Mobile World Congress wrapped up in Barcelona today, closing out a week of innovation, excitement and predictions for the future. As we attended sessions and met with clients, analysts, and prospects, we noticed three key themes emerging that will reshape the mobile industry.
During MWC, the GSMA released their annual Mobile Economy report, predicting that there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections in 2025 (excluding cellular IoT). This next step in network evolution, predicted to provide lower latency and faster speeds, will help support advanced video capabilities, augmented reality, and even connected vehicles.
Here’s what CSG VP of Carrier Sales & Services Ian Watterson had to say about this trend:
“5G networks are coming in now which are multiples faster than the networks that preceded them and that’s enabling mobile monetization models that completely revolutionize the way people transact with B2B Businesses and with their consumers.”
2. The Internet of Things
At Wednesday’s “Delivering the IoT Ecosystem” session, speakers talked about how important it is for businesses to prepare for the billions of devices coming online in the next decade. By 2025, there will 25.1 billion device connections—more than triple the amount today. Service providers need to improve connectivity and utilize platforms that can support more devices and IoT use cases.
CSG EVP & President of Technology and Product, Ken Kennedy, shared his thoughts on how IoT will provide more opportunities:
“We’ve heard from several service providers that they view [IoT] as an incredible opportunity. And I think what you’re going to see in the years to come is that this is going to go from a potential business to a ubiquitous reality.”
3. Partner Ecosystems
As business models become increasingly complex, service providers are realizing they need to partner with other companies in order to offer the services customers want and demand. In fact, 79 percent of top-performing companies participate in digital ecosystems. Companies that join forces need to harness solutions that are flexible and extensible enough to support different business models.
CSG Vice President of Digital Services Curt Minter, explained how mobile operators and other parties are changing how they do business:
“What we’re seeing is all of the service providers, whether it’s an MNO or a value-added reseller, they’re really starting to understand the value of that partner ecosystem and developing that ecosystem as a part of their overall business plan.”
Mobile World Congress Barcelona may be over, but the work is just beginning. Unlike the other notable event of 2018, the Olympic Winter Games, you don’t have four years to prepare. The speed of change that is rippling through not just our industry, but all industries, is unprecedented. It brings with it great challenge, but also great opportunity.
To profit from what was described at MWC as the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to change the very bedrock of how we do business today, to embrace the new era of cross-industry partnerships, and evolve toward multi-faceted ecosystems.
The vital component will be choosing the right partner to help you succeed.