TIA’s Network of the Future Conference

I get to my share of industry events, and for a change am posting about one I’m not actually attending. I’ve been sharing ideas recently with TIA, and for their upcoming annual conference, I had an opportunity to moderate. This is an event I’d like to support, but cannot get to due to a schedule conflict. I’ve had a few of these conflicts this year, but that’s out of my control, and you just have to make choices and move on.
So, the next best thing is to say a few things about their event – what I’ll be missing, but what you might catch if you end up attending. Their Network of the Future Conference runs in Dallas from June 2-4, and the lineup is quite strong. Maybe a bit dry for my tastes, as there’s a strong focus on policy and regulation, but that comes with the territory from being in a semi-regulated industry. With that said, here’s an overview of what the conference will be covering.
To address the Network of the Future theme, the conference has three main tracks. First is Future of Wireless, which is self-explanatory. LTE and WiFi will be on the agenda, but so will 5G, so there will be a lot of focus on what’s coming as carriers move to all-IP networks. This will include NFV, small cells and IoT, along with an application-centric approach for developing new services.
The second track is Leveraging the Network, and is focused on new revenues and services. This is where they’ll be examining UC and collaboration, and is the track I would have been involved in if I was able to attend. In addition, they’ll be looking at opportunities in vertical markets like healthcare and retail, and what they call the Industrial Internet of Things. IoT is clearly a big theme across this event - another indication that mobile carriers see their future being about data and not voice.
Finally, the third track is titled Digital Foundations, and backs things up to core network needs instead of the more glamorous world of high-touch applications. To support those applications, this track is about infrastructure issues - Big Data, virtualization, edge computing, data centers, etc.
Beyond those tracks, they have a half day dedicated to policy, and the highlight will be hearing what both Verizon and AT&T have to say about Net Neutrality, probably the biggest issue facing U.S. carriers today. They certainly have a vested interest to protect, and it sure will be interesting to see how they map out and defend their position. Complementing that will be an interview with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, so Thursday should be a pretty interesting morning.
Also of note – at least for me – will be a couple of sessions around food. First is a cybersecurity breakfast, with speakers from Intel Security and Brink’s. Sure will be interesting to hear these two views – one from the virtual world and one from the physical world – but the threats are just as real for both. Second is a luncheon focused on IoT, and it will great to hear how carriers are thinking about this. No speakers have been announced, but the session includes an M2M showcase, featuring demos from vendors supporting the oneM2M standard.
Finally, the conference is hosting a startup competition. They’re looking for entrants from the ICT space, with an emphasis on things like cybersecurity, data centers, IoT and cloud computing. If you think this could be a good forum for your company, there is still time, as entries close on April 30.
That’s what I’ll be missing, but that shouldn’t get in the way of you attending. For more detail on all these highlights and more, I’ll leave it to you to check out the website and make up your own mind.