Why we can’t wait for MWC 2018 Despite some uncertainty caused by Catalonia’s recent independence crisis, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) returns to Barcelona from 26th February to 1st March and one thing that is certain is that it will be bigger and better than ever. Dominic Smith picks out a few technologies that will be hitting the headlines this year, and previews some of the solutions Cerillion will be showcasing in Hall 7, Stand 7B61. 

It’s that time of year again when the leading mobile and tech companies congregate to showcase, debate, brainstorm and predict the technologies which will reshape the industry in the coming years. While the mainstream media is generally obsessed with the latest smartphones and other smart product lines, the Mobile World Congress is actually more about the underlying technologies and platforms which are enabling the next generation of connected services. This year’s theme – Creating a Better Future – is a recognition of the capabilities of these fundamental technologies, and we expect the following areas to be hot at MWC 2018:


The role of 5G in the future of the industry
In December last year, we reported about 3GPP approving the first 5G NR standards and we are confident that these standards will be used for the accelerated development of a healthy 5G ecosystem this year. Recognising its significance, there are five discussions centred around 5G on the first day of MWC 2018 alone, including the transition to 5G, the opportunities within the new ecosystem, as well as industry-specific use cases. With the 5G standards now in place, we believe that 2018 will mark the beginning of the next wave of major infrastructure investments and we are excited to be a part of this evolution.  


The evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) based businesses
IoT promises a lot on paper, but commercially viable use cases are yet to really emerge in the mainstream. At MWC 2017, we had a lot of conversations with businesses that were planning to launch IoT products and services in the near future, however few of these made it off the drawing board. No doubt MWC 2018 will bring many more IoT ideas and opportunities, but in amongst the weird and wacky smart devices we expect more genuine business cases and a more pragmatic approach to the commercial models. We are looking forward to meeting with IoT-based businesses and demonstrating how our cloud billing platform can be used to rapidly launch and monetise new IoT services.


The transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In our Future of Telecoms blog series, we touched upon some of the transformative aspects of AI on Business Support Systems and we expect that AI will be a strong theme throughout MWC. AI will be at the heart of The Fourth Industrial Revolution and MWC will bring to the fore some of the key aspects and use cases for AI, such as the future of work, consumer applications, and streamlining business operations. At our stand, we will be discussing how AI can improve the customer experience and demonstrating our integrated chatbot solution.


The exciting world of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Nothing seems to have caught the imagination of the world more than blockchain and cryptocurrencies in recent times. While a lot of the buzz may be attributed to the rising value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is the underlying blockchain technology which has the potential to truly transform existing industries. With mainstream companies such as Kodak and Telegram joining the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) bandwagon, we expect more established businesses to embrace this technology in 2018. We are pretty bullish about blockchain opportunities for telecoms businesses and will be discussing this emerging industry in Barcelona.


The continued rise of Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is fast becoming a strategic imperative for companies looking to succeed with the technologies mentioned above, and we expect this to be a strong theme throughout the show. In fact, the main conference agenda includes a slot on Digital Transformation 2.0 which looks at the move beyond digital transactions to creating ‘conversations with customers’. This may seem somewhat premature when so many CSPs are still grappling with the basics of digital transformation and complying with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Nevertheless, it is vital for companies to continue taking incremental steps towards becoming a truly digital business, and we will be demonstrating a range of solutions to help accelerate this transition from CSP to DSP, including:  
Book an appointment now to speak with one of our expert consultants or drop by at Hall 7, Stand 7B61 for an informal chat. We look forward to seeing you there.


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