Softwarization and virtualisation for intelligent wireless networks

Thursday 5 October 2023, 12h00-19h00
@ The Beacon, Sint-Pietersvliet 7, Antwerp

In this workshop we will present – and live demonstrate – recent technology innovations for intelligent, software-defined (mobile) wireless networks.
Topics include a.o.

  • software-defined networking
  • (AI-based) cross-layer network optimisation
  • network virtualisation
  • open radio access networks (open RAN)
  • Open WiFi
  • softwarisation of ZigBee networks
  • standardisation efforts

Our experts from local industry and academia will cover the whole innovation cycle, from new theoretical concepts to practical implementation into industry-ready solutions.

This workshop is a co-organisation of imec’s Wireless Community and The Beacon.


12h00Registration & Sandwich lunch
13h00Introductiondownload presentation (only for members)
Kris Hermus, Coordinator Wireless Community & Innovation Program Manager Flanders, imec
Pénélope Simons, Head of Innovation Program, The Beacon
13h20Software Defined Programmable Networks: towards next generation connectivity solutionsdownload presentation (only for members)
Johan M. Marquez-Barja, Professor, imec-IDLab-UAntwerp

5G and Beyond networks rely on softwarized solutions to dynamically orchestrate and manage the different resources involved in the network from networking to computing components. Within this talk we will discuss over the evolution of network programmability and how such programmable capabilities enable flexible networks able to provide tailored connectivity/services to the different verticals. We will have a glance at the background on programmability moving towards the state-of-the-art and beyond technologies and techniques that provide networks flexible capabilities to new-generation networks.
14h00Artificial Intelligence in Open Radio Access Networks: Challenges and Opportunitiesdownload presentation (only for members)
Miguel Camelo Botero, Principal Investigator, imec-IDLab-UAntwerp

The emergence of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) has brought a new era of flexibility and innovation in telecommunications. This paradigm shift has opened doors to novel approaches in network design and operation, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerging as a pivotal tool for network optimization and enhancement. In this talk, we explore the dynamic landscape of AI in Open RAN, delving into both the challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • Demo 1 – imec-IDLab-UAntwerp : 5G OpenRAN testbed
  • Demo 2 – Orange 5G lab : multiple demos
  • Demo 3 – Waylay – network service monitoring of a virtualized WAN network
  • Demo 4 – imec-IDLab – Open WiFi
  • Demo 5 – imec-IDLab-UAntwerp – flexible Wired/Wi-Fi TSN Networking through SDN and Soft Traffic Control
15h50Orchestrating 5G network provisioning and assurancedownload presentation (only for members)
Mihai Fagadar-Cosma, CTO, Waylay

The session focuses on the crucial role played by cross-domain orchestration in today’s telecommunications landscape, with focus on the most common 5G provisioning and assurance use cases. We will touch on the importance of reusable integration elements and the use of standardized APIs and low-code for building intent-based workflows that orchestrate domain controllers, inventory systems and heterogeneous data sources in an unsupervised manner.  
16h10Softwarization in WiFi networksdownload presentation (only for members)
Xianjun Jiao, Senior researcher, imec-IDLab-UGent

We will discuss programmability and reconfigurability (rich API) enablers of Open WiFi (an open source full-stack Wi-Fi design based on software defined radio) as opposed to COTS chips from big vendors where most functionalities have been moved to the (closed-box) hardware.
16h45Going green and saving OPEX with 5G Open RANdownload presentation (only for members)
Simon Pryor, R&I Project Strategy, Accelleran

While extending battery life of devices has always been important, the energy efficiency of the 5G networks themselves are becoming increasingly vital, both for sustainability goals and to reduce the operational costs of running these networks. The intelligence added in Open RAN provides additional innovative ways to optimise energy consumption, both in private and public 5G networks, with real benefits, not just greenwashing.
17h10Plenary Q&A session
17h20Networking reception
19h00End of the workshop



  • Imec employees and residents: free of charge
  • Employees of Wireless Community members: free of charge
  • Employees of The Beacon members: free of charge
  • Others:
    • 80 EUR (excl VAT) early bird until September 29
    • 100 EUR (excl VAT) late registration from September 30

Please fill in your details in this Event Registration Form below and you will be automatically registered.
A few days prior to the event you will receive a confirmation email with all practical details.

Please contact us at for any question or remark.