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Monday - Wednesday, May 14 - 16, 2018
Austin Convention Center,
Austin, Texas

Virtualize. Automate. Distribute.

Providing fresh perspective on the rapid transformation of the telecom industry and the road ahead.



(Light Reading waives admission fees for verified employees of service providers, operators, financial & educational institutions, utilities, and government agencies.)

The Big Communications Event is Back!

Light Reading's flagship Big Communications Event is heading back to Austin in May 2018 for its biggest and most exciting event yet!

Telecom experts from around the globe gather to network, tap the wisdom of the telecom crowd, and see live demos of the very latest solutions to their most pressing business challenges.

BCE’s 4-track conference covers the industry's most pressing topics, including automation, AI, machine learning, SD-WAN, telco data center and more, and offers a unique opportunity to learn and network with industry experts. With over 1,500 senior telecoms professionals across 2 days, world-class content delivered by Heavy Reading's team of leading analysts, BCE is the must-attend event for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date the major challenges affecting the next generation communications industry.


Total attendees
Senior technology decision-makers
Inspirational speakers

Key Event Features and Highlights


A two day, 4-track conference, hosted by Heavy Reading and its unparalleled team of leading telecom market and technology analysts, covers the industry’s most pressing topics.


Through a demo-led area on the show floor, companies showcase live demonstrations of networking technologies and applications that deliver real insight and tangible value to attendees.


Should your company be recognized for innovation and excellence? Celebrate your greatest achievements at the Leading Lights Awards Ceremony. Stay tuned for more info on how to enter and attend.


Capitalize on unique networking opportunities, including the happy hour on the expo floor and join us for a beer (or two) at the legendary BCE networking party. 


Back for a second year, Light Reading has partnered with Telecompetitor for an exclusive Broadband Summit – but this year the summit gets its own track during the main event. Don’t miss your chance to get up to speed on ultra-broadband, and more. 


Bringing together the full 5G and 4G ecosystem, the revitalized 5G North America brings together leading carriers, content providers, solution providers and the enterprise IoT market to determine and define requirements, visions and expectations for 5G networks

Topics on the agenda for BCE 2018

Advanced Security Strategies

The fundamentals of network security are being redefined. Driving this process are the changes inherent in the adoption of the cloud, open-source software, distributed low-latency reference architectures, and evolution of the enterprise service delivery model.

AI and Machine Learning

Looking beyond the hype around AI, operators see value in adopting embedded AI technologies including machine learning in customer care, network operations, policy and service assurance, etc. Goals include applying machine intelligence to drive predictive analytics, automate processes, cut costs, and improve customer experience. We look at the leading operator use cases of AI technologies and its potential to disrupt.


CSPs will ultimately face one stark reality: Automate or die. Rather than focus on virtualization and automation as solely a cost and efficiency strategy, operators need to understand that automated networks are an essential requirement to service the growing automation (software, robotics, drones, IoT, etc.) of industrial, enterprise, healthcare and government customers.

Cloud-Native Software

CSPs are moving to telco cloud networks for economies of scale and to run programmable networks on standard platforms in a data center. While virtualizing network functions was an important first step, few VNFs or its associated management software are cloud ready, let alone cloud-native. Without a plan to decompose into flexible micro services that can be orchestrated, scaled out and rolled back, it will be difficult for CSPs to get the full commercial benefits of cloud networks.

Intent-based networking

Intent is a new abstraction layer within the network management hierarchy. Interest in the intent paradigm has resurfaced as operators struggle to get to grips with the orchestration of NFV. But for intent to be useful to service providers it needs to be standardized so that every vendor’s network functions can be managed using the same intent abstractions.

Optical networking

Optical networks are in a perpetual state of transition as the ever-changing requirements of applications and services demand innovation in the underlying optical networks that support them. Conversely, optical networking advances enable next-gen applications and services. Looking forward, the optical industry has a three-fold mandate: support data center interconnection across the metro, long-haul, and submarine networks; build a fronthaul/midhaul/backhaul infrastructure for coming 5G; and adopt SDN-based automation to rapidly scale while dramatically lowering the costs of transport.

Telco Data Center

The delivery of services as mobile edge computing, enterprise cloud, IoT, big data and 5G depends on a highly reliable, distributed and software-defined data center infrastructure. This infrastructure includes software-defined connectivity and virtualized network functionality as well as new compute and storage architectures and a management and orchestration stack that can support the increasingly broad range of telco service requirements.

Video & Immersive Experiences

The transition to 4K UHD, the increase in streaming, and the growth of social video is driving an explosion in video volumes. And that’s not including the growth of Immersive Media Experiences (IME) such as virtual reality (VR), 360-degree video and Augmented Reality (AR). With four out of every five bits of network traffic expected to be video within five years, operators need to develop effective technological solutions to manage these experiences, and viable business strategies to monetize them.


SD-WANs are the perfect example of the benefits of SDN-based programmability and automation applied to the enterprise WAN. Industry adoption has been rapid as traditional telecom network operators, competitive service providers, managed service providers and, most recently, cable operators have all seized on this promising new managed services opportunity. With the initial steps taken, service providers must now tackle the challenge of wide-scale rollouts that boost top line and bottom line revenues.

The communications industry's leading awards program!

Join us at the Annual Awards program run by Light Reading on Monday the 14th May, 2018

Women in Comms Luncheon

Women in Comms will return to Austin, Texas in 2018, for its third one-day conference ahead of the Big Communications Event!

Monday, May 14, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Linux Foundation Pre-Event Workshop

A free pre-event workshop "Networking & Open Source Network Automation: A Cross-Stack Approach"

Monday, May 14, 2018 | 1:00 - 5:00 PM

CORD Pre-Event Workshop

A free pre-event workshop on Monday, May 14

Monday, May 14, 2018 | 1:00 - 5;00


Preparing you for tomorrow’s hyper-connected world

With the advent of 5G upon us, carriers will once again use 5G North America as a platform to announce new technological advancements and lay down their plans for hyper-connectivity across the continent. The eleventh edition of 5G North America will draw upon leading minds, business influencers and legendary C-Level executives who will discuss the evolution of LTE, early 5G field trials, the business case for 5G and the tech that underpins this transformative technology. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the conversation.