Warren to lead Samsung 5G R&D in UK

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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VoLTE creator Dan Warren and former GSMA technology director to join Samsung research institute in west London

Dan Warren, former senior director of technology at the GSMA, has returned to the telecoms industry to head R&D into 5G at Samsung’s UK lab.

Warren spent almost two years with services company Capita as head of group architecture after leaving the GSMA. His last day at Capita was Monday this week and he starts at Samsung next Monday.

The Samsung Electronics Research Institute (SERI) is based in Staines-on-Thames, on the western edge of London. It is one of at least a dozen research institutes the company runs around the world, in China, India, Israel, Japan, Russia and other countries. The UK operation specialises in mobile phones and digital TV software.

Though he is heading 5G research at SERI, he is known to be sceptical about some claimed applications for 5G. “If a car is dependent upon a network, it isn’t autonomous. If it only occasionally has to connect to a network, it doesn't need to be 5G,” he tweeted last week, before he announced his move.

He warned that “5G is the first G where the brand has been used ahead of any technology definition”.

At a Global Telecoms Business innovation conference last year he questioned the feasibility of potential uses of 5G, such as remote surgery, and challenged operators instead to innovate in the area of pricing and how customers are being charged. "It has been a race to the bottom on pricing," he told the conference. "Instead of putting a price on connection, operators can think about charging based on what we use. If operators want a good play on data analytics, they can monetise that data to capture the IoT space."

Warren, who began his career with Nortel after getting a PhD at Brunel University, also in west London, spent three years with Vodafone as a network architect before joining the GSMA in 2007.

At the mobile industry’s trade association he is widely credited with leading the work to develop and harmonise voice over LTE (VoLTE). The term and the concept were announced at Mobile World Congress in 2010, with the support of 20 operators including China Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank and SK Telecom.

“The idea was to catalyse the market to adopt a single system for voice over LTE,” Warren told Global Telecoms Business at the time.

Warren describes himself as a phablet, smart cities and internet of things zealot, and lists his specialities as including smart homes, smart buildings, industry 4.0, VoLTE, LTE roaming, optical ethernet and carrier IP interconnect.