The Future of Telecommunications Conference
Currently, superfast broadband is available to 83% of UK premises, and 90% of areas have outdoor 4G coverage from at least one operator. Consumers are responding positively to these levels of coverage, with 76% having smartphones, 54% owning tablets, and 56% using connected TVs. Ofcom’s 2015 Strategic Review of Digital Communications suggests that government telecommunication initiatives to improve mobile and internet networks have been behind the rapid growth in telecommunication technologies that have produced larger markets and created new opportunities for British businesses.
However, there is growing concern that the market is being prevented from fulfilling its full potential due to poor rural mobile and internet coverage and over regulation of telecommunications providers.The Future of Telecommunications Technology Conference will explore the importance of the government initiatives to telecommunications industry, and its significance to the UK economy. There will also be discussion and debate on how to ensure that telecommunications market can continue to flourish.
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|Nigel Linge||Professor in Telecommunications, University of Salford|
|Dr Mike Short||Telefonica|
|Dr Peter Cochrane OBE||Futurologist|
|George Williamson||Visiting Professor, University of Salford|
|Andy Sutton||Visiting Professor, the University of Salford|
|Chris Pateman||CEO, Federation of Communication Services|
|David Barker||Chief Technology Officer, Quintel|
|Ian Fishwick||CEO, AdEPT Telecom plc|
|Matthew Howett||Practice Leader, Regulation & Policy, Ovum|
“For too long, businesses across the country have struggled to grow and compete, suffocated by combination of both access infrastructure and lack of bandwidth. All the evidence shows that high-speed digital connectivity is essential to the success of the country." – George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, March 2015
The telecommunication market constitutes a large and dynamic sector of the UK economy. Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer 2015 Report estimated that annually the global smartphone market is worth £250 billion, domestically the tablet market is valued at £30 billion, and the British smart TVs sector is estimated at around £2.5 billion. Recent innovations in technology are allowing the telecommunications industry to expand further by opening up previously largely unrelated areas. For example, the Office for Life Sciences found that the UK digital health market (the use of telecommunications technology to diagnose and treat patients) was worth £2 billion in 2014 and continues to grow rapidly.
Future innovations look set to revolutionise the sector even more dramatically. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), a network of physical objects or "things" enabling objects to collect and exchange data, has huge potential to open new areas of business across the economy. The technology’s uses are as diverse in range as in complexity. IoT can inform an individual that their fridge is out of milk and enable better management of entire cities. Meanwhile, Software-Defined Technology (SDN) offers network providers the possibility of dramatically reducing their costs while scaling their networks and offer consumers new services.
Previous government initiatives to rollout new telecommunication methods have been seen by many as the catalyst for commercial success in the private sector. The government facilitated the auction of 4G network in 2012 and ensured its rollout by the spring of 2013. It has set a target to to make the next generation in mobile technology, 5G, available to the whole of the UK by the end of 2020. ‘Superfast broadband’ started to be rolled out by the government in 2012 and by 2014 it had reached more than 1.5 million UK premises. By 2017, superfast coverage is projected to reach 95% of premises, and the government expects mobile operators to have achieved 4G coverage to 98% of the UK. The SuperConnected Cities initiative has made £150 million of public money available to support UK cities to develop the digital infrastructure capability so that they can remain internationally competitive and attractive for investors. The government’s most recent initiative, the Broadband Connection Vouchers Scheme offers SMEs grants of up to £3,000 to cover installation costs associated with connecting to superfast and ultrafast broadband. More than 40,000 SMEs have taken advantage of the government’s offer so far.
However, there are concerns that the telecommunications sector could be failing to fulfil its full potential because of poor rural internet service and over regulation of the sector.The National Farmers Union (NFU) has argued that many farmers do not get the connectivity they need to run their businesses effectively and will miss out on future agricultural technology advances if the status quo remains. In August 2015, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published its Rural Productivity Plan: Towards A One Nation Economy, pledging that access to standard broadband will be available to anyone unable to get a service of at least 2Mbps through the option of satellite broadband by the end of 2015.However, Matthew Howett, an analyst at research firm Ovum, believes that better rural broadband could be achieved through more coherent policy coordination. He proposed that the recent price hike of the mobile spectrum by Ofcom in September 2015 should be poured back into rural broadband initiatives, citing Germany as a successful example of this model.
Meanwhile, mobile operators are claiming that the price hike is a symptom of overregulation that will result in them having to pass on costs to individuals and businesses. The telecoms industry is currently going through a period of deal making as phone companies attempt to offer their customers packages of television, broadband, mobile and traditional phone services, and as such government regulation to ensure competition in the sector continues to hit the news. In October 2015, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White stated eluded that she would not allow the proposed merger between O2 and Three, stating that "four operators is a competitive number." It is not just UK regulation that is scuppering telecoms mergers. In September 2015, talks between Vodaphone and Virgin Media owner Liberty Global over a potential asset swap collapsed partly because regulatory issues in Germany and the Netherlands clouded the talks.
The Telecommunications sector in the UK is clearly in a state of flux due to the rate of technological innovations, the size and scope of government initiatives, and the number of mergers taking place in the market.Join us at The Future of Telecommunications Conference where delegates will have the opportunity to listen to high level government and industry speakers discuss the current state of telecommunications market and different perspectives on how it can achieve its full potential in the future.
Registration, Refreshments and Exhibition
Opening Remarks from Chair
Dr Nigel Linge, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Salford (Confirmed)
Dr Peter Cochrane, CEO Consultant/Entrepreneur/Angel/Investor/Futurologist/
New Network Modes, Models, Mechanisms
Andy Sutton, Visiting Professor, the University of Salford
4G mobile broadband and the journey to 5G
Refreshments and Networking Break
Ian Fishwick, CEO, Adept Telecom
Ian is CEO of AdEPT Telecom plc, one of the SME's leading the charge into the public sector after the Government set a target of 33% of government spend being with SME's by the end of this parliament. 31 Councils have moved their services to AdEPT in as many months. Ian will share with us the trends he is seeing across the Telecoms industry.
Ian is also the Commercial Director of Innopsis the industry association for suppliers committed to providing innovative solutions to information sharing. In this role he leads negotiations on behalf of the Telecom industry with government bodies such as the Crown Commercial Service.
Ian has been an MD or CEO of Telecoms companies for 25 years and is the founder of AdEPT Telecom plc: one of only a handful of Telecoms companies on the London Stock Exchange.
David Barker , Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technology Applications, Quintel
How do we get 1000x more capacity from wireless networks?
David Butler Senior Research and Development Engineer at BBC Research and Development (Invited)
How do we get 1000x more capacity from wireless networks?
Matthew Howett - Practice Leader, Regulation & Policy, Ovum
Matthew Howett leads and manages Ovum’s regulatory advisory service. During his time at Ovum he has developed expert knowledge of the EU regulatory framework for telecommunications and its practical implementation in member states.
Chris Pateman, CEO, Federation of Communication Services
As CEO, Chris has the ultimate responsibility for representing FCS members’ interests to policy-makers and regulators, and for developing the Federation as the authoritative voice on all issues which bear upon business-grade voice and data connectivity.
Lunch and Networking
Dr Mike Short CBE, Vice President, Telefonica Europe
The Digital journey to 2025 – new opportunities and challenges ahead?
George Williamson, Visiting Professor, University of Salford, Formerly Chief Engineer, Openreach
Evolution of consumer demands for broadband and the improving broadband coverage and evolving capabilities from a range of access provider
Closing Remarks from Chair
Dr Nigel Linge, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Salford
Close of Conference
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- The main outcomes of Ofcom’s 2015 Strategic Review of Digital Communications
- Assessing the growing ubiquity of telecommunications in modern day life
- The importance of telecommunications to the UK economy, and how to get the most out of it
- Looking at the growth of new markets, for example: 5G, SDN technology and the Internet of Things
- How government statistics form our approach to embracing telecommunications technology
- Reviewing the government’s successes and failures to deliver better coverage to rural communities
- Looking at how new telecommunications can benefit rural communities and their local economies
- Discussing the governments Broadband Voucher Scheme and its benefits to small businesses
- Debating the opportunities telecommunications offers to organisations to move into rapidly growing markets, e.g. Digital Health
- Reviewing what the Rural Productivity Plan: Towards A One Nation Economy means for rural businesses
Who should attend?
Analysts, Big Data Scientists / Lead, Carriers, Cloud Architects, Chief Executive Officers , Chief Finance Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Security Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Network Architect, Chief Platform Architect/Engineers, Chief/Senior Network Engineers, Data Centre Infrastructure Managers, Heads of Information Security, Infrastructure Architects, IT / IS Directors, Network Architects, Network Engineers, Network Security Managers, NFV Leads, OpenFlow Architects, SDN Leads, Security Leads, Senior Software Architects/Engineers, Senior Virtualization Architects and Engineers, Technical Architects, Telecoms operators, Heads of ICT, Data Engineers, Security Service Engineers, Network Support Technicians, Data Cabling Engineers, Stakeholder Representative Organisations, Project Managers, Telecoms Programme Managers, Helpdesk Assistants. They will be drawn from the public, private and voluntary and community and independent sectors and include all those with an interest in the future of telecommunications.