Smart Cities and societies, smart devices and sensors and the solutions and platforms that underpin them, all have one thing in common – smart networks. Today, IP-based devices are rapidly proliferating inside and outside the four walls of businesses making networks increasingly difficult to scale, manage, secure and adapt. Several societal and technological changes are driving networks, and WANs in particular, to the breaking point

The diverse networking standard and platforms that are evolving to meet the massive amount of data and high security to connect people, machines and information, provides big potential opportunities for telcos and IT service providers.

However, traditional telcos and IT service providers have to brace for significant investment and the emergence of a new breed of software-defined networking companies that are promising to change the face and future of next-generation networks.

In addition, there is a growing train of thought about a paradigm shift in thinking, that next-generation wireless networks will be moving from cell –centric architecture to a device-centric one. A device-centric network allows a given device (human or machine) to be able to communicate by exchanging multiple information flows through several possible sets standardized communication nodes – probably operating at different frequencies.

Ad hoc networks too are impacting on these scenarios. A simple example of this is the connected car, which makes the car itself a communication node. Instead of communicating directly with a tower, our phones and gadgets could relay their data amongst one another in a giant mesh, eventually offloading data into the mobile network proper.

Questions to consider during presentation

  1. Will the network of the future be software defined?
  2. What will be the key driver in smart networks?
  3. Given the promise of device and app specific security, what is the future for network security?
Ann Kleynhans
Founder and Managing Director of CEOS Technologies