That, tomorrow’s technology today, is the theme of MWC23 where, the GSMA tells us, we’ll be focusing on the “three vital converging forces in our industry: technology, community and commerce”.
But what specific topics might we see under the microscope in the halls of FIRA and are thus worth thinking about as we prepare for the event? Here’s five domains that we at eCS expect to see front and centre when it comes to both conversations and opportunities – where innovation is rife and new solutions are needed.
1. 5G BSS – front and center
We’re all aware that 5G network technology is going to open the door to new commercial opportunities. The shift away from connectivity to offering a wider variety of services has started. However, 5G is not just “more of the same, but faster”. Early Use Cases are different from those of traditional services. This means the time may finally have arrived to address the fact that legacy Business Support Systems are no longer adequate to monetise them. In the billing domain, expect a lot of activity.
2. VoLTE roaming – time for answers
VoLTE itself was introduced around 2012 as a new voice service optimised for LTE networks. It would replace circuit-switched voice and notwithstanding slow take-up initially, today VoLTE abounds. However, VoLTE roaming is still largely neglected in favour of CSFB (circuit switched fall back). That’s now a problem because 3G networks are being shutdown at an increasingly rapid pace. The result: VoLTE roaming solutions are high on many operator’s shopping lists. Expect to hear a lot about this subject in Barcelona.
3. Digital Service Providers – from idea to action
Yes, it’s fast becoming a cliché but CSPS are becoming DSPs (that’s Digital Service Providers, in the unlikely event you weren’t sure). Shifting from to the other requires more than a new title: it demands a degree of re-organisation that while to date it has received lip service, real transformation has often not yet happened. There are various reasons for this: a focus on processes rather than business outcomes and the absence of integrated enterprisewide technology road maps among them. This slow pace is becoming unsustainable because as their customer’s buying habits and ways of interacting commercially have changed, service providers will be in trouble if they don’t keep pace. Becoming a DSP is a question is a question we expect to be frequently discussed at MWC.
4. Getting a grip on (hybrid) network inventory
Talking of digital transformation, network disaggregation and multi-vendor networks are replacing (if they haven’t already done so) the legacy proprietary solution approach. While this lets CSPs accrue the benefits of greater control and flexibility it also means increasingly complex networks with siloed infrastructures that are difficult to manage and that can elevate the total cost of ownership become an issue as legacy components remain operational. As a result, Network inventory management is likely to be a hot subject as an effective way to manage resources and so enable the fast launch of new services is vital to long-term commercial success.
5. Fraud, fraud, and more fraud
Where do you begin? Cybercrime is booming and more worryingly, it’s also becoming more and more sophisticated. Being able to detect and address both existing and new threats quickly, before they escalate, is vital. Battling cybercrime starts with being able to accrue insights into network behaviour, which are the foundation for addressing them. So expect there to be plenty of talk at MWC around the subject of network monitoring, the solution area that does this.
Of course, there are a whole lot of other issues that we might add to the list, from OpenRAN to AI and ML. Perhaps we’ll look at those in another blog. But we expect the five domains we’ve listed above to garner a lot of attention – and yield a lot of opportunities for vendors – at MWC.
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