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DTW Ignite: Talking points

DTW Ignite Experience

In what telco domains can solutions vendors expect to find sales opportunities over the coming months and years? The recent TM Forum event pointed towards some answers to that question. Read on to find out…

DTW Ignite 2024 is in the books and given the TM Forum’s role as one of the industry’s leading advocacy groups, it’s worth paying attention to the key themes that emerged from the event in Copenhagen which closed last week. We can reasonably assume that, for vendors of telecoms software and hardware alike, the themes represent domains in which opportunities will lie over the coming months and years. With that in mind, let’s see what the industry is talking about?

Artificial Intelligence

No surprise here. But more specifically, the topic of the day was the role of telecoms within the broader AI ecosystem. This is broad subject and one which we’ll blog about in more detail next time, but for now suffice to say that the AI ecosystem encompasses a broad and interconnected network of technologies, platforms, services, and stakeholders that collectively contribute to the development, deployment, and operation of AI applications. Telcos play a critical role in it by providing the essential infrastructure and connectivity. In other words, there’s a lot to talk about.

Open and intelligent networks

Operators want openness and intelligence in their networks, and those will likely have to be achieved through partnerships, sometimes with historical competitors.  Why? In part because scale is vital to success and if a network is exposed only in a “bespoke” or limited way, it’ll add complexity and make life more difficult for consumers. In other words, it won’t really be “open”.  The point here is an ecosystem only really works when common standards and development kits are adopted.  Carriers need to begin to think globally, rather than locally.

Autonomous network operations

Nothing new with the idea of autonomous networks either, right? The march towards fully autonomous networks (well, we can dream…) has already begun. According to the Forum, as much as a third of telco operating costs today are targets for improved efficiency. But the drive for autonomy must go beyond simple cost reduction and towards identifying tailored solutions. The search is on for what assets, standards and tools will be required to realise the vision. Presently, fully autonomous networks are some way off, but there are points within the broader network that are much closer to operating autonomously.

Data (and AI-led) innovation to unlock new revenue streams.

No surprise here, either. It always seems to come back to the data, not least since that’s what’s used to train the AI/ML models. The challenge is exposing the “right” data or, more accurately, data of the right quality so the benefits of AI become less elusive and more leverageable. Telcos have countless data-generating systems but all too often, their content is inadequately or poorly curated. And as long as that’s the case, there’s little chance of success generating value from it. What happens next? Expect telcos to invest heavily in building their data management (processing) capabilities, at least if they can find the right solutions.

…and about the event

While DTW Ignite 2024 was certainly busy, there seemed to us to be a disproportionate number of vendors present compared to CSPs with the result that the event has become much more of a networking forum than an exhibition and Catalyst showcase.

Copenhagen provided a significantly better venue than the show’s traditional home, the Acropolis in Nice, which has now (thankfully) been pulled down for rebuilding. On the plud side. there were plenty of break out areas for meetings, networking, working and taking calls. But perhaps for some a downside is that the increased use of meeting rooms, which are not located in the exhibition hall, significantly reduced the footfall in the actual exhibition area, at least until 5.30pm when drinks and networking sessions started.

For prospective future attendees, our advice is that if you are new to DTW and thinking of booking a stand, make sure you select one with a good location. If you can’t find that, perhaps have a meeting room only. And remember eCS can assist with booking your prospect meetings, irrespective if you are attending as a delegate, you have a stand, or are attending on another basis entirely. Next year’s dates are 17th-19th June (2025). See you there.

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