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Mobilise at MWC 2024 – The world’s biggest telecoms event happened last week — but what’s the TLDR?

12 Mar 2024 5 min read



As the curtain closed on another edition of Mobile World Congress, visitors were left reflecting upon the devices, announcements, demos and discussions set to shape the mobile communications industry. It’s no surprise then that many are still digesting the key takeaways. Here, we offer our insights from the event.

Another year at the Fira Gran Via has left us with a lot to think about. The theme for this year’s event, “Future First”, echoed throughout the halls with conversations buzzing with the possibilities that enhanced connectivity, collaboration and digital-first experiences can bring.


The AI era isn’t here yet

As expected, AI was a hot topic at this year’s MWC. From keynote speeches to the smallest booths, the promise of AI transforming telecoms and beyond was hard to miss.

We saw plenty of futuristic gadgets, blurring the lines between human and machine interaction. There was Google’s LaMDA 3, the next generation of its conversational AI technology, which promises even more natural interactions between humans and machines. Concepts for Samsung’s Galaxy Ring, a wearable AI-powered device for enhanced health monitoring, and Inupia Robotics’ German Shepherd-inspired Dynamic 1 robot assistant also stopped visitors in their tracks.

But, behind the flash prototypes and alluring demonstrations, discussions appeared to lack depth. It’s hard not to be captivated by the omnipresence of AI and — while there’s no doubt it will transform many areas of the telecoms sphere — there are still a lot of questions of ‘if’ and ‘how’ regarding its applications.


We’re still talking about 5G?

Look at anyone reflecting on MWC from the past five years, and you’ll find 5G on their list of takeaways. Are we still on the 5G hype, or has the conversation moved on?

The answer is yes and no. There seems to have been a subtle shift in the air and the 5G hype that once dominated conversation appears to have diluted a little. Instead of surface-level buzz around 5G, we saw deeper conversations around practical implementations and monetisation challenges take place.

It looked like a positive evolution. A sign that the industry is starting to look beyond the hype and begin to analyse its practical applications. The reality is, that implementing 5G isn’t cheap. The initial capital investment required to secure spectrum, radio access network and IT infrastructure is substantial. Furthermore, while 5G uptake will skyrocket, not all operators have the supporting infrastructure in place to reap its benefits.

Therefore, creating effective monetisation opportunities will be essential to ensure maximum return on both capital and organisational investments. Right now, it’s as much about what you can do with your 5G offering as it is just implementing 5G in the first instance.

That said, MWC wasn’t without its hype around mobile networks. There was chatter of 6G’s arrival and the shift towards edge-based intelligent networks that can end-to-end integrate with AI. It’s all exciting stuff — but it’s apparent we need to nail down 5G’s ROI before we look any further.


eSIM is here to stay

Walking the halls of MWC, it quickly became noticeable just how much buzz still surrounds eSIM. It’s clear it’s more than just a fleeting trend and instead, conversation was steeped in eSIM awareness.

If we were to look back at MWC five years ago, at the dawn of 5G, most wouldn’t have given eSIM a lot of thought. Since then, the technology has transformed from a trending topic — with Apple’s eSIM-only devices ramping up traction in recent years — to a champion in connectivity solutions.

The eSIM ecosystem is still finding its footing — use cases are fragmented with different players focused on varied segments of the technology and capitalising on a range of applications. eSIM isn’t just part of the pure play telecoms conversation and instead, we’re moving more towards the concept of embedded connectivity and how it can broaden service offers for the likes of the travel, transport and finance sectors.

Some companies are already homing in on connectivity solutions, others on the Digital Profile (DP+) platforms, and even more are looking towards the digital layers that interface with the end user. What’s certain is that eSIM’s potential offers a rich mosaic to service providers of all industries and that its potential is only just beginning to become understood.

At Mobilise, we don’t limit ourselves to a single aspect of the eSIM ecosystem. Our approach is holistic, covering digital software and connectivity all the way to network services. Viewing the eSIM landscape as fragmented is not a negative, but instead an opportunity. We’ll see growing interest in eSIM expand beyond the conversations at MWC, as it embeds itself across the entire connectivity spectrum.

There were a lot of fruitful discussions at this year’s MWC — some we’ve heard before, others totally new. While the hype around technologies such as 5G appears to be dampening, it’s all in the name of progress and we’ll see more serious conversations on use cases and monetisation deepen over the next few years. As for AI? Let’s keep an intrigued eye on it for the time being.


To learn more about how Mobilise and what our eSIM as a Service offer can do for your application, contact us today!

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