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Next Generation NetworksProf. Dr. Thomas Magedanz

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Thomas Magedanz


Prof. Magedanz is an outstanding German computer sciences and telecommunications expert placing a strong emphasis on applied research in the field of software-based converging network and service platforms in order to link academia and industry around the globe. For more than 30 years Prof. Magedanz has been famous around the globe for the “demo or die” motto in R&D as he is implementing emerging global ICT standards by means of high performant software toolkits in order to validate the standard's functionalities and performance which typically lead to useful extensions of these standards and to high performant product developments in the context of 3G, 4G, and the emerging 5G communication systems.

Prof. Magedanz and his team are working closely with major international tier one network operators around the globe (including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica, PT Innovacao, Orange, BT, NTT, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom Indonesia, Telkom South Africa, Entel S.A., etc.) as well as with leading equipment manufacturers (such as Qualcomm, Intel, NSN, Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei, etc.) who make use of the aforementioned toolkits and testbeds to prototype innovative applications as well as testing interoperability and developing network migration scenarios.

His current focal point of R&D is Edge Computing and Network Slicing representing key concepts within the Industrial IoT and 5G domains.

Based on his software toolkits and open testbeds he is globally conducting recognized education courses for master, diploma and PhD students in the field of information technologies, converging fixed and mobile telecommunications, and the Internet. In this context he initiated and managed numerous national and international R&D projects centered around the rapid creation of ubiquitous communications, multimedia and machine-to-machine applications on top of fixed and mobile next generation networks. The prototyping of state-of-the-art service delivery platforms enabled by the newest advances in information and communication technologies is the main focus of his research resulting in the development of numerous – partially open source – software toolkits for building advanced technology testbeds for both academia and industry.

He received his diploma and PhD in computer sciences from the Technical University Berlin, Germany, in 1988 and 1993, respectively. In 2000 he finished his “habilitation” for Applied Computer Sciences at Technical University Berlin. In 1989, as the first research associate, he joined the Department for Open Communication Systems (OKS) of the Technical University Berlin and helped to set up the chair. After his PhD he became assistant professor and continued his education and research activities with a strong focus on distributed computing and telecommunications.

Besides his employment as university lecturer and researcher he has been involved in several international strategic studies and research projects related to Intelligent Networks, Telecommunications Management Systems, Personal/Mobile Communications, TINA/Next Generation IN, and Mobile Agents/Mobile Middleware within Deutsche Telekom AG, EURESCOM and the European RACE/ACTS/IST research programs. From 1996-1998 he chaired the “Intelligent Communication Environments” research department at the GMD Research Center (now being part of Fraunhofer) for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) where he was responsible for several projects related to the evolution of service delivery platforms in face of most recent IT, namely IN, TINA, CORBA, J2EE, Intelligent/Mobile Agents. In those days he led the development of the globally recognized Grasshopper Mobile Agent Platform that was used for automated network and service management. From 1998-2002 he also worked as R&D coordinator for the IKV++ Technologies AG, the first spin-off company of GMD FOKUS that provided consultancy services and developed advanced telecommunication middleware and service products.

In 2004 then “Dr.” Magedanz was called as full university professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Faculty at the Technical University Berlin, Germany, leading the new Chair for Next Generation Networks (called Architekturen der Vermittlungsknoten – AV – in German), sponsored by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft where he is concentrating on the education of master and PhD students, conducting special lectures and project courses in the field of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based service delivery platforms for innovative multimedia and communications services on top of converging next generation networks and the Future Internet.

In addition, since 2003 he acts as Head of the “Next Generation Network Infrastructures” Business Unit at the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS, leading the development of various open technology testbeds and enabling software toolkits in the context of converged Next Generation Networks and Open Service Delivery Environments. The most popular testbeds include the Open IMS Playground (established in 2004) based on the Open Source IMS Core System as well as the Future Seamless Communications (FUSECO) Playground (2010) and the Open 5G Playground (2014).

A major research aspect has always been the rapid evolution of information technologies and their impact on realizing open communication and service delivery platforms, enabling third parties to create innovative applications on top of operator networks. So in 2007 he established the Open SOA Telco Playground for studying and evaluating different Open Network API approaches for rapid Web2.0/SOA-based service programming on top of the IMS Playground, namely on top NGNs and legacy circuit switched telecom networks.

In 2013 all these activities led to the establishment of the Smart Communications Playground that enabled the rapid and seamless creation and provision of Smart City Applications, facilitated by a set of integrated human-to-human and machine-to-machine communication APIs and SDKs making strong use of emerging HTML5, WebRTC, and cloud-based service delivery platforms.

Prof. Magedanz has always contributed to the national and European Future Internet research communities. He led the German GLab DEEP Project focussing on secure cross-layer network service composition and in 2007 joined the European FIRE (Future Internet Research & Experimentation) expert group in which he is actively promoting the federation of NGN and Future Internet research testbeds. In this context he was and still is very active in several FIRE projects such as Openlabs, BonFIRE, Fed4FIRE, TRESCIMO, SoftFIRE, etc. Furthermore, he and his team are very active within the more industry-targeted Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP) Program in which the developed OpenXXX toolkits used as enabling technologies within the FI-PPP flagship projects FIWARE, XIFI, and I-STAR. In all of these above-mentioned initiatives Prof. Magedanz is actively prototyping future ICT platforms for Smart City and IoT applications.

In the spring of 2010 Prof. Magedanz founded the Future Seamless Communication (FUSECO) Playgroundbased on the FOKUS Open Evolved Packet Core (OpenEPC) software toolkit with the purpose of enabling applied research on IP core network evolution and seamless mobility support in emerging multi-access wireless network environments such as 4G. Due to the huge success of OpenEPC, which was deployed more than 60 times around the globe at major research labs, OpenEPC was commercialized by the FOKUS spin-off Core Network Dynamics (CND) the end of 2013.

Early in 2011 Prof. Magedanz expanded, with his team, into the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and Internet of Things (IoT) domain by developing the Open Machine Type Communications (OpenMTC) software toolkit that represents a reference implementation of the international ETSI M2M and OneM2M standards. In addition, the Open5GMTC, developed in 2014, enables – by enhancing OMA LDM specifications – the dynamic device management of massive numbers of devices foreseen in future 5G environments.

With the increasing impact of cloud technologies in the telecommunication landscape and the rising notion of Software Defined Networks (SDNs) and new network realization concepts like Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), the OpenSDNCore was developed in 2013 enabling the dynamic deployment and scalable operation of virtualized IMS and EPC platforms such as the OpenIMS and OpenEPC toolkits as well as other virtual functions in distributed data center environments. In 2015, in regard to the growing importance of the ETSI NFV ISG, Prof. Magedanz and his team released the Open Baton software toolkit, an open source reference implementation of the ETSI MANO Orchestrator.

With the clear understanding of the importance of network softwarization and the role of SDN/NFV/MEC principles and technologies for the standardization of emerging multi-slice 5G network and service platforms, Prof. Magedanz and his team have been integrating (since 2015) all the above-mentioned OpenXYZ toolkits into the 5G Playground that today globally forms one of the most advanced 5G testbeds. However, OpenEPC, which was transfered to the Fraunhofer FOKUS spin-off company Core Network Dynamics, was replaced by the new Open5GCore software toolkit in 2014. Open5GCore represents a highly performant, low-latency, high-bandwidth, dynamic and efficient SDN-based distributed core network platform, based on the most recent 3GPP NCORE specifications, targeting, to a large extend, industrial Internet, Industry 4.0 and professional IoT applications. Therefore, Open5GCore marks a new cornerstone for enabling applied research and early prototyping of new network designs, protocols, algorithms as well as innovative professional applications.

Understanding the importance of Berlin as a Smart City and aiming to become a 5G Capital, in 2015 Prof. Magedanz created, together with colleagues from Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute, the Fraunhofer 5G Berlin Testbed. This 5G testbed connects the FOKUS 5G Playground and the newly developed 5G-ready Trial Platform with other HHI 5G testbed parts. A major target of this testbed is to prototype Edge Computing and Network Slicing for Industrial IoT applications together with leading global technology companies and local startups.

These infrastructures and activities also relate to the 5G and IIoT Transfer Centers within the Berlin Center for Digital Transfomation established in 2016.

Since three years, Prof. Magedanz is actively supporting the built up of emerging 5G campus networks based on the Open5GCore considering campus networks as the prime spot for 5G innovation.

His current research is targeting the 5G evolution to 6G, including Core-RAN integration (including O(pen)RAN integration), Satellite/Non-terrestrial Networks and 5G/6G integration, as well as AI/ML based 5G/6G network control and management.

Since 2010 Prof. Magedanz has organized the FUSECO Forum series that, every year, brings together around 300 international experts from more than 30 nations to discuss the technical challenges and opportunities in converging network and service environments towards 5G. Since 2016 the FUSECO Forum has expanded into the Berlin 5G Week in order to allow even more detailed technical discussions around 5G-related topics.

In 2016, based on all these resources and the related knowhow, Prof. Magedanz initiated with his PhDs and his academic network the ”Testbed and Field Trial Working Group on SDN-NFV-5G“ within the IEEE SDN initiative that created the first Open Source Toolkit and Testbed catalog. In 2017 this activity was moved to the IEEE 5G Initiative.

Prof. Magedanz also aims for global academic networking. In this context, since 2006 Prof. Magedanz has acted as Extraordinary Professor for Next Generation Networks and Services at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. From 2007-2009 he was also Visiting Professor to the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computing at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. Since October 2012 he has also acted as Visiting Professor at the Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica (DIE) at the Universidad de Chile. In 2012 he started the DAAD project “Unified Future Internet Testbeds” that is aiming to harmonize education and research infrastructures (i.e., testbeds) and corresponding lectures across the Technical University Berlin and four partner universities in the southern hemisphere, namely Universidad de Chile, University of Cape Town, Hanoi University for Technology and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.






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