Future of Wireless International Conference 2015 Recap

Future of Wireless International Conference


The 7th Future of Wireless International Conference, themed “Wireless is Dead, Long Live Wireless!” took place on 23-24 June 2015. Bringing together the leaders in the tech network at the Emirates Stadium, London to extrapolate trends in wireless, challenge the industry as we know it and debate the disruption to come.

We are going to see radical change and new opportunities in technology that will impact business models, influence supporting technologies and drive innovative applications and solutions. The message was clear, the technological environment is rapidly changing and companies will need to adapt and evolve in response. David Cleevely, Chair, Cambridge Wireless said “Part of that response is in behaviour and paths of desire as Tim Hume talks about. You observe what people really do as opposed to what you want to offer them, then provide the technology, software and applications to follow.”

Key points discussed at the Future of Wireless International Conference include:

Disruption – ‘steamroller’ trends in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, robust cyber security of the protection of data were clearly identified. It is evident that there are disruptions coming along and in order to survive, companies will need to identify these ‘steamrollers’ and be agile to take advantage of transformation.

Disconnection – are consumers in the future going to want to be more or less connected? Aligned with consumer interest in digital detox holidays, there is going to be a massive opportunity for the wireless industry to create products, so smart, the consumer will barely know they are there as they intuitively learn from the user. Tim Rundle, Conran and Partners said “Only technology can save us from itself.”

Our industry is powered by innovation – innovation will be the way we respond to the growth in data and capacity demands through advancements in better technology, spectrum efficiency and changes in network topology.

New skills – companies are going to require knowledge of complex software systems, design, security, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. If they do not, they will be bypassed in the industry. However, an underlying challenge is the shortage of skills in this growing industry, resulting in a lack of capacity and engineers to cover this increasing technological complexity.

Security – as more of our data, personal lives and vehicles are connected, there is growing awareness that security will cause more damage than it has done before, and companies need to adapt to be world class in the security space. David Wood, Delta Wisdom said “The good businesses model for companies now is, do whatever they are doing now and do it more robust and secure way.” Whether mobile companies can do that is not yet clear.

Smart Glasses – social expectations and basic human reactions pose a challenge to the adoption of smart glasses, primarily due to privacy concerns. For smart glasses to take off, we need to identify widespread benefits so it is a win-win for all.

Data harvesting – reality around us could be harvested, triggering further disruption as it transforms how we think about our presence in the world. Smartphones are already changing our sense of presence, and smart glasses are a hint of what is to come.

Smart cities – smart cities could encompass, smart lit, clean cities and healthy buildings, but overall it’s about providing benefits to people. Discussions expanded upon technology to focus on the community, revealing plans to make a meaningful impact while offering improved efficiency, availability, adaptability, resilience, reliability and capacity.

Is the semiconductor industry dead? – Growth in the past 5-15 years, has been huge, centred around mobile phones and the consumer compute device. Now the semiconductor industry has consolidated down to a couple of key players. Semiconductor startup’s will need to be truly disruptive, flexible and adaptive to succeed and avoid going into direct conflict with these industry giants.

Do we need 5G? – The Cambridge Debate culminated in a final vote against the need for 5G, defined as “5G is the next generation of mobile carrier incubated radio access network technologies that will be ready for early adopters be 2020.” The vote reflected a strong feeling that as 5G is incremental to every industry sector, and all of society, the development of a next generation network needs to move from only focusing on the technologies, to embrace a wider constituency.

Overall, it was a dynamic event of debate, dedication and technological disruption! Stay tuned for further Future of Wireless International Conference insights and summaries to come.


Keep the conversation going on Twitter: @CambWireless

Want to find out more about Cambridge Wireless? Visit http://www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/