IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference
15-19 April 2019 // Marrakech, Morocco
Touch through Wireless

Panel 1

5G Test-beds for Deployment of 5G Networks & Innovative Use Cases.


The 5th generation mobile network standard is regarded as an ICT eco-system that will support the digital transformation of societies impacting industry and societal economy in both developed and emerging economy countries. The proposed panel will discuss 5G network test-beds to facilitate effective 5G network deployments, setting up the technical regulatory framework and testing of use cases with relevant context. The panel discussions will be based on case studies emanating from two representative countries: South Korea and South Africa. The 5G wireless ICT-eco system standards are composed of three distinct pillars that aim to address; (a) enhanced mobile broadband enabling gigabit ICT services such as video-on-demand, (b) Low network latency enabling critical infrastructure and control services for industrial applications; (c) Energy efficiency and network coverage to enable the 50 billion sensing devices, machine-2-machine (M2M) communications and Internet of Things devices and services. The three pillars of the 5G ICT eco-system are expected to have a more significant impact in the high economic urban areas throughout the world. However, the panel will also argue that synergetic opportunities exist to transform emerging markets’ ICT infrastructure through 5G based innovations in network technology, energy efficiency, spectrum and radio resource sharing, techno-policy and regulatory frameworks. 5G network test-beds play a crucial role in all aspects of the aforementioned areas and are expected to enable accelerated deployment of 5G technologies and associated services improving existing ICT infrastructures globally. In order to achieve inclusive digital transformation and industrialization using emerging 5G technologies the outcome of the case studies from two countries will be used:

Emerging Economy Perspective on 5G Test-beds:

5G Test-beds play an important role in developing economy countries, as a tool to follow the progress in the emerging network technology trends in 5G, and testing of relevant 5G use cases. The 5G test-bed under development at CSIR in South Africa is a case in point, including the 5G network trials being undertaken by mobile operators. This is designed to accelerate research and testing of 5G network equipment, developing innovative mobile applications and services. Network slicing for low cost data networks, Softwarization of network functions for affordable broadband, NR with the non-standalone (NSA) standard testing including C-RAN, with advanced spectrum sharing and regulatory implications will be discussed. Panelists from industry, academia, regulatory and policy making organizations will discuss issues pertaining to 5G Test-beds, research in synergetic and disruptive technologies for 5G, co-existence of heterogeneous networks, innovative regulatory frameworks, business models for vertical industries and policies that will enhance the benefit from the upcoming 5G wireless networks and ICT eco-system standards will be discussed and a white paper will be developed as an outcome from the panel.

Panel Discussion Points::
  1. The Role of 5G Test-beds in Industrialized and developing countries. How can we change the perception of current 5G standards as supporting only use cases for urban/affluent centers using 5G test-beds?
  2. How can 5G Test-beds promote testing of 5G network functions, contextual use cases and accelerate affordable broadband for emerging markets in a controlled environment?
  3. Can 5G Test-beds be used to support operators testing of operational issues such as Dev-ops, automation and SoNs capabilities, service flexibility, and reduce time to deployment?
  4. Can 5G test-beds be used to develop the research evidence and background for developing technical regulations and enabling policy framework for 5G migration, deployment and service innovation?
  5. How important is the role and use of 5G network test-beds, in public awareness creation, expert human capacity development to maintain & operate advanced networks.
  6. Can we use 5G test-beds to enhance R&D and creation of innovative mobile services for the masses such as the MPESA of 5G, and improve digital inclusion of underserved communities?
  7. 5G is regarded as a crucial enabling technology to realize the 4th Industrial Revolution and provide the tools to address the UN SDGs… Please give your input on how 5G test-beds can be used to realize this.

Panel Session Format:

  • Introduction of/by Panelists: 20 Min.
  • Lead Paper 1: 20 Min.
  • Panel Discussion: 60 Minutes

Panelist bios


Dr Fisseha Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist, CSIR Meraka ICT Institute, South Africa.

He leads the 5G and Affordable Broadband Networks research at the CSIR. He is the proponent of a 4th leg for the 5G standards aimed at technologies for addressing the next billion unconnected population and promoting digital inclusion. He has a PhD from Linköping University, in Sweden, and has worked for 10 years as senior research Engineer at Ericsson Mobile Communications R&D lab in Sweden, where he developed over 12 US/EPO patents. He has published over 60 peer reviewed publications, worked with mobile and internet service industry: Setting up next generation network labs, Development of mobile applications programming courses, Network resource sharing for affordable broadband connectivity, and development of telecom regulatory frameworks and capacity building for telecom regulators in Africa. He is at present working on disruptive 5G research in dynamic spectrum sharing and extending 5G to accommodate affordable broadband network technologies and setting up 5G test-beds for testing relevant use cases and accelerate a smooth migration to 5G. The group lead by him has successfully completed the international qualification process and standardization of white space spectrum databases in collaboration with the UK Ofcom regulator and is working on developing smart spectrum toolboxes for 5G use cases. He is a member of advisory board for a number of EU FP7 projects and is a Judge for the GSMA global mobile awards in support of Green technologies for future wireless networks. Dr Mekuria is also involved in postgraduate research development in wireless communications with a number of African universities through his engagement as Adj. Professor at the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Science, South Africa.

Prof. Youngnam Han, Director 5G Wise, KAIST, Republic of South Korea

Prof Y. Han is Director 5G wise Lab, at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science & Technology (KAIST) republic of Korea. He is the principal investigator for the 5G Testbed Initiative sponsored by the Korean Government. He was also involved as past member as the steering committee Chair of the 5G Forum, Korea. He is an active member of the IEEE future wireless networks, COMSOC and was general Chair, IEEE VTC Spring 2014, Seoul, Korea. He has been the technical program committee-TPC Chair, IEEE VTC 2002, Jeju, Korea.


Peter Zimri, Councillor, ICASA, South Africa


Prof. Lee Hyeongwoo, 5G-Forum, Korea.


Jin Bains, Head of Connectivity Lab, Facebook.

Jin the Head of the Connectivity Lab, Space & Cellular Team, Jin oversees and directs key aspects of Facebook’s efforts to increase access to affordable connectivity across the globe, including the use of terrestrial, low-altitude, and satellite systems. Jin holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from UC Davis and Stanford, respectively. Before joining Facebook, Jin spent over ten years at National Instruments, where he served as the Vice President of R&D, RF and Wireless Products, managing a global R&D organization of engineers and driving innovation with internal experts and key outside partners. Jin began his career as an RF Engineer and R&D manager for Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies.

Dr. Mrs. Maria Barros Weiss, Programme Manager at Eurescom

Dr. Mrs. Maria Barros Weiss, Programme Manager at Eurescom, is project Cooordinator of the 5G PPP project SLICENET - End-to-End Cognitive Network Slicing and Slice Management Framework in Virtualised Multi-Domain, Multi-Tenant 5G Networks ( With expertise in communication networks, she has been involved in different ICT areas, like 5G, Smart cities, Future Internet (FI), and Artificial Inteligence (AI); focusing on topics like Network Management, Network Slicing, Machine-learning, Human-Machine interfaces, and Language Technologies. She has a Ph.D. in Communication and Language technology from the University of Bonn, Germany; a M.Sc. degree in Computers and Electrical Engineering from the University of Porto, Portugal; and a B.Sc. degree in Computers and Systems Engineering from the University of Algarve, Portugal. She was Lecturer in Engineering at the Lisbon College of Engineering (ISEL) before she joined Eurescom in 2008.