SDN & NFV Impact in the Development of 5G: IEEE workshop at CSIR, Pretoria


SDN & NFV Impact in the Development of 5G: Workshop at CSIR  

NB! As the space is limited, it is strongly advised to pre-registration at (please see the registration "button" below, on the right hand side)

This first national South African event on software defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) for 5G, brings together international and South African experts in from industry and academia, and offers a unique opportunity to listen to their talks, participate in the discussions and be a part of developing ultra fast, secure and cost-efficient 5G via SDN/NFV for South Africa.

The speakers and panel members will include Dr Ashutosh Dutta (IEEE 5G Initiative), Dr Ryan van den Berg (MTN SA), Sabelo Dlamini (CSIR), Dr Joyce Mwangama(UCT), George Debbo (GD Telecoms) - please see the full agenda in below. 


 Start Stop  Topic
 08:30 09:00  Tea/Coffee and completing attendance register  
09:00 09:15 Welcome
09:15 09:30 About IEEE and IEEE ComSoc
09:30 10:30 Keynote by Dr Ashutosh Dutta: Security in SDN/NFV and 5G Networks – Opportunities and Challenges and 5G initiatives
10:30 10:40 Tea break
10:40 11:20 Dr Ryan van den Bergh, MTN SA: The Drivers and Challenges of Telco Cloudification
11:20 12:00 Sabelo Dlamini, CSIR:  Leveraging SDN/NFV as key stepping stones to the 5G era in emerging markets
12:00 13:00 Lunch
13:00 13:40 Dr A Dutta, IEEE 5G Initiative: How to get involved
13:40 14:20 Dr Joyce Mwangama, UCT: SDN and NFV Related Research at the University of Cape Town
14:20 14:30 Tea break
14:30 15:10 George Debbo, George Debbo Telecoms: Developing a Business Case for Evolving to Software Centric Networks in Emerging Markets
15:10 15:55 Panel discussions
15:55 16:10 Closing


This event is a part of a series of IEEE events held in South Africa:

IEEE SDN/NFV Workshop, CSIR Pretoria, 18 Sep 2018

IEEE Distinguished Lectures Tour

“Mobility Handover Optimization Framework & IEEE 5G Initiative” on 17 Sep

“Security in SDN/NFV & 5G Networks”  on 21 Sep


 The events are being registered for ECSA CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points. The number will be announced soon.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 18 Sep 2018
  • Time: 08:30 AM to 04:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC+02:00) Pretoria
  • Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar
  • CSIR Meraka institute, Meiring Naude road
  • Building 43
  • Lynnwood, Pretoria, Gauteng
  • South Africa 0001
  • Building: Meraka Institute, building 43
  • Room Number: Meraka Auditorium
  • Click here for Map

  • Mpho Nkosi: mnkosi2 at

    Albert Lysko: alysko at


  • Co-sponsored by CSIR, IEEE ComSoc, IEEE South Africa Section, IEEE South Africa Jt ComSoc/SP Chapter, MTN, GD Telecoms
  • Starts 20 August 2018 09:00 AM
  • Ends 18 September 2018 08:00 AM
  • All times are (UTC+02:00) Pretoria
  • 0 spaces left!
  • No Admission Charge
  • Menu: Halaal, Vegetarian, Vegan


Dr Ashutosh Dutta Dr Ashutosh Dutta of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Labs (JHU/APL)


Security in SDN/NFV and 5G Networks – Opportunities and Challenges

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are the key pillars of future networks, including 5G. Telecom operators and service providers can leverage SDN/NFV to provide flexible and cost-effective service without compromising the end user quality of service (QoS).  While NFV and SDN open up the door for flexible networks and rapid service creation, these offer both security opportunities while also introducing additional challenges and complexities, in some cases. With the rapid proliferation of 4G and 5G networks, operators have now started the trial deployment of network function virtualization, especially with the introduction of various virtualized network elements in the access and core networks.

These include elements such as virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC), virtualized IP Multimedia Services (IMS), Virtualized Residential Gateway, and Virtualized Next Generation Firewalls. However, very little attention has been given to the security aspects of virtualization. While several standardization bodies (e.g., ETSI, 3GPP, NGMN, ATIS, TIA) have started looking into the many security issues introduced by SDN/NFV, additional work is needed with larger security community involvement including vendors, operators, universities, and regulators. This talk will address evolution of cellular technologies including 5G but will focus on various security challenges and opportunities introduced by 5G networks such as network virtualization, network slicing, cloud RAN, and software defined networking. I will highlight some of the ongoing activities within the standards communities and will illustrate a few deployment use case scenarios. In addition, I will also describe some of the ongoing activities within IEEE 5G initiative and various ways one can get involved in this standardization activity


Dr. Ashutosh Dutta is currently Senior Wireless Communication Systems Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Labs (JHU/APL). Most recently he served as Principal Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Labs in Middletown, New Jersey.

His career, spanning more than 30 years, includes Director of Technology Security and Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T, CTO of Wireless at a Cybersecurity company NIKSUN, Inc., Senior Scientist in Telcordia Research, Director of Central Research Facility at Columbia University, adjunct faculty at NJIT, and Computer Engineer with TATA Motors.

He has more than 90 conference and journal publications, three book chapters, and 30 issued patents. Ashutosh is co-author of the book “Mobility Protocols and Handover Optimization: Design, Evaluation and Application,” published by IEEE and John & Wiley, and which has recently been translated into Chinese.

Ashutosh served as the chair for IEEE Princeton / Central Jersey Section, Industry Relation Chair for Region 1 and MGA, Pre-University Coordinator for IEEE MGA and vice chair of Education Society Chapter of PCJS. He co-founded the IEEE STEM conference (ISEC) and helped to implement EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) projects in several high schools. Ashutosh currently serves as the Director of Industry Outreach for IEEE Communications Society and is the founding co-chairs for IEEE 5G initiatives. He also serves as IEEE Communications Society’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2018. Ashutosh serves as the general co-chair for the premier IEEE 5G World Forum. He was recipient of the prestigious 2009 IEEE MGA Leadership award and 2010 IEEE-USA professional leadership award.

Ashutosh obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from NIT Rourkela, India, MS in Computer Science from NJIT, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University under the supervision of Prof. Henning Schulzrinne. Ashutosh is a Senior member of IEEE and ACM.

Dr Ryan Van den Berg Dr Ryan Van den Berg of MTN South Africa


The Drivers and Challenges of Telco Cloudification

Many Communications Service Providers are investigating the deployment of virtualised network infrastructure and autonomous management systems to ensure that they benefit from the purported increases in business agility and operational efficiency, and new revenue streams arising from new 5G services. However, the journey towards Telco Cloudification is being hampered by numerous business, technical, organisational and operational challenges. This presentation will explore the drivers and challenges of Telco Cloudification from the perspective of Communications Service Providers, and highlight the key issues that need to be addressed by industry, standards bodies and academia before the vision of a ubiquitous, autonomous Telco Cloud can be realised.


Dr Ryan van den Bergh is part of a small, focused team at MTN South Africa that develops strategies and roadmaps for the deployment of new network technologies. Ryan was responsible for leading the technical teams during MTN South Africa’s 5G trials, as well as numerous other radio and network technology trials, and he is currently focused on the development MTN South Africa’s Telco Cloudification strategy and roadmap. Ryan holds a PhD in Reconfigurable Radio Systems from the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Electrical & Information Engineering, and he is currently studying towards his MBA at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business

NB! Please be advised that entering CSIR requires registering with security at the CSIR gates, so please take your ID or passport with you, and allow extra 10-15 minutes for the process.