5G industry news

Faces of 5G: A day in the life of Paul Patras

  • 3 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 18 May 2022
  • Last modified 16 May 2022
The latest blog post in our Faces of 5G series, showcasing the people working behind UK5G

Hello, I’m Paul Patras—I am the co-founder and CEO of Net AI, a pioneering network intelligence company based in Edinburgh, which offers scalable AI-driven real-time traffic analytics solutions to support the effective management and monetisation of 4G/5G mobile networks. 

We have developed a unique mobile traffic decomposition engine that harnesses the abilities of deep learning to extract features characteristic of mobile traffic: this allows us to quantify the traffic being consumed by individual services—such as Netflix, Facebook and Google—without directly examining user traffic. Our patent-pending real-time analytics technology helps mobile carriers reduce CAPEX by tightening SLA management, supporting differentiated service models, and enabling network slicing. 

Traffic forecasting enables mobile operators to automate the allocation of resources when and where they are needed (instead of keeping compute resources on all the time) and as a result, run a more cost-efficient and greener infrastructure. Currently, we are in talks with a range of mobile operators and over the next few months, we plan to conduct a trial that demonstrates the capability of our solution, quantifies its practical benefits and validates the pricing model. We believe that there is significant potential to reduce operational expenditure by over 20 per cent.

There are great differences between 4G and 5G: advancements in signal processing allow for more capacity; there are different ways of using the spectrum, and the network facilitates the co-existence of multiple technologies. I like to describe 5G as “a network of networks”—providing bespoke connectivity for applications on an individual basis and thereby enabling new services that were not previously possible.

Net AI was formed in 2020 as a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, building on years of research at the intersection of mobile networking and deep learning, conducted at one of Europe's leading computer science research centres. Its success, I believe, is a testament to my team’s unique expertise in networking, traffic characterisation, machine learning, security, business development and strategic planning. 

1. What do you enjoy most about your work? 

Finding solutions to challenging problems and ensuring we remain ahead of the curve technologically. 

2. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done in the name of 5G?

We attended Mobile World Congress for the first time this year and walked over 70,000 steps, filmed a promotion video and slept about 16 hours over the span of four days. There was a lot of adrenaline but it was a brilliant event, with a lovely atmosphere.

3. What excites you most about the work you’re doing? 

We have a piece of technology that no one else has! It’s also great to work within a team full of passionate, knowledgeable people. 

4. What would you like people to know about your work?

There is a new wave of applications with significant societal benefits emerging: we have created a product that can make networks more efficient, impacting everything from autonomous vehicles to industrial automation.

5. What’s the biggest benefit you think 5G will bring to the UK?

I’m expecting the network to introduce transformative new technology, such as AR/VR and IoT and make it useful and accessible for everyone. From social interactions to revolutions in healthcare, 5G will bring a wide range of benefits.