SubOptic 2016, the ninth conference in the SubOptic series was held from the 18-21st April 2016 in the Conrad Hotel, Dubai. It was fitting that as this event was celebrating its 30th birthday, the venue chosen was in the Middle East, the first time SubOptic has been held in this region. The event was again a huge success attended by nearly 700 attendees, from over 50 countries and representing over 280 organisations.

The programme for SubOptic 2016 was based upon two parallel sessions for masterclass tutorials and oral presentation sessions. There were six masterclass tutorial sessions held on the Monday afternoon on a very wide range of topics. The Papers Committee selected 65 papers for oral presentation which have been organized in 13 oral sessions across the three days of the main conference. There was a longer poster session organised to allow everybody to get round all 40 posters with the chance to discuss with the presenters of the papers in an informal one-to-one way.

This dense programme of presented papers was also supported by a number of Keynote Speakers, Roundtables and Workshops to provide a unique event which only SubOptic can provide. The outline of the entire Programme is attached in the following Schedule.

In addition to the traditional elements, there was also a special session to celebrate 30 years of SubOptic. When the first SubOptic conference was held in Versailles in 1986, optical submarine cables were in their infancy. The World Wide Web was on a drawing board and the driver for submarine systems was purely voice traffic. All systems were regenerator based with a single fibre pair having a capacity of 280Mbit/s. We have since introduced optically amplified systems, originally based on a single wavelength per fibre pair, now deployed as Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexed (DWDM) systems with in excess of 100 wavelengths per fibre, with individual channel bit rate capacities of 100 Gbit/s and more, an increase in capacity of more than 1,000 times each year. A video, linked here was presented during this session, jointly developed by Elaine Stafford from DRG and Nicole Starosielski which demonstrated the unique role that SubOptic plays within the industry.

30 years of SubOptic – Reflections on the Past from John Horne on Vimeo.

The effort to develop a programme of this magnitude is extremely large and depends entirely upon industry volunteers. Thanks should go to Alice Shelton from Alcatel Submarine Networks who acted as the overall Programme Chair for the event, supported by Mark Andre who was responsible as Papers Chair for organising the oral and poster presentation sessions. They were admirably supported by a range of Special Advisors, Paper Vice-Chairs, each responsible for a single topic area and to over 60 reviewers whose task was to ensure the quality of the papers submitted.

SubOptic 2016 Session Programme 

Monday 18 April 2016

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Thursday 21 April 2016

2016 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Eesa Bastaki is President of the University of Dubai and former CEO of the ICT Fund where he actively led the effort to create an eco- system in the UAE ICT industry, by encouraging entrepreneurship, funding R&D projects and University scholarships and implementing ICT initiatives at the school level.

During his distinguished career he held many senior posts including Director of Education & Technology at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Chairman of the Energy Section at the UAE University (UAEU) and Chairman of the Technology Section at the Technology & Energy Research Center of the UAEU. Dr. Bastaki is one of the founders of DSO and RIT-Dubai, and he is the founder of the IT Center in Al-Ain Municipality.

Dr. Bastaki’s current professional activities include Chairman of the Technical Committee for the Emirates Energy Awards, Chairman of the Board of the Emirates Science Club, and Member of the Board of the Cultural & Science Association.

Born in Dubai, Dr. Bastaki is a UAE national scientist and researcher; he studied abroad where he received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are Multiple Access Communications, Coding and Synchronization.

Dr Bastaki is the recipient of Sheikh Rashid’s Award for Scienti c Excellence. In 2009, he received the UAE’s highest award “The Emirates Awards for Science, Arts and Literature” in sciences. In 2014, he received the Middle East “ICT and Knowledge Development CEO Excellence Award”.

Dr Bastaki will speak on the UAE initiative to create Smart Cities by the deployment of Smart systems in the Information, Electronics and Communications Technology (IECT) sector. This sector is growing so rapidly that it is dif cult to keep up with the speed of its advancements. Three main trends are seen:

  • Embedded intelligence through electronic devices
  • Improved connectivity through resilient communication systems
  • From person-to-person to machine-to-machine

These three trends will lead to Ubiquitous Internet of Things in all services and transactions. In parallel, UAE has worked in knowledge creation to assure the sustainability of the dynamic economy.

Gerd Leonhard is a widely-known and top-rated futurist, with over 1500 engagements in the past 15 years and a combined audience of over 1 million people. Gerd focuses on near-future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresights in the sectors of humanity, society, business, media, technology and communications.

Gerd is also an in uential author, a sought-after executive ‘future trainer’ and a trusted strategic advisor. He is the co-author of the best-selling book The Future of Music and the author of 4 other books. Gerd is also the host of the web- TV series The Future Show and the CEO of The Futures Agency, a global network of over 30 leading futurists.

Gerd is considered a leading voice on a wide range of topics including digital transformation and the discovery of digitally- native business models, the opportunities and challenges of an exponential society, a sustainable business and cultural ecology,
social media and communications, TV / film, radio and broadcasting futures, mobile content and commerce, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, ‘hard-future’ consumer trends, human-machine futures and AI, the IoT, big data and automation, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, as well as sustainability and related ‘green future’ topics. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’, and Wired Magazine listed Gerd as #88 of the top 100 influencers in Europe in 2015.

Gerd’s keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, often humorous and always personal, motivational style. Gerd is highly regarded as a global in uencer and has advised many business leaders and government of cials around the globe.

His diverse client list of over 200 companies includes Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, YouTube, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, the European Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, VISA, Volkswagen and many others.

Gerd’s background is in the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College’s ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently spent 12
years working as a professional guitar player, composer and producer. He then caught the Internet-bug and became a digital music & media entrepreneur, serving as Founder/CEO of several Internet startups, based in San Francisco. In 2002, following the .com meltdown and the 9/11 crisis, Gerd returned to Europe and discovered his new calling as a futurist.

He now travels around the globe to speak at leading conferences and events, company retreats, seminars and in-house trainings, and offering his unique ‘Future Experience’ trainings along with his colleagues at The Futures Agency, an international organization that Gerd founded in 2010 to meet client demand for tried-and-tested future-trainers, speakers and personalities.

In this keynote for SubOptic 2016, Gerd will share his 2020 foresights on technology, business and society. Exponential technological change is impacting every facet of our society, from communications and media to commerce, transportation, medical and energy. Increasingly, many things that looked like science ction only a few years ago have now become science-fact: self-driving cars, virtual reality headsets, human genome editing technologies, automated language translation, AI and cognitive computing and much more.

Connectivity is a key factor in all of what Gerd calls the ‘’10 ations” i.e. digitization, automation, virtualization, disintermediation and others, and so is security and what Gerd calls ‘digital ethics’.

At the same time that technology is changing our world dramatically, humanisation of technology has also become a key topic around the globe: how do we make sure that technology does not overpower us, or take things away that we’d rather keep?

Apart from the challenges, Gerd will focus on the key future opportunities and lead the audience towards an inspiring future vision.