Telcos make the leap – Recapping MWC23

by Dafna Yanay | on

It’s taken a few days to digest another whirlwind MWC, and here’s a summary of my personal highlights, plus my picks of the key trends and announcements.

First and foremost, what was really apparent to me at MWC23 was the move from focusing on individual technologies and services to real live use cases and solutions. The show always delivers a fascinating snapshot of the state of telco innovation, and this year was no exception. However, the key theme was less about hype technology trends like 6G and the metaverse, and more about how telcos are transforming, digitizing industries, and reimagining the consumer experience. There was a marked shift in the conversation from ‘should we’ to ‘show me how’ around cloud transformation, 5G monetization, and sustainability. All of which put Amazon Web Services center stage as a key partner to help telcos map out the future of the industry.

Destination cloud

Three compelling transformation stories revealed the power of the cloud to make building and operating networks faster, easier, and more energy efficient, unlocking the door to competitive advantage.

There was a buzz around Swisscom and their journey, exploring deployment of Ericsson 5G Core on Amazon Web Services, leveraging the Amazon Web Services Cloud as a complement to existing private cloud infrastructure. They are examining use cases that take advantage of the particular characteristics of hybrid and public cloud. For example, when maintenance activities are undertaken in Swisscom’s private cloud, or when there are traffic peaks, Amazon Web Services is used to offload and complement the private cloud. Hear first-hand from Mark Düsener (Swisscom EVP Mobile Network & services), about their journey, in this TheSixFive webcast .

The Melon Digital launch announcement was the talk of the show. It revealed that the new South African Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) had chosen Amdoc’s Digital Brands Suite as a Service to provide customer care and monetization capabilities in a SaaS-based solution powered by Amazon Web Services. This partnership is crucial to Melon Digital’s mission to disrupt the South African market by offering its customers maximum flexibility and control as part of a personalized user journey.

Nokia also made a major announcement showcasing how they are deploying their RAN on the Amazon Web Services Cloud to solve three key challenges: complexity,  performance and time to market.

Monetizing 5G

How telcos solve the conundrum of driving revenues from 5G has been an ongoing question hanging over the sector. Well, not anymore. MWC23 signaled 5G monetization’s move from telco dream to reality with a number of pragmatic and practical use cases.

Opening the Industry City Program, Accenture’s Manufacturing Summit industry panel uncovered the work Verizon, Accenture, and Amazon Web Services are doing to digitize manufacturing. It revealed how 5G and edge compute are already helping improve inventory management, production speeds, quality, energy consumption, cost savings, safety, and efficiency. Telia , for example, announced a new solution that’s improving the efficiency and accuracy of Finnish logistics leader Transval’s services by leveraging video-recognition, private 5G networks and edge computing, run on Amazon Web Services.

Proving their importance in optimizing the benefits of 5G and the developer experience, MWC23 elevated network APIs to arguably this year’s biggest thing. Amazon Web Services has led the thinking and shaping of this for the telco industry since the early days of working on edge cloud and cloud native networks in 2019. So, it was great to support the  GSMA open gateway announcement  and highlight the work we are doing integrating  Telefonica’s  network and quality-on-demand API with Amazon Web Services Wavelength to significantly improve video streaming quality, and  Verizon’s Dynamic Quality of Service  to enable delivery of higher quality graphics, more realistic interactions, and a better overall experience.

Saving through sustainability

Faced with rising energy costs and the race to net zero, telcos were excited by the new Aira technologies solution that reduces Radio Access Network (RAN) energy consumption – without compromising network performance, incurring added costs, or impacting customer satisfaction. This created quite a buzz – particularly as RANs, which link devices to other parts of a network, use three-quarters of a telco’s energy consumption. Something that will increase as data volumes continue to rise.

These are just a few examples of the 32 announcements with our customers and partners this year (up from 22 last year and eight in MWC 2021).

Realizing the vision

The run up to this year’s MWC saw the release of an Omdia report , which found that telcos can reduce operational expenditure and revenue ratios by more than 10% simply by moving to the cloud. This year’s show further underlined the cloud as the catalyst that will take telcos to the next level, painting vivid practical pictures of what the future looks like. A future built on ongoing transformation and innovation, 5G monetization, and sustainability-driven, cost efficiencies.

But as the report points out, although the cloud holds answers to telcos’ challenges, using it without a clear strategy will add complexity that can stifle the benefits. MWC23 showed the power of close collaboration with the right cloud and technology partners to realize a vision that secures the future of telcos and keeps business and people better connected.

So, there are my takeaways from MWC23. As ever, it was great to meet all our customers and explore together how we can take the telecom industry to the next level .

Until next time!