The MWC Barcelona 2022 welcomed 61,000 physical attendees this year and we are happy to report that we contributed to this number. It was a phenomenal experience being a part of all the buzz and excitement and witnessing it as we used to in the past.
The conference saw thousands of companies from across the globe represent the different facets of the industry. We received the opportunity to sponsor an event organized by Mobile Ecosystem Forum and are happy to report that our event saw great participation.
One of the largest and most influential events for the connectivity industry, this year’s edition saw over 1000 speakers, 1500+ exhibitors, 37 country pavilions. Here is a look at what the key highlights of the event were:
The Metaverse is all around
The tech world has latched on to the Meta concept ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta. The conversation around the metaverse has only increased since and it is now being positioned as the next big thing with platforms and services rendered in 3D virtual environments. MWC 2022 saw a rising crescendo with many companies announcing different kinds of Metaverse collaborations. FC Barcelona’s club president Joan Laporta, for example, announced that the sports club would “build its metaverse as part of a strategy to attract new supporters” and leverage the technology to support growth. For telecom companies, this means new opportunities as innovative and immersive solutions emerge and demand robust, quick, and highly-available bandwidth as the enabling infrastructure.
5G connections to witness record growth
The GSMA reported that 5G connections would surpass 1 billion in 2022. This number is expected to reach 2 billion by 2025. By the end of 2025, 5G is expected to represent one in five of the total number of mobile connections.
5G accounts for a larger share of global mobile connections than 3G or 4G has at the same point in their lifecycles. Innovative plans, an increasing number of 5G handset sales, video streaming, and network coverage expansions are some of the key contributors to this growth.
We can now expect to see a greater focus by telecom companies on network capability initiatives to support consumer and enterprise use cases across 5G including 5GmmWave, 5G Advanced, Private networks, etc.
AR, VR, and XR gain momentum
The MWC 2022 also pointed out the rising interest in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications. Supercharged by meta, AR and VR are seeing increasing interest in the consumer space. Advances in computing power and consumer-friendly devices and applications have contributed to the rise of these technologies. These technologies are also finding applications in improving worker safety in industries such as manufacturing, oil, and gas, automobiles, etc where workers need unobtrusive, and hands-free devices to work.
The conference also revealed that Extended Reality (XR) will also come into the AR/VR mix and will roughly generate around generate $1.5 trillion in GDP by 2030, especially as the focus on user experience increases. This is a massive opening for telcos looking to layer business applications on top of their services for greater value add.
Service provider trend updates
The results of the study commissioned by Cavell Group revealed the lasting impact of the pandemic on service providers. The report revealed that one-third of the enterprises would be looking at changing service providers in 2022 as enterprises look at improving ‘band-aid’ responses and move towards enabling a hybrid work environment. Some of the major trends the report identifies are:
- Service providers are under increased pressure to create new revenue sources and buttress margins and drive differentiation and retention with unified communication assuming strategic priority across enterprises.
- Distributed video, Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS), Contact Centre as a Service, and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) services will see increased demand as the need to recreate in-person experiences continues
- Service providers will have to increase service offerings in data, voice data, and other analytics
The hyperscale and OTT market is expected to become even more competitive in 2022
Enterprises will be looking at tightening up across infrastructures including communication infrastructures to navigate the compliance, security, governance landscape. Ransomware and risk-mitigation solutions will also grow in prominence. These developments will need service providers to become more agile and develop capabilities to deliver new and differentiated service offerings.
The global service provider industry will have to grow and adapt to the changes brought on by the distribution of workforces over the last two years and as threats and opportunities demand a rethinking of the traditional role of the service provider.
We showcased some new-age solutions in areas like messaging, security, and even AI-led solutions that simplify onboarding for a new age of mobile service provider.
Powerful conversations around edge computing were also a highlight of the event as edge cloud enables architectural innovation to effectively build and evolve the 5G network cost-effectively.
Along with this, there were some major announcements such as Cisco’s Private 5G as-a-Service offer to enterprises to fuel productivity with mass-scale IoT adoption. The MWC also saw a number of product launches and a few big press conferences. Mobile was also at the centre of policy debates as political, regulatory, and telecom leaders debates issues challenging the telecom world and had pertinent conversations regarding economic recovery and creating a more digitally inclusive world.
The MWC 2022 saw some powerful discussions and keynotes and some phenomenal innovations. There was, however, a resonating theme across conversations amongst industry leaders – that mobile technology has been driving transformation. The MWC provides those operating the mobile and communication space a fabulous platform to collaborate, share insights and deliver innovations to drive positive business environments and societal change.