MWC2019 gets real: Show me the money

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The focus of this telecoms bellwether is likely to be on what will deliver revenue, not what’s new.

Ovum predicts that next week’s MWC in Barcelona, which expects to attract more than 100,000 visitors, will reflect the state of the telecoms industry.

There’s a lot of noise around plummeting smartphone sales. From the network operators’ point of view, though, Ovum’s expectation that video over mobile devices will increase at more than 50% annually worldwide, well into the 2020s, is of more concern.

It certainly put the pressure on 5G to deliver, and we are likely to get a good look at fixed-wireless access in action.

Then there’s the Huawei debacle which could have a profound effect, but GSMA is trying to keep the politics out, recommending that telcos should be responsible for securing their networks.

Walking the talk

Against such an exciting backdrop, suppliers of all stripes need to prove that what they are selling will create new revenue streams, according to Ovum.

Consequently, we’re going to be treated to lots of use cases and demos striving to forge direct links between “the capabilities that 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT) promise and the new money they may (or may not) deliver”.

Vendors will start to “walk the talk,” with AI case studies for intelligent network management and customer experience, (and consumer AI applications) we are assured. Ovum also reckons there will be no shortage of examples showing how AI can be used in sectors from manufacture to healthcare.

Look out for lots of so-called immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality, and enterprise uses of 5G enabled by network slicing, ultra-low-latency broadband and edge computing.