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What are the opportunities we expect to see highlighted for Operators at MWC 2016?

by Philip Kendall | 2月 03, 2016

Against the backdrop of challenges to grow revenue despite the strength of mobile data usage, we expect operators to emphasize the potential of future mobile services enabled by the network. Riding on the undoubted success of 4G from a service usability perspective, we expect 5G concepts to be promoted as an inspirational theme for the show.  The highlighted benefits will include further bandwidth and capacity improvements (targeting 10 Tbps/sq km), low latency applications such as virtual reality for vertical segments, as well as ultra-reliable power efficient connectivity for the Internet of Things. The ability to maintain high bandwidth connectivity at speeds of 500kmph will also be promoted for transport applications and the emerging vision of autonomous vehicles. Among the most interesting technical aspects will be discussions on the evolving network architecture, such as the degree of centralization of signal processing in the Radio Access Network, as well as reducing the power consumption required to drive the radio network. Key questions will remain regarding the propensity of consumers and businesses to pay for the service advantages, and, in common with previous air interface technology generations, the operators are likely to feel compelled to plan their investments for long term competitiveness.

Operators will also be discussing the challenges and best practices for digital and business transformation as they seek to stay relevant in an evolving competitive landscape. At MWC my colleague Susan Welsh de Grimaldo will be moderating a panel discussion of leading experts from Accenture, MTS, NTT DoCoMo and Telefónica on operator challenges and opportunities in “The New Digital Operator” session (details here).

The theme of multi-play is also likely to feature strongly, primarily as a ‘convenience story’ for customers, but with the potential to trim operator churn, reduce subscriber acquisition costs and improve profitability. The trend towards many global operators offering both mobile and fixed network access, and packaging media content, has meant that competitive pressures to provide a full suite of services has grown. This raises many decision-making challenges, such as the sensitivity of consumers to buy particular combinations of telecoms and media service offerings.  

Mobile operators are also likely to be promoting the progress they have made in seeking to diversify their revenues with new lines of business building on their mobile connectivity core business, such as those associated with the Internet of Things, mobile payments and advertising. For IoT, these will include the Connected Car, Smart Home and Smart City - and players such as AT&T and Telefonica are likely to be demonstrating their strengths here. Other areas where we expect to hear success stories are mobile payments and  digital advertising. The ability of operators to monetize their position in these increasingly complex and competitive value chains is likely to be another hotly debated topic at the show. 

Strategy Analytics will holding a post-MWC wrap-up webinar on key themes from MWC 2016 on Monday, 29 February, click here to register for the webinar.
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