About the conference
On Thursday 14 October 2021, techUK will convene a virtual summit to explore Our Network Future.
Our Network Future will focus on what comes next for UK telecoms as gigabit and 5G networks are deployed across the country and those networks increasingly take advantage of the power of emerging tech, from cloud to AI technologies.
Taking place just before the one-year anniversary of the Telecoms Security Bill being laid in UK Parliament, Our Network Future will also focus on the new security framework and the trade and investment possibilities that diversification offers.
This conference will bring together government and organisations from right across the technology and telecom sector—from existing telecoms vendors, to UK domestic players—and operators who are currently not present in the UK market today.
We will evaluate the progress made in strengthening the UK’s networks, fostering a cohesive ecosystem, and the UK’s role in the global conversation on tech and telecoms. Crucially, the conference will examine what more needs to be done to set the right path for our network future, serving as a forum for the entire UK telecoms supply chain, domestic and international, incumbent and new entrants.
The conference will be built around 3 key themes:
- UK Approach
- Industry Trends
- Trade and Investment
2021 is the year that the UK Government needs to take up the mantle and drive action across these areas. The telecoms sector, and wider tech industry, is a ready and willing partner but we need a detailed plan that supports incumbent suppliers, attracts new vendors, accelerates the development and appropriate adoption of new and open network architectures, and captures the economic opportunity available.
Find out more about the main conference themes below.
We will kick off Our Network Future with an examination of UK telecoms policy today, and how it can be leveraged to capture the opportunities of 5G, enhanced connectivity and private networks. The session will explore the key policy makers from UK Government impacting the UK market today, from the Innovation Strategy, Levelling Up, DCMS Top Ten Tech Priorities and telecoms R&D funding programmes, to industry’s view on the direction of travel for longer-term connectivity and tech policy.
We will also explore the key principles for building our 5G and future networks—from security, resilience, technological innovation, to sustainability and digital inclusion—and how the UK’s telecoms operators, vendors, and the wider ecosystem are working together on these foundations to help meet the demands and needs of a dynamic UK economy. What impact will next-generation connectivity have on the UK’s prosperity and productivity in the coming years? Is the UK’s approach to telecoms setting our economy and society on the right path? Finally, we will touch on what more can be done to further provide clarity and confidence in the UK telecoms market.
What trends and concepts are likely for Our Network Future?
Security and resilience are paramount—what impact will virtualisation, open and autonomous networks, cloud, AI, and interoperability have on ensuring our networks are resilient to future trends and threats?
In this session, we will explore the breakthrough technologies and concepts impacting the telecoms sector today, with a focus on open and disaggregated network architecture—including Open RAN—and examine the potential of AI, Machine Learning (ML), the telco cloud, and edge-based services in optimising our networks. The UK’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy and the findings and recommendations of the Telecoms Diversification Task Force will be examined, as well as the impact of the diversification policy focus on the changing nature of the UK’s telecoms sector as a whole, and the opportunities and challenges that cloud-based RAN infrastructure present for 5G and beyond.
Trade and Investment
The final session of Our Network Future will dissect the current dialogue and information exchange between different nations and markets, orienting the debate around the UK’s role in the global telecoms ecosystem.
If the UK is successful in adopting a comprehensive and holistic approach to standards setting for telecoms with security and interoperability at its heart, will the right conditions emerge for new network architectures to accelerate? And what impact will that have on the UK as an attractive market for international investment?
We will also explore how the UK’s strengths in AI, software design, Machine Learning, and neutral host networks may prove vital to the emerging and innovative ways to build Our Network Future, and the wider impact this innovation may have on adjacent and complementary technology domains such as cloud. This section will also focus on the global market potential and the nascent UK capability.