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Network as Code hackathon explores the potential of programmable networks

Network as Code hackathon explores the potential of programmable networks

PARIS — During the Network as Code hackathon co-sponsored by Nokia and Orange at VivaTech 2024, talented developers from multiple backgrounds showcased innovative use cases that could shape the future of how network technologies could play a pivotal role in digital ecosystems.

The hackathon, held on May 23-24, at Europe’s largest startup and tech event, brought together dynamic startups, established companies and students eager to engage with industry experts to explore how network capabilities could be incorporated within their applications  .

Reflecting the growing interest in programmable networks, the event attracted 65 applicants — more than double the available spots. Organizers meticulously chose 12 teams of two to three participants each, tasking them with developing solutions utilizing network APIs in the following areas:

  • Security and privacy: Enhance security capabilities in applications, preventing mobile-based fraud in real-time.

  • Device status: Receive notifications about the network status of mobile devices for monitoring or reacting to devices going offline and reconnecting.

  • Specialized networks: Reserve a portion of a 5G network for specialized usage scenarios, ensuring stable connectivity for devices and applications.

  • Device location: Acquire the approximate location of mobile devices or verify their presence within a specific area using a mobile network-based positioning system, both indoors and outdoors.

  • Quality of service (on demand): Manage the connection bandwidth and latency characteristics of mobile devices using predefined network profiles, providing a network speed boost when required.

Day 1: A kickoff to creativity and collaboration

Day 1 set the stage for an atmosphere brimming with excitement. Participants dove headfirst into the possibilities of network APIs, guided by experienced mentors from Nokia and Orange. The day began with a series of inspiring keynotes, including a standout presentation from Shkumbin Hamiti, Head of the Network Monetization Platform business unit at Nokia, and a kickoff keynote from Orange’s Philippe Ensarguet. Their insights into the future of network monetization and the potential of network APIs to drive new business models were both inspiring and thought-provoking.

Following the keynotes, the hackathon floor buzzed with energy as teams began to brainstorm and develop their projects using simplified APIs, developer-friendly SDK, and educational assets from Nokia’s Network as Code developer portal. The mentors played a crucial role, providing guidance and feedback to help shape the initial ideas into viable solutions. The collaborative spirit was palpable, with teams eagerly exchanging ideas and strategies.

The day was marked by a flurry of activity as teams worked tirelessly to refine their concepts, setting the groundwork for the impressive developments to follow. From network automation to security enhancements, the range of ideas explored was vast and varied, highlighting the versatility of network APIs.

Day 2: Showcasing visionary concepts and announcing standout teams

Day 2 was a testament to the creativity and technical prowess of the participants.

As the hackathon ended , the sense of achievement and camaraderie among the participants was undeniable. The event succeeded in its goal of bringing together talented individuals to explore and expand the boundaries of what network APIs can achieve.

Nokia and Orange, as co-sponsors, expressed their gratitude and excitement about the innovative solutions presented. They reiterated their commitment to supporting such initiatives that drive technological advancements and create real-world impact

Teams pushed the boundaries of network API applications, presenting their refined projects to a panel of judges. The competition was fierce, but three teams stood out for their exceptional transformative ideas:

  1. This team impressed the judges with its use case on Quality of Outcome and Root Cause Analysis. Expanding their existing idea into the realm of mobile networks, they showcased how their solution could potentially be integrated with Quality of Data (QoD) metrics, demonstrating a profound understanding of network automation and analysis. Their presentation highlighted the potential of their solution to revolutionize mobile network management and performance optimization.

  2. LabLabee: LabLabee developed a life-saving application designed to assist doctors and family members in monitoring dementia patients. Their app notifies caregivers if a patient wanders away from a predefined area, providing a crucial safety net for those affected by this condition. This application highlighted the practical and impactful potential of network API technology in healthcare, showcasing how technology can enhance patient safety and caregiver peace of mind.

  3. NearMe: This team developed a location-based promotions and mobile service with secured onboarding using Sim Swap and Number Verification APIs. When a mobile device enters a ·       specific area, notifications are sent to nearby merchants, who can offer personalized promotions. NearMe is a team of two individuals who didn’t know each other before the hackathon and knew nothing about Network APIs.

As a testament to their outstanding achievements, the three finalists were rewarded with coveted tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Furthermore, the first-place team will have the remarkable opportunity to continue its collaboration with Orange and Nokia, paving the way for possible implementation of its solution.

Looking Ahead: The future of network innovation     

The 'Network as Code' Hackathon has set a high bar for future events. The creativity, collaboration, and technical prowess demonstrated by the participants are promising indicators of the bright future for network technology and its applications. The projects showcased over these two days are just the beginning, with many expected to evolve into impactful solutions in the real world.

Stay tuned for more updates and follow-ups on the progress of these groundbreaking projects. The journey of innovation continues, and the future of network technology looks brighter than ever.

Mikko Jarva

About Mikko Jarva

Mikko heads portfolio and architecture for new Network Monetization Platform business unit in Nokia. Network Monetization Platform business unit was setup to build offering for global 5G and advanced network programmability and monetization, based on Nokia’s Network as Code vision, which Mikko was driving and incubating in his previous role. As a Head of Portfolio and Architecture, Mikko’s is responsible defining long term portfolio vision and differentiating offering for Network Monetization Platform, and drive the transformation on how mobile networks are used and monetized in enabling entirely new, ecosystem created next generation experiences and enterprise applications.

Previously in Nokia, Mikko led Advanced Technology Group, a team of highly skilled and experienced technologists in advanced technology evaluations, rapid prototyping and first-time implementation and incubation of advanced solution prototypes and concepts. Advanced Technology Group successful incubations included Nokia SaaS delivery and operations vision leading to the foundation of Nokia SaaS, and Network as Code vision leading to the foundation of Network Monetization Platform

Mikko has over 24 years of experience in telecommunications software and has worked even longer than that with data, analytics and AI software solutions. During his professional journey he has gained experience through variety of roles, including in scientific research, product training, product marketing, technical sales and business development, and more recently as CTO of Intelligent Data in Comptel and Head of Product Strategy for Digital Intelligence in Nokia.

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