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Gavin Sheldon, Global Vice-President for Connectivity, Liberty Global
To paraphrase Michael Caine, "not many people outside the industry know this", but the fact of the matter is that Liberty Global is the world's biggest broadband and TV company. However, the organisation is better known for its worldwide range of important and instantly recognisable brands such as Virgin Media in the UK. Gavin Sheldon says cellular and Wi-Fi integration is key to his company's plans to deliver seamless network access to its customers and for this to happen there needs to be convergence in networks both at the technological level and at the proposition and service level. He believes it is inevitable that this will come about in due course. As he says, "Change is the only constant."
He says Liberty Global is in a perpetual state of transformation and evolution. For example, in the UK and Germany, Virgin Media is constantly expanding its cable footprint whilst also deploying more fibre, transforming the network core, pushing intelligence further and further out towards the network edge and increasing virtualisation to advance network convergence to the ultimate point there is a common core for both mobile and fixed services.
As far as 5G, cellular and Wi-Fi integration is concerned, Gavin Sheldon emphasises that one technology will not replace the other because they are entirely complementary and, given spectrum constraints, it is vital that the industry unites to make them work better together. A further spur is that so much has been invested in building 5G, cellular and Wi-Fi network topologies that all parties will ensure that interworking happens to ensure that the required step-change in efficiency and performance is achieved.
Filmed at Wireless Global Congress, London 2018
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