MWC 2017 Days 1 and 2 – A new road

1 Mar, 2017 | News

Finally, after one year, we are back to Barcelona, the Mobile World capital.

Last year, we faced the reality of IoT, with the change on the MWC landscape where CSPs and traditional telecommunication vendors shared the stage and show floor with IT, App Development and players from other industries, like fashion and automobile. The discussion started shifting from network centered to use case centered. We left Barcelona with questions about how CSPs would re-invent themselves to explore the new opportunities and face the new challenges of this combined 5G, VR/AR and IoT/M2M world.

Aligned with that, one should notice the message from MWC 2017.

Mobile the next element.
The next technology
The next industry
The next social
The next economy

Emphasising not only the technology, but also the impacts and disruptions made possible.

After days 1 and 2, we can already identify some trends.

5G became more mature on the technology side, but we are still searching for the key use cases to justify it. The most promising ones are still coming from VR/AR. This technology is showing a fast maturity process, but the scale applications are still under development. M2M and IoT can also play an important role in this arena, demanding higher reliability and reduced latency. However, video usage with IoT will probably be a trigger for the bandwidth requirements.

On the technology side, NFV and SDN are a reality, not a promise any more.

IoT is an excellent example of how the human being can adapt fast. Fashion, health services and “other industries” are no longer foreigners coming to the show. They are part of it, with new applications just popping up. Besides, potential applications are arising from the use of Cognition / AI.

See the example of Connected Cars. Which are also Smart Cars. They have such a presence in MWC that one might say MWC has merged with Barcelona International Motor Show.

And there is the new Formula just launched here: Roborace! A new racing car with no drivers. Certainly a powerful instrument to speed up the development of the underlying technologies. Highlight: the teams will use the same hardware (car, sensors, …), and the battle will be on the software side.

This leads to a new discussion. CSPs must evolve to become more of a technology and software company to provide their users the experience they expect. The challenge to be conquered is the reputation issue of this industry all over the globe. “We are less loved than the tobacco industry”. (Suzan Buttsworth)

Digital Transformation is probably the strongest new trend of MWC2017. How will CSPs understand the customer better, using approaches like “segmentation of one” and exploring the huge amount of data available? On the same discussion, ways to interact with customers and simplification. Here, not only Analytics, but also Cognition / AI will play a key role. On top of a Software Defined Network.

This discussion will imply in structural changes on the CSP organizations, including the type of professionals, expertise and vendors they will require.

At this point, we observe important challenges, including market, technology and organization. But, we still have two days to go. Let´s see what else they will bring.

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