Service Providers


Al Blackburn

Vice President
Domain 2.0 Architecture and Planning

Al Blackburn, Vice President – Domain 2.0 Architecture and Planning, is responsible for leading the transformation of AT&T’s network to be the premiere secure, open/programmable, software driven network in the industry. 

His responsibilities include end to end architecture leadership, industry engagements and standards, and distributed real-time software development for Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) for AT&T’s User Defined Network Cloud (UDNC).

Al was previously Executive Director for AT&T’s network architecture organization with responsibility for wireless & wireline, access, metro, and core network evolution and associated roadmaps.

Al joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1983. His roles since then have spanned Hardware and Software development, systems engineering, field support, system test, software engineering, real-time systems, exploratory development, and network architecture.  In 1993 he moved to Atlanta and joined BellSouth where he focused on BellSouth’s data centric network evolution. 

Al holds an Executive Management certificate from Emory University, a Technical Management certificate from Georgia Institute of Technology, a Masters in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology.

Al and his wife Sarah live in Atlanta where they are now officially empty nesters. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. They have three grown children, “AJ”, Brittany, and Ben. They have two grandchildren, Jack and Shelby.


Tom Anschutz

Distinguished Member of Technical Staff


Tom Anschutz is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T.  In his role as a network architect he is instrumental in the development of AT&T’s SDN and NFV architecture, called Domain 2.0.  He is the editor and chief contributor to AT&T’s public white paper that describes the vision of what is becoming a large transformative initiative to improve public networking and cloud computing; and continues that work through collaborative R&D engagements with academia, industry forums and other carriers.  Tom has been working on various network and data center architectures for most of his career, but has also gained experience in product management and standards development, where he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Broadband Forum.

China Unicom

Dr. SHAO Guanglu

Executive Board Member, and Senior Vice President of China Unicom

Dr. Shao Guanglu currently serves as Vice President of China Unicom Group Corporation, Executive Board Member, and Senior Vice President of China Unicom Group Limited. He has served as (Deputy) General Manager of Tianjin Branch/Henan Branch/Guangxi Branch and General Manager of Human Resources Department of China Unicom. He is also the member of GSMA Strategy Committee Group. He is the Non-Executive Board Member of PCCW Limited, Board Member of China Tower Corporation, Vice Chairman of China Internet Association, Vice Chairman of China Information Technology Industry Federation (CITIF), and Vice Chairman of Association of Communications Across the Taiwan Straits (ACATS).
He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1985, received his Master’s degrees in Engineering and Economics from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1988 and 1990, respectively. In 2002, he received his Master’s degree in Management from BI Norwegian School of Management in 2002. In 2009, he received his Ph.D. degree in Administration from Nankai University.

China Unicom

Dr. Xiongyan Tang

Chief Technologist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute


Dr. Xiongyan Tang is now the Chief Technologist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute, vice chairman of China Communication Standardization Association (CCSA) TC10. He has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunication technologies. He received his Ph.D degree in telecom engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 1994. From 1994 to 1997,he conducted research of high-speed optical communications in Singapore and Germany. Since 1998, he has been working on technology management in telecom operators in China. His professional fields include broadband communications, optical and IP networks, new generation networks and Internet of things. In recent years, he’s in charge of SDN/NFV projects in China Unicom.


Dr. Robert Howald

Vice President of Network Architecture

Dr. Howald has over 30 years of technology and executive experience in commercial and military communications systems.  He is Vice President of Network Architecture at Comcast, focused on the evolution of cable systems and services, future network architectures, and emerging broadband technologies.  Prior to this, Dr. Howald held similar roles in the Cable industry with ARRIS and the former Motorola Mobility.  Dr. Howald was also Vice President of Engineering at Xytrans, specializing in millimeter wave products for cellular backhaul, homeland security, and people screening from 2004-2008.  He was also the Director of Systems Engineering at General Instrument and Motorola’s prior Broadband Communications Systems division beginning in the 1990s.

Dr. Howald has taught graduate courses in communications and wireless systems engineering, has published over 150 papers, and has multiple patents issued and pending. He has a BSEE and MSEE from Villanova University, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from Drexel University, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from DeSales University.


Nagesh Nandiraju

Senior Director of Network Architecture


Nagesh Nandiraju is a Senior Director of Network Architecture in the Technology and Product group of Comcast. Dr. Nandiraju is responsible for developing and driving next generation network architectures and virtualization strategy for Comcast’s Commercial and Residential services. He has published over 40 technical papers and has 6 patents issued and pending.

Dr. Nandiraju holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. His primary interests are in the broad area of wired and wireless networking, specifically focusing on Network Function virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Machine Learning etc. Prior to joining Comcast, he was with Amazon Web Services (AWS), ARRIS and Motorola. Earlier in his carrier he was with the Corporate R&D group of Qualcomm and worked on Wireless Mesh Networks, LTE and High Altitude Platforms.

Deutsche Telekom

Robert Soukup

Senior Project Manager, Access 4.0 Project

Robert Soukup is a senior program manager at DT. He heads the Access 4.0 program within DTs Engineering division. Access 4.0 aims at implementing SDN, bare metal and NFV technologies for fixed and mobile Access to gain flexibility and lower overall costs.

Prior to heading the Access 4.0 program Robert held various management positions within DT. Amongst others he was in charge of Design-to-Cost, a discipline, which strives to create full cost transparency and to manage supplier relationships accordingly.

Robert started his career at Roland Berger, a leading management consultancy. He graduated from Karlsruhe University.

Deutsche Telekom

Manuel Paul

Senior Expert, Technology & Innovation Standardization


Manuel Paul is a senior expert in international standardization for Deutsche Telekom. Deeply engaged in strategy, innovation and engineering projects, he coordinates Software-Defined Networking standards & community activities. He has been involved in and contributed to ONF since the early days and is also active in other standardization bodies, including the Broadband Forum where he serves as a Board member, as well as IETF.


Ankur Jain

Principal Engineer / Director of Engineering

Ankur Jain is a Principal Engineer at Google leading the infrastructure teams supporting wireless connectivity and optimization projects across Google.

Ankur joined Google in 2005. He designed and implemented the first Google Global Cache (GGC, a CDN platform embedded in operator networks). Over time, he led Google’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) efforts including GGC and oversaw the CDN grow its scale several orders of magnitude into one of the largest in the world with GGC deployed today by several hundreds of carriers globally. He was instrumental in bringing Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) concepts to Google’s traffic engineering and edge networking infrastructure. The last few years he has been leading projects that enable wireless operators to run their networks more efficiently.

Ankur holds a masters degree in computer science and engineering from University of Washington Seattle and a bachelors degree in the same from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is also on the board of the open-source project CORD that combines NFV, SDN, and the elasticity of commodity clouds to bring datacenter economics and cloud agility to the Telco Central Office. He has more than a dozen patents and conference papers filed/granted/published. His closest shot at stardom though was when he went to Los Angeles in 2013 as part of the team that collected the 65th Primetime Emmy Engineering Award for YouTube; but a couple of years later he is still happily at Google.


Veerendra Bhora

Head of Strategic Partnerships


Veerendra Bhora (aka Veeru Bhora) has over 17 years of experience in technology and management with focus on wireless and smartphone platform. Currently he is Head of Strategic Partnerships at Google, with primary focus to engage with carrier partners for best end-user experience. Prior to Google, he has lead product management at Qualcomm and has been part of R&D at ArrayComm and Intel. He has also one of the founding members of CBRS Alliance and serves on that board as well.
Veeru has Masters in Business from Carnegie Mellon University, Masters in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State and Masters in Physics from Birla Institute of Technology & Science at Pilani. He also has 8-patents approved a few pending.

NTT Communications Corp.

Tatsuya Yamashita

Senior Vice President of Technology Development

As Senior Vice President of Technology Development at NTT Communications, Tatsuya Yamashita is responsible for the cutting-edge technology development and the service strategies of NTT Communications Group, including the development of Cloud and SDN technologies.
For 11 years after joining NTT in 1988 at the dawn of the Internet, he was engaged in various roles designing, deploying and operating various IP network infrastructures.  After that, his IT career spanned the Public Sector, Financial and Retail Services industries, and he has been specifically applying the skills of designing ICT solutions for these large enterprise customers and helping them get the network services they need at the best value.

NTT Communications Corp.

Dai Kashiwa

Director of Technology Development


Dr. Dai Kashiwa is the Director of Technology Development at NTT Communications, where he leads a number of incubation and software development projects using SDN/NFV technologies.

After he joined NTT, he was involved in research including network management systems, network security, Active Networks, and received his Ph.D. in 2003. Since 2004, he has worked for NTT Communications, where he developed business network services including video broadcasting, dynamic VPN and SDN services.

He has been a board member of ONF (Open Networking Foundation) since 2015.

Turk Telecom

Firat Yaman Er

Turk Telekom Chief Strategy, Planning and Business Development Officer

Coming soon

Turk Telecom

Bora Eliacik

VP of Engineering, Netsia


Bora Eliacik, Vice President of Engineering for Netsia, is an ICT professional with more than 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry. Throughout his career, Bora Eliacik has participated in large-scale software integration and development projects as a project manager, product manager and architect in a wide variety of technologies including call control in fixed and mobile networks, intelligent telecom networks, service delivery platforms, targeted advertising, emerging telecom technologies, content management and delivery, OTT TV and IPTV, SDN and NFV. 


Ciena Corporation

Kaniz Mahdi

CTO Office, Advanced Architectures

Kaniz Mahdi is Vice President of Advanced Architectures at Ciena, and a highly regarded telecom visionary. In this role, Kaniz is responsible for Ciena’s global technology strategy and target architecture for 5G era Networks underpinned with Open Architectures, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Machine Intelligence and Autonomics.

Kaniz spent the last few years as VP/Head of Architecture at Ericson passionately shaping technology landscape for the multi-faceted transformation of telecommunication industry with Cloud, SDN, and 5G. Prior to joining Ericsson, she headed Communications Services Standards Research at Huawei Technologies, and held various roles in System Architecture and Product Design at Nortel Networks. Kaniz has a stellar record of continuously pushing the envelope on new technologies with more than 60 patents and publications; she is lead inventor of key technologies essential to current Voice over LTE systems and played an instrumental role in adoption of Web RTC. She holds a Bachelors of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Telecommunications.

Ciena Corporation

Ranjit Ramachandran

Open Systems, Ciena


Ranjit Ramachandran oversees the architecture and design of network solutions, concentrated on specifically, his expertise is in deployment of cloud-based networking using SDN, NFV and orchestration frameworks.

With more than 20 years of experience, he has held several network design and engineering roles. Prior to joining Ciena, Ranjit worked for Apple, where he contributed to the design and building of the company’s next generation data centers. In addition to architecting Apple’s data centers, Ranjit has held several engineering and leadership positions in the Valley.

Ranjit has a Master’s degree in Business from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

Intel Corporation

Pranav Mehta


In his 26 years at Intel, Pranav Mehta has held several senior technical positions, mainly within Intel’s Embedded and Communications Infrastructure business units. Starting as a software engineer, he led several embedded chip architecture definitions earlier in his career before moving to system architecture definition and development. Until recently, he was the CTO for the Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group (since renamed to Network Platform Group) and guided the architecture and technology development at silicon, software, and system level. As Intel’s Chief NFV Architect, he was one of the founding members of the OPNFV open source project under Linux Foundation – the first ever open source initiative for the Telecommunications industry with global participation. Currently, he acts as the Sr. Advisor to the Director of Systems and Software Research Lab within Intel Labs, which drives Intel’s long term research.

Intel Corporation

Christian Maciocco

Principal Engineer and Director of Telecom Systems Research


Christian is a Principal Engineer and Director of Telecom Systems Research in Intel Labs working on platform and communications research in Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).  He is also Intel’s Principal Investigator of an Intel and AT&T co-funded research center at UC Berkeley ( with co-PIs at Stanford, CMU, Princeton, and EPFL.  Previous work included wireless communication, system energy efficiency, media streaming and IP telephony, DTV data broadcast, and optical networking, as well as representing Intel in standards organizations like the IETF, ATM Forum, and ATSC. Christian has 43 patents granted, on-going patent applications, co-authored 30 publications including three best paper awards, and received two Intel Achievement Awards, Intel’s highest award. He earned a Diplôme d’Ingénieur – Ecole Spéciale de Mécanique & Electricité – Paris.


Brian Bronson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Brian leads Radisys as president and CEO after having held numerous management positions within the company, including chief financial officer, vice president of business development, treasurer and chief accounting officer. Before joining Radisys in 1999, Brian held multiple financial management roles at Tektronix, Inc. where he was responsible for investor relations and various finance and accounting functions both domestically and internationally. He has also practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with the accounting firm Deloitte and Touche LLP.  Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communications from Oregon State University.


Neeraj Patel

Vice President, Solutions and GM Software & Services


Neeraj heads the Solutions business for Radisys comprising of MobilityEngine, ServiceEngine, FlowEngine and DCEngine. He has held numerous management positions within the company, including sales, business development and product line management. He brings 20 years of telecom experience with expertise in various Wireless RAN (Mobility, LTE Advance, 5G, Fixed and CBRS) as well as deep packet inspection, switching and access technologies. He joined Radisys in 2011 as part of the acquisition of Continuous Computing. Prior to this, he was with Intel and Trillium where he was involved in company strategy, product management, corporate marketing and sales development in highly competitive as well as greenfield markets. Neeraj holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.


Woojune Kim

Bio Coming Soon


Hyong Chong



Bio Coming Soon

Open Networking Foundation

Guru Parulkar

Executive Director

Guru Parulkar is a consulting professor of electrical engineering and the executive director of the Open Network Research Center (ONRC) at Stanford University. He is also the executive director and event chair of the Open Networking Summit. From 2007 to 2012, he was the execuitve director of the Clean Slate Internet Design Program at Stanford, whose mission was “to explore what kind of Internet we would design if we were to start with a clean slate and 20-30 years of hindsight.” Clean Slate led to OpenFlow and SDN among other interesting research results. Prior to Clean Slate, Guru was program director at the National Science Foundation and led creation of a few exciting programs including GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovation), FIND (Future Internet Design) and Network of Sensor Systems. He received NSF’s Program Management Excellence award. Guru co-founded and served as CTO and board member of Growth Networks (acquired by Cisco), Tenaya Networks (went out of business), and Sceos (became Ruckus Wireless and IPO’d). Guru worked at Cisco, as senior manager, HFR/CRS business units and new markets and technologies, and NEA as EIR, where he received their entrepreneurship award for Growth Networks. He started his career at Washington University in St. Louis, where he led research and prototyping of high performance networking and multimedia systems. He served on the board of NetSift (acquired by Cisco), was an early investor in Mocana, Nicira (acquired by VMWare) and Kumu Networks. He got his PhD from University of Delaware and has received their Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award and Frank A. Pehrson Graduate Student Achievement Award. Check out for more information.