TIA’s annual Network of the Future conference puts intense focus on IoT opportunities

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The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), an association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, today announced the key takeaways and the availability of an extensive line-up of videos from its recently concluded Network of the Future Conference. The conference addressed a wide range of issues facing the future of communications, with an intense focus on the global challenges facing the move to 5G wireless and the tremendous economic and societal opportunities being created by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications.

“The Commission has imposed new restrictions on your business model that are going to be untold and expensive for years to come…the authority given to the Commission is extremely troubling.”

Extensive videos from the conference are now online at TIA’s video network, TIA NOW. Among the presentations available are:

  • FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
    • On the impact of technology and expanding broadband access:“When we talk about technology and making broadband more affordable and making connectivity ubiquitous, there are some significant economic returns that we need to better come to terms with.”
  • FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly
    • On the FCC’s new Net Neutrality Order: “The Commission has imposed new restrictions on your business model that are going to be untold and expensive for years to come…the authority given to the Commission is extremely troubling.”
  • AT&T’s SVP of Architecture and Design Andre Fuetsch
    • On AT&T’s plan to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020: “A lot of the big driver behind the software transformation is about cost. Not just taking costs out of the actual physical assets we’re procuring, but also taking costs out of how we operate them….Also, software defined networking will make our networks more reliable and more secure.”
  • Department of Defense’s Spectrum Director Fred Moorefield
    • About government efforts to make more spectrum available: “We’re spending a lot of time thinking about how to transform spectrum limits into spectrum opportunities. We cannot do this alone. This requires the kinds of partnerships with people in this room, from across the country, from industry, from academia, and government…especially as we move toward a spectrum reality that is more dependent on spectrum sharing.”
  • RideScout CEO and Founder Joseph Kopser
    • On the dramatically changing automotive landscape: “The barrier to entry in the software side…is so low that anybody can get in and the money is pouring in…Autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, vehicles connected to the infrastructure, vehicles connected to other vehicles, vehicles connected to the cloud are coming. They’re gonna move people in ways that make George Jetson…look old.”

The industry’s premier conference focused on the future of the communications networks, TIA’s annual flagship event drew hundreds for attendees from across the entire supply chain – with one-third being carriers and operators. Approximately half of those in attendance were C-suite executives including chief executive officers, chief technology officers, chief information officers and chief security officers from ICT companies.

The event featured presentations and discussions examining the challenges, opportunities, and trends within 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, and more. The conference was held in conjunction with an invitation-only AT&T’s Supplier Conference that focused on planned changes to the network and IT infrastructure.

Competition Showcases Next-Generation Tech: VocalZoom Wins

The TIA 2015 Network of the Future Conference featured an annual Startups Competition that showcased top early-stage information and communications technology (ICT) companies presenting their innovative products and services before an illustrious panel of judges. VocalZoom won the competition by presenting its innovative new microphone, which is a laser sensor that provides superior noise reduction and can fit into wearables, smartphones, helmets, and cars. Runners-up included MetroTech and TRX Systems.

Internet of Things Takes Center Stage

As connected devices and machines transform healthcare, transportation, agriculture and many other industries, TIA 2015 saw strong discussion about the enormous business opportunities and social change that will be brought by IoT and M2M. Among the conference activities that focused on this important topic were:

CTO Roundtable: TIA hosted four technologists – Amador Lucero of XO Communications, Jai Menon of Dell, Kevin Schneider of Adtran, and Rod Naphan of Fujitsu – who addressed the role of NFV/SDN and IoT in their businesses. There was broad consensus that the role of the CIO and CTO in a telecommunications company will likely merge and virtualizing the network will lead to unimaginable innovation. Also, they concluded that with the mass deployment of IoT, network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) will be critical to the success of the network. Watch an interview with Menon here.

oneM2M Workshop and Showcase: TIA is a founding member of oneM2M, a global organization developing an interoperable standard for M2M communications and the Internet of Things. Furthering the conference’s focus on IoT, TIA hosted an exclusive workshop and showcase that featured demonstrations of new solutions for the marketplace that use the oneM2M standard, and discussions examining the development and impact of connected devices. Watch an interview with oneM2M leaders here.

Real World IoT Application: Fred Yentz, President and CEO of ILS Technology and Paul Wellman, CIO of Tennant Company, presented a use case for implementing IoT in indoor and outdoor cleaning equipment. View the presentation video here.

Special Sessions on Retail, e-Health, Auto, and Digital Oilfields: Through a series of panel discussions, TIA 2015 looked at how IoT will impact these critical industries. Watch an interview with Tim Nixon from General Motors, Walt Fehr from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and David Sparks from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute – all of whom participated in a panel discussion on the connected car.

The 5G Challenge

Growing mobile data demands from devices such as the smart phone, autonomous car, and smart home have required fundamental change to wireless networks and the transition to 5G networks. TIA 2015 hosted a successful 5G strategy pre-conference session that took a close look at how companies like Sprint, Ericsson, and others envisioned 5G networks and their future impact. One area of concern was the “densification” of connected devices caused by mobile use indoors and the abundance of IoT sensors and devices that are expected to connect to the network.

The U.S. Position on 5G: While Asian and European nations have been investing in development of next-generation 5G networks, the U.S. seems oddly behind. TIA brought together a group of industry leaders to discuss a nationally-backed 5G program, and what should be the U.S. position on 5G. Watch an interview with Reza Arefi, Director of Spectrum Strategy at Intel; Fran O’Brien of the Mobility CTO Team and Wireless Standards at Cisco Systems; and Nick Baustert, a Senior Research Scientist at Sprint – all of whom participated in the 5G panel discussion.

The Business Case for Cloud and NFV within 5G Network Architectures: Leaders from global telecom service providers discussed use cases regarding the important question of how network architecture will migrate towards 5G. Watch an interview with Ashish Singh, General Manager and Vice President of Products, SK Telecom Americas; Claudio Frascoli, Head of Sales and Telco Analytics – Latin America for Nokia Networks; and Amit Tiwari, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Systems Engineering at Affirmed Networks.

5G White Paper: At the conference, TIA also announced the release of a recently conducted survey of mobile operators that concluded that mobile broadband capacity and IoT are two primary drivers of 5G development and that Asia will lead 5G development over North America and Europe. Read a press release about the white paper; copies are available to members of the media by contacting April Ward.

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