Spotlight on 5G Week

Last week I participated in two of the four sessions of Telecom TV’s Spotlight on 5G week on 5G Edge and 5G Cloud. The format included a pre-recorded discussion that i is published in the morning with then a live after show discussion at the end of each day.

The discussions were hosted by Guy Daniels and Ray Le Maistre. In the 5G Edge discussion, we looked whether 5G applications have been overhyped, the skillset in telco and synergies between the Cloud Service Providers and Telco.

I was a last minute fill in for my colleague Francesca Serrevalle on the Thursday after show session where we discussed in more detail the big news of the day AT&T selling their 5G cloud to Microsoft Azure. Also shared my first memories of MWC….

For a little behind the scenes image though, this is how I filmed the after show on Wednesday, from our campervan ‘Deets’ in the Peak District, testing a new 4G/5G capable antenna with a ruggedized wifi router fitted to my van.

https://www.telecomtv.com/content/spotlight-on-5g/

Changing it up in a groundhog year…

It’s the beginning of September 2020 and I have been very fortunate throughout the global pandemic. I have been able to continue working, almost seamlessly transitioning to full-time working from home. Having built an garden office some 10 years earlier, I at least had a space to work and also to put the turbo trainer for indoor cycling. The rest of the family have also been able to transition to home/remote work & school and our overall health has been good to this point (and has continued to be so since). We have been blessed.

Yet after 6 months of no commute, no travel and like many others having our plans turned upside down, (I had no fewer than 20 business, church & leisure related trips cancelled in the first three months of the pandemic), I was feeling quite hemmed in, slightly stir crazy and just a little exhausted from the constant virtual world. I needed to switch off for a couple of days and do something different.

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Not quite yet……AMR2021

As I am writing this post it should have been Day 4 of the Atlas Mountain Race 2021. If last years winner Sofiane Sehili was riding he would probably have completed the route, having finished in 3 days 21hrs and 50minutes. My best estimate that I can imagine for myself in the race is that I would have just about got to half way, maybe approaching the 2nd Checkpoint at Aguinane. That’s if everything has gone well, no accidents, mechanicals, or collapse with sheer exhaustion.

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#Festive500 to finish off 2020

The global pandemic this year changed a lot of plans for families over the Christmas period. We were no exception, our normal Christmas plans were not possible due to the restrictions within the UK at the moment. Normally we travel to Devon and Scotland to spend time with our extended families.

A small consolation of not being able to do our normal travels to visit extended family this Christmas break was having a bit more time to get out on the bike between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

So I thought I would attempt the Rapha #festive500 challenge. I have attempted it in the past but never quite made it. Snow, freezing rain, sub-zero temperatures make it a tough challenge.

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5G and edge computing: Why these complementary technologies will optimize enterprise businesses

5G deployments are starting to expand beyond the few city-wide showcases of the last couple of years. And new use cases for consumer and enterprises are being developed all the time. But it will take the parallel implementation of edge computing in the next few months for 5G to truly reach its potential.

What is the edge? Where is the edge? How does it benefit 5G? What is the sum of these parts? Can we have one without the other?

These are valid questions as we move from initial limited implementations of 5G towards a future where it becomes essential not just for consumers and lifestyles, but businesses chasing market opportunities. As we move into that future, the defining characteristics

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5G Techritory Talk – Intelligent Connectivity to make 5G a reality

I was invited to speak at the 2020 5G Techritory hosted out of Lativa. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the event was a virtual conference. I recorded this presentation to discuss how connectivity requirements.

What type(s) of Intelligent Connectivity is required to make 5G a reality?

In Enabling the 5G Era, Mark will share insights on the necessary steps operators and wholesalers alike need to take to provide connectivity that will provide for todays and future requirements.

Looking back in order to look forward; what does this new decade hold for the wireless industry?

This blog post was originally published on Colt.net on January 7th 2020.

The end of one year and start of another often sees people look back and reflect upon the last 12 months as well as start to think about the year ahead.

This year though, I find myself not only reflecting on last year but the decade that has now come to an end. The last decade saw the way we communicate dramatically change and mobile technology and handsets played a huge role in that. The wide-spread roll out of 5G that is said to come in this new decade will drive further reinvention – so what are the parallels between the last decade and where we are today?

As the ‘Naughties’ drew to a close, we were just a couple of years into the smartphone revolution, with the real growth still yet to come. The latest handset on the market was the iPhone 3G S, which was launched in the Summer of 2009 and ran on the 3G network with a top speed of 7.2Mbps download and only 384Kbps upload.

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MWC at a glance; are telcos ready for the 5G evolution?

This Article was originally published on the Colt.net blog March 19th 2019.

The dust has settled on another Mobile World Congress (MWC) and what a brilliant event it was once again.

Over 100,000 industry professionals descended on Barcelona in the last days of February for the event that defines the mobile and cellular industry for the year to come.

This year’s theme centred around Intelligent Connectivity, with the event exploring the powerful combination of flexible, high bandwidth networks, IoT, AI and big data.

Continue reading “MWC at a glance; are telcos ready for the 5G evolution?”

So what’s next – a new year begins

I have been asked this question quite a few times since completing the Haute Route Alps this last summer.  Is there more to do or should I hang up my cycling shoes and say I am done.  [Un]fortunately I am the sort of person that needs a purpose to motivate me so the prospect of me just calling it a day doesn’t really sit with me, I know that if it wasn’t a cycling challenge then it would be something else, I suppose I have somewhat of an obsessive personality.  I don’t like to do anything half-hearted.

One of the great things about cycling as a hobby is that there are so many different avenues to go into, whether that be road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, Cross, touring, racing, etc….    so there is always an option and plenty of challenges to take on.

So what about 2018, well for 2018 my attention turns to epic one day rides.   At the moment there are two earmarked on the calendar.

The first is the Mallorca 312 in April, traditionally this used to be a 312km race around the island of Mallorca but was changed a few years ago to a circuit of the Tarmuntana mountains with a loop to the south eastern coast before finishing back in Alcudia.  Still covering 312 km and over 5500m of climbing it will be a big day out for Scott and I.   

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The other epic day out will be the Vatternrundan in June,  a 300km circuit around Lake Vattern in Sweden with 23,000 other participants.   This one I am riding with a few friends from Rapha Cycling Club.

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map courtesy of Vatternrundan.se

So I am sticking to the road cycling for now and will focus on getting ready for long days in the saddle.

Here is a final look back at my statistics from 2017 and have a wonderful, safe & prosperous new year.

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You’re a cyclist aren’t you Mark?

I think being clad in lycra head to toe pushing my bike through the hotel lobby at 7.30am in the morning getting back from a morning ride gave the game away.   “Yes “ I answered, “good” said my colleague, “make sure you keep the 21st -25th September clear, we are sponsoring our clients annual charity bike ride and we need to put a team together.  I need you to be in that team. “

That brief conversation back in February in a hotel lobby in Barcelona was how I landed the opportunity to ride for Ciena as principal sponsors for the annual Colt Technology Charity bike ride.   The event in 2017 was to be their 6th edition as they rode from regional office to regional office to raise funds for charities linked to their various regions.   Previous years they had ridden from London to Paris. Paris to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Munich and Marselle to Barcelona.   The route for 2017 was from Barcelona to Valencia over 4 days.

And so fast forward 7 months and having completed the Haute Route Alps a couple of weeks ago, once again my bike was in the back of a van and making it’s way to the Mediterranean coast line for another multi-day event to join 4 other Ciena colleagues and 120 other riders from Colt and their partners.

We gathered on Thursday afternoon to check-in, register, get our ride numbers, attend the pre ride briefing and get to know each other a little bit more.  Each rider taking part was split into groups based upon rider ability and experience.  I had previously elected to go in the group that would average 25kph on the road.  Turned out later that I had been Strava-stalked but the ride organizers  and pushed up into the fastest group, which turned out to the best decision as they were a great group to ride with.

On Friday morning the 12 groups gathered outside the Barcelona offices of Colt and one by one groups headed out to split the peloton up and not cause disruption on the road.

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The ride each day consisted of a base route that would get the riders between the “host” venues for each day with an excursion route attached into the ride for those who wanted to add a little more challenge to their riding.  This was a very successful set up as it allowed riders of all abilities to get involved and stretch themselves according to their abilities.

Then each day all the riders luggage would be transported from hotel to hotel along with a day bag that would be available at each of the feed stations along the route.  The remarkable thing about this though was that the whole event was staffed by Colt employees.  Whether it was the team moving the luggage, or the team moving the day bags, or the team that stocked and staffed the feed stations along the route, each person was a part of Colt and they did an excellent job.    One of the really appreciated features was that all of the riders bags were taken to their hotel rooms and left inside their rooms so that riders didn’t have to haul their bags up to their rooms after finishing the ride.  Such a small detail but so significant.  I greatly appreciated this, as this was not done on the Haute Route.

And the feed stations were excellent, There was no chance of losing weight during this ride as the food at the lunch stops was so good.  The Colt volunteer team did a fantastic job.

Day 1 140km from Barcelona to Tarragona 

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Photo Credit Joe Rass @lebikestop

 

Day 2 Sun was shining again as we went from Tarragona to Tortosa, 156km 2256m.

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Day 3  Tortosa to Castellon – 180km 2,000m climbing and a dip in the lake…..

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Day 4 – Castellon to  the finish in Valencia 125km.

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The Ciena Team Photo Credit Insta  : edstar_osei

The total route length for the 4 days was just over 600km with 7000m of climbing, so a good few days in the saddle.  Also our team 12 managed to take the top three places in the King of the Mountains competition.   (I placed second)

Each of the local regions of Colt that participate in the charity bike ride nominate and raise money for those charities.  In the UK this was the charity Place2be.   ,the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity.

On the last day of the ride they posted a tweet sharing that over £20000 had been raised so far and that this was replicated across each of the participating Colt regions.   Our five person Ciena team was able to add a further £2000 to that total.

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Those that know me, know that I really enjoy cycling, it provides me with a great way to free my mind, recharge, think, test and challenge myself.  This year I have had the great pleasure also to do that and along the way raise a bit of money for charities that help others.