to show some real-world examples of what is already being trialled in labs as well as on live networks.

On Day 1, the focus will be placed firmly on the development of the future 5G ecosystem and the types of services that this extremely advanced mobile technology will be able to support. As well as perspectives from mobile operators on what 5G will mean for their businesses, there will also be discussions on how vehicles are set to become the “next mobile”, as well as the impact that mobile is having on how video services are distributed and consumed. Day 2 will look at the innovations that have been made with LTE-Advanced technology, also dubbed 4.5G.

A key topic during the event will be Mobile Network AI (artificial intelligence). The Huawei team will show how a combination of mobile broadband and AI capabilities can improve efficiency, performance and business, and will unveil the world’s first Mobile AI prototype during the Forum.

In addition, a number of roundtable events will delve deeper into aspects such as how the mobile industry can work with vertical industries in the 5G era in order to devise new business and use cases. That will also involve improving network capabilities to enable these use cases as the industry moves towards 5G network rollout and delivery.

Running in parallel with the Global MBB Forum will be a series of summits and roundtables held under the banner of Wireless Industry and Technology Talks, or WIT Talks. These discussions will focus on key aspects relating to the realisation of 5G, such as the thorny issue of spectrum and the physical construction of the networks themselves. The latter issue will also incorporate discussions on core network transformation, the co-existence of 2G/3G/4G and 5G, and how to ensure sustainable investments and network evolution. In addition, no network discussion would be complete without an examination of how 5G will affect back-office systems; the OSS roundtable will enable leading operators to share their experiences and discuss what they intend to do next.

Of course, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication — underlining the importance of the car industry as a blueprint for other sectors with regard to its collaboration with the mobile industry — will also feature heavily in the talks. Last but not least, security challenges and the prevention of cyber-attacks remain a pressing concern for the sector, which is still seeking ways of how to cope with new and more sophisticated threats in future.

Overall, the aim of the conference is to ensure that all participants in the ecosystem better understand what future actions are now required to make 5G both a reality and a business success.

The Global MBB Forum 2017 will take place at the ExCel centre in London on November 15 and 16. To register for the event, please click here.

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