Rakuten Symphony thought leaders take on hot topics at MWC 2024

March 25, 2024
minute read

Telecom Reinvented was Rakuten Symphony’s theme for MWC 2024. With that theme comes many technology and network strategy changes. We teamed up again with Network Media Group for their All-Access Barcelona series of panel discussions combining our thought leaders with experts from throughout the industry.

Here are summaries of the four panels we participated in.

Reinventing Telecom with 1&1

1&1 recently launched its fully virtualized Germany-wide 5G network, and it is revolutionary in a number of ways. First, it’s a very flexible and cost effective 5G network that can offer all the high throughput, low latency and advanced services promised by 5G. Second, it’s a textbook example of Telecom Reinvented and its main enablers: hardware and software industrialization, common data set and AI-driven automation. This panel included experts from some of the main technology providers to this network to give more insight on its significance.

Read more here.

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Geoff Hollingworth, CMO, Rakuten Symphony; Mory Li, VP of IoT/Embedded & Edge Computing, Supermicro; Caroline Chan, VP of the Network and Edge Group, Intel

Rakuten Symphony Insight: Geoff Hollingworth

The core discipline of telecom is actually supply chain industrialization and coping with the growing complexity of that. And I think all three of us here on this panel represent key horizontal layers in that supply chain and to really get efficient and really industrialize requires a lot of collaboration and a lot of cooperation and working together.

6G for CSPs

Standards bodies are at work on 6G as a technology to drive wireless enterprise applications including increasing connectivity and throughput needed for industrial robotics, drones, guided vehicles and more. In this panel discussion, the experts focused on emerging 6G networks and the technology’s potential for improving base station operations through energy efficiency, coverage expansion, server cluster management and integrating AI into networks.  

Read more here.

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Harpinder Matharu, Senior Director, Technical Marketing Comms Business, AMD; Terje Jensen, Senior Vice President, Head of Network and Cloud Technology Strategy, Telenor; Muslim Elkotob, Principal Architect, Vodafone; David Soldani, SVP Innovation & Advanced Research, Rakuten Symphony

Rakuten Symphony Insight: David Soldani

6G is data driven, that’s basically the main driver. There are other important characteristics to take into account. AI for example. We want to have it be AI native which means to use it not only in the OSS but also push it down into the infrastructure. I also think that it’s important to have an ability to combine sensing and communications. But more importantly from our organization’s perspective it has to be cloud-native and secure by design, potentially powered by eBPF.

Simplifying Telecom Cloud Adoption, for CSPs

Just like the public cloud, the telecom cloud will evolve in waves and is now entering the second wave of adoption with telcos predicted to invest an average of over $1 billion in telco cloud over the next three to five years. What does phase two look like? Will it be a core-to-cloud migration or a full conversion to cloud-native network functions? This panel session answered those questions and more.

Read more here.

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Juan Carlos Garcia, SVP of Technology Innovation and Ecosystems, Telefonica; Manish Singh, CTO, Telecom Systems, Dell Technologies; Ram Ramanathan, Senior Director of Product Management, Ribbon Communications; Vivek Chadha, SVP, Global Head, Telco Cloud, Rakuten Symphony

Rakuten Symphony Insight: Vivek Chadha

Increasingly I’m convinced the term we should be using is telco horizontal cloud. The  horizontal infrastructure layer needs to be a common solution that allows you to converge IT and network infrastructure. Historically, the CIO and the CTO organizations are trying to solve their unique problems with their unique solutions. Even within the CTO world we’ve seen a fragmentation of cloud for core, for RAN, or for different services. Whatever cloud paradigm you want to adopt, make it be a horizontal cloud strategy for all the infrastructure needs.

Zero Trust - A New Approach & North Star Vision

As 5G standalone networks grow and rely more on multi-access edge compute (MEC), private networks, network slicing, and other cloud computing enablers, the cyberattack surface expands. How can solution providers help the CSP customers protect these networks? Zero trust access is an important technology because it uses a default “never trust, always verify” access policy. The panelists help to clarify confusion over what zero trust means and explain how the technology will impact the network.

Read more here.

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Jimmy Nilsson, Vice President, Global Domain Lead, Zero Trust, Kyndryl; Nagendra Bykampadi, Head of Product Security, Rakuten Symphony

Rakuten Symphony Insight: Nagendra Bykampadi

Zero trust is something that people have used in different contexts before, but the good news is that a lot of the frameworks and publications that are coming from the U.S., especially the Department of Defense zero trust architecture and, for that matter, even NIST 800-207, they clarify what zero trust actually means. I believe the industry as a whole has adopted the meaning of never trust always verify. Yes, there has been confusion in the past, but with some of these publications I think the baseline definition for zero trust is becoming better understood now.

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