London Event Review: Future of Telecoms in a Converged World

By Graeme Maguire, Sven-Erik Heun, Joanne Wheeler, Colin Long


In May 2015 delegates from the telecoms community were enticed to the beautiful, historic venue of One Birdcage Walk in London to participate in our conference focused on new challenges and opportunities in a converged world.

Head of our global Tech & Comms sector group, Graeme Maguire, welcomed the attendees and introduced Colin Long, who illustrated the future of telecoms by screening the Department for Culture, Media & Sport's (DCMS) latest superfast broadband advert with an ironic soundtrack of The Who's classic, "Won't Get Fooled Again".

The first panel, moderated by Andre Sokol from Akira Partners, discussed infrastructure development, cross-platform consolidation and convergence. Representatives from BT and EE highlighted the vast economic good that can be achieved by the communications industry, whilst Stuart Revell and Raj Sivalingam from techUK looked ahead to the developments in 5G and the European vision of a Digital Single Market.

A Q&A session with Nick Munn (Head of Spectrum Policy, DCMS/BIS, Digital Economy Unit) followed, focusing on the role of governments and regulators alongside the topical issue of potential industry impact of EU directives and initiatives.

German Tech & Comms partner, Sven-Erik Heun, flew in to present an engaging and informative session on privacy and security, emphasising the importance of looking at the current legal regime to determine the future. Sven continued to question transparency in the industry, commenting that some company's terms and conditions are 10% longer than Shakespeare's Macbeth!

Joanne Wheeler introduced and moderated the final panel session, titled "the march of spectrum". Representatives from Ofcom, Avanti, Qualcomm and Airbus discussed the need for flexibility of regulation to adapt to the insatiable demand for spectrum. The panel estimated as much as 3 trillion dollars of investment would be needed by 2020 to lead the next phase in the digital transformation.

A video of the event including take-home messages from speakers can be found on our website.