The latest breakthroughs in cutting-edge fields like SDN, NFV, small cell networks, HetNets, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud computing, millimeter wave MIMO, vehicular networks and 5G communications were presented and discussed during IEEE GLOBECOM 2014, held this past December in Austin TX.
Themed ‘The Great State of Communications,’ the event featured more than 2, 500 presentations, including the first of two full days of tutorials and workshops exploring topics like ‘Green Broadband Access: Energy Efficient Wireless’ and ‘Evolution Toward 5G Cellular Networks.’
The opening keynote of Dr. Edward G. Amoroso, Chief Security Officer, AT&T Inc., focused on ‘Recent Advances in Cloud Security’ and the outdated approach to security that he equated to stacking sandbags against an Internet perimeter filled with ‘ports and protocols built into the edge and letting activity in.’ This address was immediately followed by James Truchard, president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments, who highlighted his company’s “never before seen approach to prototyping next generation wireless systems” and the “drive to make life easier” by “accelerating the speed of innovation and ability to try new things.”
Afterwards, IEEE GLOBECOM 2014 initiated its three-day agenda consisting of nearly 900 technical paper presentations, hundreds of addresses from industrial leaders, senior-executive panel discussions and numerous business and industrial forums focused on the innovations and research representing virtually every area of broadband, wireless, multimedia, data, image and voice communications. This included 10 industry panels dealing with the latest research into areas like “Emerging Technologies for Next Generation WiFi,” as well as the executive forum on “Network Transformation” that highlighted a world of “ubiquitous communications connecting everything that can be connected by 2020” and “computer ecosystems working together” with “fast, super real-time and reliable connections” that “users can modify themselves with rapidly evolving new services.”
The next day, the conference renewed with the keynote of Pankaj Patel, executive vice-president and chief development officer at Cisco, who posed the question “Are You Ready for the Internet of Everything?” and proceeded to detail “the phenomenal impact that big digital analytics are having on what we do everyday” through examples of smart trappings that minimize the use of insecticides and the implementation of robots and buoys with sensors collecting biological information at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Afterwards, Dr. Wen spoke of “5G Wireless Beyond Smartphones” and the shift from the mobile Internet to the connected world of 5G communications by 2020, which will be driven by 55 trillion sensor readings every hour and the provision of 100x more connectivity, latency levels below 1ms and operational speeds of 10gbps to six billion smartphone users worldwide.
The keynote of Dr. Alicia Abella, assistant vice-president (AVP), AT&T Labs, who compared the cloud to other disruptive undertakings such as the development of the U.S. interstate highway system and the need to overcome the fears of those frightened by the loss of control of privately-managed infrastructures. Furthering the exploration of “Future of Wireless” trends was Rajesh Pankaj, senior vice-president, engineering at Qualcomm Research, who detailed how 2020 will witness the shipment of eight billion smartphones enabled by 1000x higher efficiencies, 1000x more small cells, seamless coverage, flawless mobility and reliable users experiences.
The rapid-fire “Internet-of-Things – from Standardization to Deployment and Commercialization” executive forum, which predicted that 50 billion devices will talk to each other and share data by 2020 via a standardized language they all understand. Other highlights included “The StartUp Roundtable” dedicated to helping entrepreneurs launch their own tech companies. Among the fundamental ingredients cited by the panelists was “the passion for turning an idea into a technology and then a company” and the necessity of working with co-founders, partners and investors, who have the talent and experience needed to build successful businesses.