Toward Open, Programmable, and Virtualized 5G Networks

Fifth generation (5G) cellular networks will serve a wide variety of heterogeneous use cases, including mobile broadband users, ultra-low latency services and massively dense connectivity scenarios. The resulting diverse communication requirements will demand networking with unprecedented flexibility, not currently provided by the monolithic black-box approach of 4G cellular networks.

This talk will focus on softwarization, virtualization, and disaggregation of wireless networking functionalities, which have been identified as key enablers for flexible, data-driven 5G and beyond networks.

Particularly, software-defined cellular networks can satisfy the new application-driven traffic requirements and support highly time-varying topologies and interference dynamics, because of their openness, through well-defined interfaces, and programmability, for swift and responsive network optimization.

We will discuss some of the leading trends that are moving cellular networks in this direction, focusing on the disaggregation of the RAN, its programmability, and on the different open source projects that are pushing this transition. Additional material on this topic can be found at

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

    Associate Research Scientist
    Northeastern University
    Michele Polese [S’17-M’20] is an Associate Research Scientist and a Part-Time Instructor at Northeastern University, Boston, since March 2020, working with Tommaso Melodia. He received his Ph.D. at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova in 2020 under the supervision of with Michele Zorzi. He also was an adjunct professor and postdoctoral researcher in 2019/2020 at the University of Padova. During his Ph.D., he visited New York University (NYU), AT&T Labs in Bedminster, NJ, and Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He collaborated with several academic and industrial research partners, including Intel, InterDigital, NYU, AT&T Labs, University of Aalborg, King's College and NIST. He was awarded with the Best Journal Paper Award of the IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on Communications Systems Integration and Modeling (CSIM) 2019, the Outstanding Young Researcher Award 2019 from the IEEE ComSoc EMEA Region, the Best Paper Award at WNS3 2019 and 2020, and the IEEE MedComNet Mario Gerla Best Paper Award 2020. His research interests are in the analysis and development of protocols and architectures for future generations of cellular networks (5G and beyond), in particular for millimeter-wave communication, and in the performance evaluation of complex networks.


08 Dec 2020


CET, Geneva
13:00 - 14:00