IEEE Future Networks World Forum
On-Demand through 15 November 2022

TV1: Towards Autonomous Operation of 5G and Beyond (5GB) Networks


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have come of age at an opportune time for 5G and Beyond (5G&B) Networks. While 5G offers unprecedented speed, low latency, high bandwidth, reliability and massive scale for sensors, the full stack operation of the network lacks end-to-end automation, orchestration and autonomous operation to support the emerging services with assurance such haptic applications for Tactile Internet, delivery of real-time services such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Smart Manufacturing for Industry 4.0, Automotive, E-health and Digital Twinning to name a few.

The networks are being “stretched” for distributed and far edge operations to meet application requirements of extremely low latency and high throughput. This is compounded by network disaggregation, cloud native “softwarization” and “attachments” to private and public clouds that span the continuum of customer connectivity. Life cycle management (LCM) of infrastructure and services over such hybrid domains poses significant operational challenges. Further, the concomitant increase in attack surface both horizontally and vertically for threat actors introduces additional security challenges.

The robust, efficient, and secure operation of such networks requires automation and orchestration built at scale for all protocol stack layers of the 5G&B networks from radio, transport, network, and distributed cloud layers to the OSS and BSS layers. While AI/ML is being leveraged in innovative ways at different layers of the stack (albeit independently) to unravel complexity by learning from complex patterns, there is an opportunity for end-to-end autonomous operation by combining AI/ML at all layers and transforming 5G&B networks into a data-driven closed loop network that auto-configures, self-operates, self-protects, self-heals, and self-optimizes while seamlessly integrating human in the loop.

5G&B networks are being instrumented for data collection at all layers providing opportunities for new applications and innovations for AI/ML. Leveraging new AI/ML techniques that understand multi-modal models and inferring customer intents and building new knowledge planes driven by closed loop data-driven reinforcement learning to complement the management plane, control plane, and data plane 5G&B networks can realize the promise of dynamic and efficient autonomous operation.

This Vertical/Topical will bring in domain experts from industry, academia, standards bodies, open-source projects, and user community to address the challenge of autonomous operation of 5G&B networks. It will provide a unique forum for practitioners and researchers to share perspectives on recent developments, evolving landscape of AI/ML based autonomous operation of networks, deployment use cases and business benefits. Architects, Developers, Engineers, Testers, and Business Leaders as well as Students and Researchers from academia will surely find it useful to listen and have an opportunity to network with experts and innovators from industry and academia.


TV1a: 12 October 2022 // 16:00 – 17:30

  • Makan Pourzandi, Ericsson (Keynote: Automating security management: A 5G network perspective)
  • Ali Tizghadam, TELUS (Does AI play a central role in SDN? Separating hype from reality)
  • Jonathan Kwan, Fujitsu (Advanced Management of 5G/Beyond-5G Radio Access Networks using AI)
  • Aladdin Saleh, Rogers Communications (AI-Driven 5G: Networks and Use Cases)

TV1b: 13 October 2022 // 16:00 – 17:30

  • Jorg Niemoller, Ericsson (Cognitive Autonomy – how to make machines smart enough for zero-touch operation)
  • Javan Erfanian, Bell Canada (Motivations and design requirements for systems beyond 5G)
  • Jason Wright and Umashankar Velusamy, Verizon (Autonomous RAN Operations)
  • Oleg Berzin, Equinix (Where the Edges Meet, Infra Forms, Apps Land and Work Flows: How DevOps driven optimally deployed infrastructure and software will make cloud native 5G and MEC a reality)

TV1c: 14 October 2022 // 14:00 – 15:30

  • Hans Raj Nahata, Verizon (5G: Machine Learning for Orchestration & Network Automation)
  • Kandan Kathirvel, Google (The Future of Networks – Achieve Autonomous Networks using Nephio)
  • Utpal Mangla, IBM Cloud (Enabling Industry 4.0 Use cases on the 5G enabled EDGE Cloud)
  • Amar Kapadia, Aarna Networks (Open source orchestration of 5G & Edge services)
  • Srinivasa Addepalli, Aryaka Networks  (E2E Network-as-a-Service across 5G, SDWAN, Edge and Cloud networks)


Deepak Kataria has over 25 years’ experience in data networking, cloud computing and telecom domains with unique distinction of having worked in technical leadership roles with AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Fujitsu, Agere Systems, LSI and HCL America. He co-founded IPJunction Inc in 2009 consulting telco clients on new solution opportunities, target markets, product management consulting and ecosystem partnerships. Currently, he serves as the Principal Solution Consultant for Ericsson working on AT&T projects. He was Chair of IEEE Princeton Central Jersey Section from 2020-2022, General Chair of IEEE Sarnoff Symposium since 2015 and leads the IEEE FNI Group on AI/ML as Co-Chair. He holds B.S. in Electronics and Communications Engineering, and pursued M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University. He completed Harvard’s Emerging Leader’s professional program on virtual leadership covering strategy, customer focus, corporate governance, and innovation.


Anwar Walid (Fellow, IEEE) received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from New York University, New York City, NY, USA, and the Ph.D. degree from Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA. He was with Nokia Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ, USA, as the Head of the Mathematics of System Research Department and the Director of University Research Partnerships. He served as the Director of Network Intelligence and Distributed Systems Research and a Distinguished Member of the Research Staff with Nokia Bell Labs. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor with Electrical Engineering Department, Columbia University. He has more than 20 U.S. and international granted patents on various aspects of networking and computing. His research interests include the control and optimization of distributed systems, learning models and algorithms with applications to the Internet of Things (IoT), digital health, smart transportation, cloud computing, and software-defined networking. He is an Elected Member of the International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 7.3 and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He was the recipient of awards from the IEEE and ACM, including the 2017 IEEE Communications Society William R. Bennett Prize and the ACM SIGMETRICS/IFIP Performance Best Paper Award. He was an Associate Editor for the IEEE/ACM IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, IEEE Network Magazine, and the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. He was the Technical Program Chair for the IEEE INFOCOM, as the General Chair for the 2018 IEEE/ACM Conference on Connected Health (CHASE), and as a Guest Editor for the IEEE IoT Journal-Special Issue on AI-Enabled Cognitive Communications and Networking for IoT.




  • Makan Pourzandi, Ericsson (Keynote)
  • Jorg Niemoller, Ericsson
  • Jonathan Kwan, Fujitsu
  • Utpal Mangla, IBM Cloud
  • Deva-Datta Sharma, AT&T
  • Ali Tizghadam, TELUS
  • Srinivasa Addepalli, Aryaka networks
  • Hans Raj Nahata, Verizon
  • Aladdin Saleh, Rogers Communications
  • Oleg Berzin, Equinix
  • Jason Wright, Verizon
  • Umashankar Velusamy, Verizon


Ali Tizghadam is the Principal Technology Architect at TELUS Communications. He is responsible for strategizing network softwarization and leading the development of enabler ecosystem around it in TELUS. Presently, Ali has led the design and implementation of an open platform leveraging most recent advances in Big Data, SDN, NFV and AI to enable TELUS to move towards building its self-driving networks via instantiation of intent-based closed-loop automated jobs across the cloudified network. In the academic side, Ali has designed a graduate course – Service Provider Networks – to bridge the gap between understanding of networks in academic area and service provider’s domain. He is currently teaching this course in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto (UofT). Moreover, he is a senior researcher at UofT focusing on smart city and SDN applications. Ali received his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Tehran (1994) and University of Toronto (2009), respectively. His research interest span Intent-based networking, End-to-End Multi-layer orchestration, smart city applications and applications of AI in networking.


Hans Raj Nahata is a Director of Network Technology Strategy & Planning responsible for Network Automation & Orchestration Planning at Verizon. This includes Wireless and Wireline VNFs – 4G Network, Virtualized RAN, and the 5G Network functions. Hans and his team set vision and plans for network orchestration, service assurance, and closed-loop automation to bring cost-effective and high-quality services to Verizon customers. Over two decades ago Hans began his career with NYNEX Science and Technology as a researcher in Speech Recognition.  He enjoys teaching and has taught Math, CS, and Operation Management courses at NJIT and other local colleges.  Hans studied MBA in Operations Management from NYU, and Masters in Operations Research from Columbia University. He is very passionate about the applications of technology and science, holds several patents, and has a strong interest in recreational mathematics. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and two amazing kids.


Jonathan Kwan is a Product Line Manager for AI/ML network automation software at Fujitsu Network Communications, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering at the University of Calgary, and the Editor-in-Chief at APH Networks. He is extensively involved in product planning, project management, and business and customer engagement strategies, research in wireless networking and machine learning, and assessing the latest technology in his various roles. He received the PhD, MSc, and BSc degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. His research interests include wireless networking, communication systems, artificial intelligence/machine learning, mathematical optimization, and related applications.


Aladdin Saleh is currently priming research and innovation activities at Rogers communications, among them the joint research partnership with the university of Waterloo on 5G and emerging technologies. He is also overseeing the transfer of the campus of the university into a 5G smart campus. He has more than 20 years of industry experience in mobile telecom in Canada. In addition to his current role with Rogers, he spent 13 years with Bell Canada, and worked as a consultant. He earned a PhD degree in electrical and electronic engineering and an MBA in International Management, both from the university of London in the UK. He taught and conducted research on next generation wireless networks at several universities as a full-time professor, Adjunct professor, and a visiting researcher. He is currently an Adjunct Professor with Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He has several publications in referred journals and international conferences.


Srini Addepalli is a security and Edge computing expert with 25+ years of experience. Before joining Aryaka,  Srini was at Intel, where he incubated multiple open source edge computing and security initiatives including Service Mesh, cloud native SASE framework, Distributed HSM and Multi Edge/Cloud orchestration technologies. Before Intel, he held the Fellow position at Freescale and CTO position at Intoto Inc. As part of Intoto, which was acquired by Freescale, he is instrumental in leading the development of Gateway and UTM (Unified Threat Management) product lines. Srini has multiple patents in networking and security technologies.


Amar Kapadia is co-founder and CEO of Aarna Networks. Aarna solves enterprise edge and private 5G management complexity through zero-touch edge infrastructure, applications, and network services orchestration at scale. Prior to Aarna, Amar was the NFV product marketing head at Mirantis. Before Mirantis, he was responsible for defining and launching EVault’s public cloud storage service (acquired by Seagate) based on OpenStack Swift and a variety of marketing and engineering leadership positions at Emulex, Philips, and HP. Amar is also the author of the ONAP Demystified book and holds an MS EE degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Makan Pourzandi is a research leader at the research department, Ericsson, Canada. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from University of Lyon I Claude Bernard, France and M.Sc. in parallel computing from École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France. He has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of cyber security, Telecom and distributed systems. He co-authored two books on cyber security published by Springer on auditing in cloud environments and software security. He is the co-inventor of more than 25 granted US and International patents. He has published more than 85 research papers in peer-reviewed scientific  journals and conferences. His current research interests include cyber security, cloud computing, software security engineering.


Javan Erfanian. In his role as Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, at Bell Canada, Javan Erfanian primes wireless technology strategic direction. He has worked with global industry and research community towards vision and formulation of new technologies and service enablers, including NGMN, ETSI, ATIS, IEEE, among others. In particular, Javan was co-lead and chief editor of NGMN 5G initiative, published in early 2015. Recently, he was editor of NGMN’s 6G Drivers and Vision, and co-editor of NGMN’s Green Future Networks, both published in 2021. In his IEEE role, Javan has been an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Speaker for many years, and a recipient of Millennium medal in 2000. Javan has also taught at the University of Toronto, with IEEE publications and many citations.


Jörg Niemöller is an expert in analytics and customer experience. Since he joined Ericsson 1998, Jörg held various positions in Ericsson Research as well as system management for core network and digital services. In recent years he developed concepts and solutions for intelligent systems capable of driving autonomous operation and realizing the zero-touch vision. His current focus is the introduction of these technologies in our industry through evolved products and standardization. Jörg is the lead author of the suit of TM Forum guidebooks and models about intent. Jörg holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and a diploma degree in electrical engineering from the TU Dortmund University, Germany.


Kandan Kathirvel is a lead product manager and responsible for Telco Cloud & Orchestration product strategy & development at Google. Before joining Google, Kandan was a Director at AT&T Labs, and led several industry wide Telcom Open source and Cloud initiatives. Kandan played a key role in kick starting Akraino and Linux Foundation Edge projects and served as a TSC-Chair, TAC member and as a Board of directors. In addition, Kandan served on the OpenStack board of directors from 2017 to 2019 and played a key role in transforming Open Source to support Telco NFVi and SDN. Kandan delivered more than 50+ public technical talks, published multiple articles, chaired & organized several Open source events in Akraino, OpenStack, Linux Foundation Edge, O-RAN, ONF, ONAP, OPNFV, OEC, CNTT, ETSI, OCP, and IEEE. Kandan has two decades of Telecommunication experience.


Utpal Mangla ( MBA, PEng, CMC, ITCP, PMP, ITIL, CSM, FBCS ) is a General Manager responsible for Telco Industry & EDGE Clouds in IBM. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and Senior Partner in IBM. He is a recognized Global Leader of IBM’s Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment (TME) Industry. He is focused on driving AI, 5G EDGE, Hybrid Cloud and Blockchain Innovations for TME clients worldwide. In his role as senior executive in the business and thought leader in emerging technologies, Utpal’s mission is to fuel growth by building, selling and implementing differentiated competitive market service solution offerings to meeting critical business imperatives of our customers.


Oleg Berzin is a Senior Director of Technology Innovation at Equinix – the world’s largest provider of data center and interconnection services. He is responsible for the development of innovation strategies and prototypes in the areas of Evolving Edge Wireless and Fixed Infrastructure, Internet of Things, Next Generation Interconnection, Virtualization, and Network Automation. Prior to Equinix, Dr. Berzin worked at Verizon, where he held various technology leadership roles, including the development of the 4G LTE network for enterprise mobile and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services. He has extensive expertise in complex multi-protocol, multi-technology network and infrastructure products and services. Oleg holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University as well as a number of leading industry certifications.


Jason Wright is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Verizon.  He holds a BSEE and began working in the cellular industry in Detroit, MI during the conversion from AMPS to CDMA.  Switching focus to cellular data and transport during the 3G and 4G eras, followed by automation development for cloud VM based applications, Jason now enjoys working in Orchestration Planning for 5G VRAN applications.  He lives in MI with his family and enjoys combining technology with art in his spare time.


Umashankar Velusamy heads Verizon Cloud Platform Far Edge Engineering and Automation. Prior to that, Uma headed the Orchestration Engineering organization, accountable for orchestrating as well as scaling automation for deployment and configuration of all orchestrated virtual network functions, cloud native network functions, and network services deployed in Verizon’s cloud platforms. Prior to this, Uma held various transformational leadership roles in various telecom domains. As a named inventor in 25+ patents, his recent contributions include delivery of the automation infrastructure that powered the world’s first fully virtualized 5G data session, launch of a global VNF manager for heat based VNFs, and improving productivity for a key team in excess of 200% through automations. Uma earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from P.S.G. College of Technology at Bharathiyar University, India and an Executive MBA degree from the University of South Florida, USA. He resides in Tampa, USA with his wife, Nisha and their two daughters and a son.


Zsolt Szabo is a Principal Solution Architect and line manager at Ericsson Digital Services. Currently Zsolt is leading 5G Core Network Slicing automation effort for Bell Canada using Ericsson, Nokia, and open source ONAP components. Zsolt has 25 years of ICT industry experience leading groundbreaking OSS/BSS Orchestration “Quad Play” (TV, Internet, Voice, Mobile) for residential customers and Enterprise Services for commercial customers projects for Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Charter Communications and Comcast. Earlier in his carrier Zsolt worked as a lead researcher in the field of software based Rational Drug design working for a Toronto based biotech company and for The University of Leeds UK. Zsolt holds a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University.


Manjula Naganathan has more than 25 years of experience in Telecom/IT industry, predominantly in the OSS/BSS domains and has worked for and with many Tier1 operators. At Ericsson, she is currently the Business Director, managing a hosted business for AT&T and is responsible for pre-sales, delivery and operations. In previous roles, in addition to successfully leading several critical delivery efforts, Manjula has led strategic transformation programs through cultural and organizational transformations along with significant emphasis on automation and continuous improvement. She holds a Bachelors degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.


Carolyn O’Rourke is an end-to-end solution architect at Ericsson. Her current project involves deploying an AI/ML solution for a North American tier 1 CSP. She has led teams to deploy OSS
solutions for 5G core deployments and has a long history of helping clients improve flow through operations.

Carolyn Holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Siena College, NY and a master’s degree in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY.




Sign up for email alerts to get the latest news and announcements for the 2022 IEEE Future Networks World Forum. If you have specific questions, contact us at

      Diamond Sponsors

      Platinum Sponsors

      Gold Sponsor


      Financial Co-Sponsors



      Event Organizers

      Media Partner