What network challenges does the industry face as we head to the middle of 2018 and beyond?
Continuous disruption. Consumers and Business customers are changing their habits as it relates to telecom, and newer entrants are entering the market with creative solutions that save money and enable growth and/or efficiency for end users. This challenges larger incumbents who maintain most of the existing wallet share, and must disrupt themselves or face negative growth. We must invest in adjacent technologies and markets if we are to remain relevant.

What technologies do you see changing / shaping the industry and how?
We see Cloud technologies and adoption continue to shift towards hyper-scale. We see SDN play a more important role in finding efficiency in network usage and management. We see 5G continuing to evolve as players define their role in this emerging high-capacity wireless and wireline convergence.

How important is SDN for the industry and what is your company doing to implement and deploy this technology capability?
We believe it is important for finding a more efficient way to use existing capacity, and also for end-customers wanting a more flexible capacity experience. We are exploring how SDN fits with our massive network deployment and effective ways to bring SDN into our architecture.

Are you seeing Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning deployed (or planning to deploy) in your business - and how?
On the periphery yes, but not yet mainstream or directly influencing our Wholesale business.

What are new developments and initiatives that are exciting for your company in 2018?
Focus on expanding our Wireless business with investments in small-cell and general network expansion and customer growth. Continued focus on leveraging existing footprint of 250,000 on-net businesses for global service providers requiring connectivity in Canada.

Why is ITW such an important industry event for you and your company?
ITW is an important annual event, where we can find new avenues of cooperation with industry peers, customers, and suppliers.

Rob has spent 10 years leading telecom procurement for Shaw followed by 5 years leading Wholesale sales. Prior to that he had Marketing/Product accountability for large business division also at Shaw.