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SONIC Labs Showcase – Online

Date: 29 March 2023 10:30 - 29 March 2023 14:45


Join us online on 29 March for the SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs Showcase to hear about Digital Catapult and Ofcom’s new cutting edge interoperability lab and the network testing being carried out by Open RAN vendors in the SONIC Labs facilities.

The event aims to support 5G innovation and telecoms diversification in the UK, through Open RAN. We will showcase the participation of vendors in SONIC Labs and the UK telecoms ecosystem more generally, and also highlight opportunities to potential end users of new Open RAN products to accelerate adoption.

Join the livestream of the event to understand more about innovative new telecom vendors bringing their new products to market in the UK, with SONIC Labs being a key enabler.

Why attend

This event will provide attendees with the opportunity to:

  • Learn about specific challenges and successful approaches to integration and interoperability of disaggregated and software-centric Open RAN network solutions and multi-vendor implementation.
  • Learn about technical insights around interoperability and end to end Open RAN performance testing in SONIC Labs.
  • Discover insights on Open RAN progress towards deployment and maturity.
  • Learn more about the adoption of AI techniques in mobile networks via RIC and Open RAN.
  • Hear from high profile speakers across the telecoms ecosystem.

Who should attend

This event will be of interest to:

  • MNOs
  • Vendors of Open RAN products
  • Start ups/ innovators – AI/ ML organisations interested in Open RAN
  • Other Open RAN labs; and International testbeds
  • System Integrators (SIs) – both software SIs and network deployment SIs
  • Neutral hosts and private network operators
  • Potential customers for Open RAN Private Networks


10:30 – Welcome and Introduction
Linda Ligios – Senior Innovation Partner, Digital Catapult

10:35 – Opening note
Jeremy Silver – CEO, Digital Catapult 

10:45 – DSIT Update
Imran Shafi – Director for Digital Infrastructure, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

10:50 – Introduction to SONIC Labs
Joe Butler – CTO, Digital Catapult
Gary Clemo – Director of Emerging Technology, Ofcom

11:05 – Panel discussion: Insights from vendors about their journey with SONIC Labs

  • Chair: Paul Ceely – Director of Technology Strategy, Digital Catapult
  • Lorcan Burke – Director, EMEA Service Provider and Edge, VMware 
  • Stephen Patrick – Director, CableFree 
  • Arnaud Polster – VP Sales, Accelleran
  • Rafal Sanecki – Head of Marketing, IS-Wireless

12:00 – Lunch break

13:30 – Welcome back note
Linda Ligios – Senior Innovation Partner, Digital Catapult

13:35 – Panel discussion: Insights from international Open RAN Labs and Testbeds

  • Chair: Dr Dritan Kaleshi – Director of 5G Technology, Digital Catapult
  • Simon Burley – Emerging Technology, Programme Director, Ofcom 
  • Katja Henke – Senior Innovation Project Manager, Emerging Technologies, i14y Lab 
  • Julie Kub – Program Lead, DoD and NTIA 5G Challenge, Institute for Telecommunications Sciences / NTIA
  • Jon Van-Orden – Head of PLM / Engineering, NEC Europe 

14:20 – Next steps and how to get involved in SONIC Labs
Linda Ligios – Senior Innovation Partner, Digital Catapult
Sarah Aitchison – Innovation Partner, Digital Catapult

14:45 – Close

About the programme

Funded by DSIT, SONIC Labs (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) is a programme from Digital Catapult and Ofcom to encourage, support and accelerate new vendors to enter the telecoms supply chain in the UK. It is driving forward the rollout of Open RAN, which enables mobile networks to be built using a variety of different equipment suppliers.

SONIC Labs is a commercially-neutral, collaborative, environment for testing interoperability and integration of open, disaggregated and software-centric network solutions and multi-vendor architectures. It has been designed to offer mobile network vendors and integration companies:

  • A place for collaborative, peer-assisted, integration and interoperability testing of products and solutions at a pre-commercial development stage, addressing the challenges of multi-vendor end-to-end solutions
  • A technical platform. A commercially-neutral, multi-tenancy open network testbed providing real world indoor and outdoor scale environments, including test and measurement capabilities
  • A programme focused on helping vendors accelerate technology development and early stage integration work, with targeted innovation activities, and facilitated interactions with potential adopters such as network operators and deployers of networks

You can find more information about the programme here.