HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MWC: THE IOT TAKEOFF AND THE ARRIVAL OF 5G NETWORK

From February 26th to March 1st, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 was held in Barcelona. Nicolás Scaglione, Co-Founder of Kinetix, participated in the event and invites us to review the highlights.

Kinetix integrates the Pyxisportal ecosystem since 2017 and its purpose is to serve the Telcos business. 

The MWC is the biggest mobile event. This year it gathered around 800 operators from all over the world, with more than 2.300 companies in the mobile ecosystem, including device manufacturers, software companies, equipment suppliers and Internet companies that exhibited their value proposition in the different booths of the 8 pavilions. The future of 5G and the expectations about the takeoff of IoT, were the strongest points of the event, says Nicolás. He adds: “One of the greatest advantages of this type of event is that in a few days you get an update of all the advances and challenges that the industry is facing”.

In the MWC you can visit some of the TELCOS largest companies, as Vodafone (for many people the most innovative in Europe last year), KT TelecomDeutsche TelekomChina MobileOrange; and choose from more than 320 conferences, keynotes and instances of debate where the relevant topics of the industry are discussed.

Some Highlights

5G

2018 seems to be the year of the first tests in 5G (3GPP) along with identification of the business models that support the massive deployments. Inside the Telco, the challenges seem very demanding, from the transition to a full softwarization of the network, to the passage of a network mainly best effor, to a true assurance for a new paradigm of service delivery marked by the varied, tailored and agile. Pro-active networks, self-learning based on SDN core with machine learning and the concept of multiple logical networks supporting different businesses that operate on a single physical network (network slicing) would configure the new ecosystem.

Towards the market, the challenges could be even greater, says Nicolás: “The path of migration to 5G differs substantially from the previous evolution 3G-4G, the current service offer is homogeneous, while in 5G it is diversified into types of service according to the specific needs of each business or segment, depending on whether it is IoT, Industry 4.0, content distribution or VR & AR. For example, the needs of the organizations will be different, of a bandwidth much bigger for the application of RV or contents distribution, the demands of delay for the application to the industry, or the great number of devices connected with a low ARPU will be shaping a tailored offering by the Telco”.

Finally, Nicolás adds: “The need and difficulty to validate the business models that provide sustainability to the massive investments is similar to the situation that has occurred with IoT”. 

IoT y AI

Today there are around 8 billion connected devices. By 2025 this number will triple to over 24 billion, foreseeing that the main growth engine will be the “industrial IoT” over the “consumer IoT”.

“During the MWC I could see different examples of ‘consumer’ such as refrigerators, washing machines and a bathroom mirror that told you how the weather would be, or the traffic state; but the use of smart glasses that allowed me to see in a manikin the organs of an individual, with real-time rendered images, not in the glasses, but in a 5G network (Deutsche Telekom), was more suggestive. This type of applications opens a field of opportunities in medicine” says Nicolás. However, “use cases and price schemes that make sense remain a challenge for IoT, everybody agrees that this year is crucial for the deployment of NB – IoT and LTE – M networks together with an ecosystem that boost business growth”.

Artificial Intelligence, as in all industries, had a privileged space. Its use oriented to different fields: “customer experience” and “customer engagement”, fraud recognition in real time for mobile and IoT and predictive actions, both at the machine level and in the operation. Nicolás explains that Kinetix “is working on the incorporation of machine learning (IA) techniques, in particular, we are carrying out some experiences in monitoring services such as roaming to identify patterns of behavior. In this way, we could give TELCOS tools to deliver a more captivating experience to its customers and define products tailored to them.

TELCOS and its social purpose 

The UN has 17 major Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MWC had a track aimed at identifying how the industry contributes to the fulfillment of these objectives, which focus on challenges such as climate change, sustainable consumption, peace, and so on.

In this sense, the GSMA -association that represents the interests of mobile operators around the world- chose as the theme of the Congress “Create a better future”. The campaign to join the SDGs was reflected in the graphic representation of the 17 Objectives through characters that embody each of the global challenges, and, in the words of the Director General of the GSMA: “To help the world achieve the SDGs, the Mobile operators must continue to think beyond the usual business and accelerate each activity that contributes to the SDGs.” 

It is expected that the MWC will be repeated in Barcelona next year, taking place between February 25th and 28th.