Automation was center stage this year at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress at Fira Barcelona. Software unveilings, tech debuts, and partnerships abound, the announcements and launches centered around the multiple services and features redefining the digital experience for vendors, providers, enterprises, and customers alike in a growing myriad of ways.
Accelerating network and edge deployments by leveraging cloud-native automation tools, hot topics such as network exposure, slicing, RAN and hybrid-cloud systems were the biggest buzz. Making it evident that AI has both heightened the standard and catapulted automation possibilities across the board. It must be said that the immediate benefits of automation centered around user-efficiency, customer experience, CAPEX and OpEx. Made possible by 5G and propelled by cross-sector partnerships, innovative technology, and network functionality.
This paradigm shift in the role of networks was best demonstrated by the experience labs on the showroom floor. Highlighting the symbiotic relationship between innovative tech and network capabilities in creating new business potential for enterprises to deliver new, immersive, hyper-realistic experiences to customers. Proving the ways in which network agility enables interoperability and seamless integration in the digital transformation of industries ranging from mission-critical to more consumer-centric use-cases.
The conversations across the showroom floor and networking events, panel discussions, as well as solutions on display were all centered around enhancing and improving customer experiences – be it the end-user, or enterprise. 5G has allowed for operators, service providers, enterprises, and customers to completely re-envision the digital future and expand the value plane.
Strategic partnerships like Amdocs and Microsoft expanding their partnership to culminate in an intelligent customer engagement platform, and the launch of Melon Digital alongside AWS, accentuates a clear move towards further emboldening the shift to networks-as-as-service powered by SaaS-based end-to-end solutions. Tasked with delivering optimal customer experiences across a variety of consumer and enterprise use cases. The ever-present marvel around gadgets like remote helicopters, robotic dogs, and immersive experiences like the Amdocs AR/VR stadium experiences exemplifies the potential value in extended services in emerging markets like immersive tech, interoperable devices and connectivity functions defining market trends to come.
With use cases like the Amdocs and T-Mobile partnership highlighted in keynote panel discussions underscore the growing list of benefits and opportunities that digital transformation has for tier-1 carriers. Anthony Goonetilleke, Group President, Technology and Head of Strategy at Amdocs, alongside Meg Knauth, VP of Customer & Billing Platforms at T-Mobile, further emboldened the importance of customer experiences in realizing the full potential of the 5G network capabilities. Citing the merger with Sprint as a turning point, the core aim of the vision ahead lies in a customer-centric approach. Meg Knauth further adding that cross provisioning is possible in merging networks, without changing billing systems or IT stacks from legacy systems speeding up synergy savings while simultaneously delivering new network experiences for customers. Followed with streaming conversion, steaming customers between platforms instead of in batches, to facilitate seamless integration in unifying two independent systems. Highlighting how Amdocs can facilitate customers with a seamless and optimal transformation, operational and end-user experiences simultaneously. The journey towards a digital-first experience for customers, is crafted from “an experience-perspective” and driving business growth through new efficiencies, seamless transactions and leveraging partnerships.
While the overarching customer-centric theme among the showroom floors and panel discussions definitively put the consumer center stage, this was also inherent in B2B and B2B2X scopes. In the That’s My Slice! panel discussion on the benefit of slicing to the future of interoperability and functionality of networks, Niall Norton, Division President at Amdocs Networks, weighed in on how this feature had the capacity to change the network game. Highlighting the added value it creates for innovation, onboarding extended services, and thus, new growth and revenue opportunities for enterprises. Given the context that 5G rollouts are only now coming to full realization, the “natural limitation of the experimental” phase of slicing has since graduated to become a more real-world solution.
Another overarching theme revolved around the next big thing: private networks. Showcasing the operational, security, connectivity, and end-user benefits of eSIM, mobile private networks. As noted by Niall - the maturity of technology, and mobile private network connectivity have pushed the industry towards “fully realizing the 5G experience” in delivering enhanced customer experiences. With full control over increasing data loads, functionalities, and RAN capabilities, the variety of end-to-end integration solutions are centered around the core tenants of technological preparedness, agility, flexibility, and full management of the network lifecycle. The general conclusion being that a multitude of business-driven use cases are abound in the year ahead for both industries and enterprises.
Another facet worth noting involved the specific discussions and demos echoing the more recent industry discourse around bridging the digital divide, women in tech and environmental sustainability. Further exemplifying the cultural shift within telco to onboard more nuanced and impactful social agendas through innovation, cross-cultural partnerships to enable solutions to real-world problems.
For more on network, mobile and automation services, please visit Amdocs Networks.