Building an Innovative, Competitive and Secure 5G Ecosystem

On September 25, ITI and the Open RAN Policy Coalition hosted a follow-on event to the Prague 5G Security Conference to explore important themes related to 5G development, deployment, and security. The event, Building an Innovative, Competitive, and Secure 5G Ecosystem, brought together industry leaders and policymakers from around the world, including over 100 officials from 36 governments worldwide.

“Following the conclusion of this year’s Prague 5G Security Conference, the need for a global approach to 5G security has never been more apparent,” said Rob Strayer, Executive Vice President of Policy at ITI. “Governments and industry will need to continue to work together in order to securely deploy the next generation of network technology, while also driving innovation. We appreciated the opportunity to host government leaders from around the world and also hear from ITI and ORPC member companies on how to promote innovation, security, and competition.” 

The event featured panels on a variety of topics, including the promise and potential of 5G, driving competition through open radio access networks (Open RAN), and promoting cybersecurity of 5G as well as trusted vendors in network supply chains.

Government representatives included Dr. Ian Levy, Technical Director, U.K. National Cyber Security Center; Hirohide Hirai, Director-General, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Robert Blair, Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Vangelis Ouzounis, Head of Unit, Secure Infrastructure & Services, European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA). All discussed the ways in which their governments are approaching security, vendor diversification, and innovation in this important area.

The innovation panel focused on the ways in which governments can leverage 5G to cultivate economic opportunity, implement transformational use cases, and why it is important to continue accelerate 5G deployments.

On the security panel, speakers emphasized the importance of taking an ecosystem wide approach to cybersecurity, including relying on automation as much as possible. They also emphasized the importance of fostering a sense of shared responsibility between telecommunication network operators and vendors, and incentivizing ICT vendor best practices and transparency.

On the Open RAN panel, speakers discussed the benefits of Open RAN, including fostering a more competitive ecosystem of vendors and enabling greater flexibility for network operators. The also discussed the appropriate role for governments in fostering its deployment, including the development of both supply side and demand side incentives.

In discussing the event, Open RAN Policy Coalition Executive Director Diane Rinaldo said, “The participation of 300 representatives from over 40 countries – spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific – demonstrates the high level of interest in Open RAN globally. While Open RAN has been deployed in more than a dozen countries, we are still in the early stages of adoption. Governments have a critical role to play alongside industry in fostering a broad ecosystem of vendors, incentivizing operator adoption, and facilitating a level regulatory playing field for Open RAN. We look forward to working with the governments around the world to realize the myriad benefits that stem from an open, interoperable network architecture.”

Panelists in the event included:

  • Azita Arvani  General Manager, Rakuten Mobile Americas
  • Cecilia Atterwall  Vice President, Networks, Ericsson
  • Alex Botting  Director of International Programs, Open RAN Policy Coalition
  • Scott Charney  Vice President of Security Policy, Microsoft
  • John Davis  Vice President, Public Sector, Palo Alto Networks
  • Jeff Edlund  Chief Technology Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprises 
  • John Godfrey  Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Samsung Electronics Americas
  • Brian Hendricks  Vice President, Policy and Public Affairs, Nokia Americas
  • Norihiko Ishiguro  Senior Executive Vice President and Member of the Board, NEC Corporation
  • Courtney Lang  Director of Policy, ITI
  • James Lewis  Senior Vice President and Director, Technology Policy Program, CSIS
  • Narsi Narasimhan  Vice President, Connectivity & Wireless, Amazon
  • Travis Russell  Director, Cybersecurity, Oracle Communications
  • Eric Wenger  Senior Director, Global Technology Policy, Cisco Systems