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Mobile World Congress is almost upon us

By January 12, 2018 No Comments

Wandering around MWC the last couple of years you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d taken a wrong turn and walked into a car show, or virtual reality headset expo. There were a lot of cars and headsets designed to get the message of the benefits of IoT and 5G across in the last two years. I image we’ll get more of the same this year, but with added AI. Pretty much a safe bet to say that every consumer IoT device will have its own digital assistant built in.

If you’re going to be in Barcelona, drop by the Openet stand. We won’t have a car on the stand, but we will be talking to service providers about how they can quickly start making money from the new services that people are using on their phones. These services are causing data traffic to go through the roof as customers increasingly use mobile phones as the control point for services for their lives.  Sounds a bit dramatic? TV and video is mostly streamed through phones. There’s a generation of kids who can’t remember listening to music on anything but a phone, and as for ordering a taxi, or indeed any service, you get the picture. A few years ago an executive from AT&T said that mobiles are becoming the ‘remote controls for peoples’ lives’. He wasn’t wrong.

And this is where the irony for service providers comes in.

Mobile usage is going through the roof and the number of new services that use mobile as a delivery and customer engagement channel increases massively. But the price pressure on data is such that service providers are engaged in a race to zero where data will be free. Data is a commodity and service providers will need to make their money on the services enabled by mobile data. This is causing some ‘telcos’ to become entertainment companies, internet companies, banks, advertising companies and energy utility companies, and in some cases all of the above. The new business opportunities are huge and so are the pressures on service providers to change as margins on selling traditional telco services get slimmer and slimmer.

Telcos have used BSS (business support systems) for years to make money for their services and now many of these systems are being upgraded to support all the new services, channels and new business models that service providers want to try out. Many service providers have started long term BSS digital transformation projects. These take time, are expensive and are hard. All the time Amazon, or Google, or Facebook is looking at how they can get the service providers’ customers to spend more money with them as they roll out new services. In many cases the service providers can’t compete because their BSS system is getting a 5 year digital overhaul. Service providers don’t have the time to wait till their BSS transformation is completed. They need to offer digital services now and enable personalisation so they can upsell new services. They also need to get the solutions implemented quickly and cost effectively, and unencumbered by legacy. Increasingly service providers need to run real-time, automated platforms that can help them to make money from new digital services and get on board quickly with the new business models that are developing.

At MWC Openet will be showing how service providers can fast track their route to digital. This can involve implementing adjunct solutions (e.g. real-time charging adjunct to legacy billing) to quickly give the capabilities needed to get ‘digital ready’, We’ll also be showing how microservices can enable a much more agile approach, enabling service providers to implement solutions down to individual use case level, so enabling quick wins and a flexible use case / solution roadmap that can is tied into the key requirements of the service provider (and not the vendor).

We’ll also have demos of real-time offer manager, policy, real-time charging, network selection intelligence and showing how DevOps have significantly reduced costs, as well as cut development and implementation timescales for our customers.

In addition, Niall Norton, Openet CEO will be presenting on the Funding Network Investments: Priorities and the Business Case session at MWC on Monday 26th February at 11am. So worth checking this session out as it will be interesting to hear the business cases that will drive network investment. Talking of such, it’s also worth remembering that there is a race to 5G brewing up in the US. The rate of change is only going to increase and what we see in the exhibition halls at MWC may become mainstream sooner than many of us think. To quote one major operator: The Future is Exciting: Ready?

To fix up a meeting with Openet at MWC click here.