Martina shares her reflections from MWC 2023
After an intense week in Barcelona at the end of February we’ve had some time to reflect on our observations and learnings. Mobile World Congress (MWC) is a massive event where experts from the entire telecom industry meet to share ideas, promote their products and speak about future trends.
Perhaps the best MWC event ever?
As a general reflection, most people that I spoke to at the event mentioned that this was perhaps the best MWC event so far. I can only agree. It’s difficult to say if it’s because many companies had a stricter travel policy, the eagerness of meeting people in person after covid, or that most attendees seemed to have prepared extremely well in terms of their own agenda. I observed that everyone on site was very much present and active during the event to ensure they got the most out of the opportunity. This resulted in greater value for all participants and overall made it an extremely inspiring event.
The general trends for 2023 are very much in line with the expectations
Trends and product releases were very much in line with the forecasted trends for 2023 and I will leave it to all the competent consultancy agencies to summarize these in their reports. Two well summarized reports have already been shared from [McKinsey & EY].
One thing worth mentioning is the focus on gender diversity at the event. To see 40% female speakers on stage, and several different keynotes highlight this topic, was new to me.
I’m glad that there are finally initiatives to drive equality and diversity in the industry. I truly believe that this is necessary if the telecom industry is to succeed in terms of innovation. It’s also an important gap to fill if we as an industry want to be able to reach the entire world as a market segment and not just parts of it.
The Cloud providers are creating a buzz
It’s no longer the tier 1 operators that are making the biggest mark at the event, the cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon made a clear statement that the future is cloud based. These companies are not only part of the transformation but also leading future innovation in how to enable communications through services such as Teams.
Many Nordic telecom companies are driving the digital future
The Nordics are in the forefront of digital consumer behavior and has been for a long time. Most Swedes haven’t used cash for the past 10 years, and we are used to the behavior of purchasing stuff online. Self-service or even no-touch is the norm and is even preferred if the user experience is good enough.
This has resulted in a number of modern platform providers that offer fully digital services for various parts of the value chain. Both new and more mature Nordic companies made a significant mark at the event such as Ericsson and Nokia, but also the next generation telecom technology such as Sinch, Vonage, Digital Route, Cellrebel and Billogram. At Telness Tech we are off course proud to be part of this crowd.
Focus on your core and a general openness to partnerships
In a fast-paced environment where customer demands are high, there is a need to decide what your core business is in to become excellent at that. I’ve seen a general shift in the telecom industry from the previous “inventing everything yourself” to the focus on strategic partnerships throughout the value chain. That goes for everything from cloud, technology partners to segments/products or components.
Generally, telcos are focusing on their own core to deliver a strong value proposition that is competitive. This also goes for various vendors across the value chain where I see a growing trend in partnering across offerings, bundled services and joint launches of new products in the market.
One example is the AWS marketplace where product releases are presented together with AWS and often together with two to three different vendors. You can also see this with Telness Tech and IOT comms, as presented here.
I’m really looking forward to see what the rest of 2023 has to bring and I’m looking forward to be back in Barcelona next year!