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5G, RCS and virtual everything – key themes from Mobile World Congress 2019

March 7, 2019

Last week, 109,000 visitors from nearly 200 countries attended the biggest event of the year for the global telecommunications industry – GSMA’s #MWC19.

While AI and robot-themed exhibits continued to draw crowds, the event also focused on the current challenges facing service providers – namely how to accelerate the global rollout of 5G while also adapting to changing business models.

iconectiv was there to host a series of Tech Talk sessions and meetings with leading executives from mobile network operators, application providers, aggregators and regulators about how to evolve their operations at this time of rapid evolution.

Here were some of the key themes that emerged:

5G offers great opportunity, but also demands creative thinking on the cost side.

As service providers invest in and rollout 5G, they need to carefully manage both CapEx and OpEx.  Given the complexity of the network, this can be difficult to do.

One way to accomplish this involves the network, IT, and finance teams speaking a Common Language® about network assets. By sharing uniform information about equipment and systems, cross-functional teams within service providers can make informed decisions about service turn ups and turndowns, in LTE, 3G, 4G, 5G and WiFi-6 environments. It is possible for service providers to save up to 30% through better utilization of assets, which they can then re-invest in 5G infrastructure.

Another solution is to revisit revenue assurance solutions. Today, virtually all service providers maintain Fraud Management Solution (FMS) platforms that help them identify and protect against fraudulent activity. But, how long has it been since they re-assessed the effectiveness of these solutions? During the Tech Talks, iconectiv showcased one simple way service providers can supercharge their existing fraud platform to prevent millions more in revenue leakage.

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a priority. 

Rich messaging was a hot topic at #MWC19, as enterprises push the mobile communications industry to broadly adopt RCS and provide uniform technology standards. RCS is about reducing friction and helping brands communicate seamlessly with customers. For example, rather than downloading an app, consumers can simply text a brand. Featured use cases at Mobile World Congress included text-based shopping, push-button upgrades and automated customer service response. As the creator of TruNumber Intel and administrator of the CTIA Short Codes program, iconectiv fielded a number of questions from those at the event looking to improve the way they approach text messaging.

Virtualization is a reality.

At his Wednesday keynote, Rakuten’s CEO, Mickey Mikitani, shared that the company’s 100% virtualized network model has resulted in a 70%-80% reduction in cost and expense. For the many service providers with active virtualization programs, this served as an aspirational example of what is possible with Network Function Virtualization (NFV). iconectiv is an active contributor to Linux Foundation’s ONAP program. Today iconectiv is creating technology that helps service providers accelerate 5G service deployment and reduce network operating costs by making Virtual Network Function (VNF) deployment seamless.

For more information about iconectiv solutions at Mobile World Congress, contact us.