2016 was an amazing year for mobile, with Mobile World Congress 2016 acting as the Launchpad for more powerful phones than ever before. Alongside the unveiling of Samsung's Galaxy S7 and LG's G5 smart phone, we talked to smart robots, saw smart things and witnessed new technologies. This year, MWC 2017 looks set to trump 2016, with mobile launches such as Nokia’s comeback with the leaked re-launch of the Nokia 3310 and Samsung’s mystery device, but mobile technology is about a lot more than handsets, telcos and subscribers alike will place a huge emphasis on optimum user experience, personalization and security. So we’ve put together the hottest topics of conversation we expect at MWC, and everything you need to know about them…

5G and IoT: Operators will put the work into the wow

With legacy (2 and 3G) networks (2 and 3G) to be shut down from 2017 onwards (yes, that’s this year!), there will be even more pressure for mobile operators to ready their networks and make way for 5G and IoT. 2020 promises 5G’s full-scale arrival and, as we brace ourselves for an unprecedented level of innovation, CSPs must work now to modernizing their networks to accommodate and deliver these ever-richer digital services and support the exploding traffic from IoT. With an estimated 5 billion users connected to 5 devices each by 2020, operators will further develop their services and work to modernize legacy networks. The range of envisaged 5G use-cases each has its own needs for bandwidth, latency, transmission quality and variations of these over time, and mobile operators must be prepared. Stop by the conference on Monday 27/2, 5G Beyond the Hype: Value And Building Blocks, and hear speakers from HUAWEI, 5GAA and Ericsson talk about what the significance of 5G really will be for the telecoms industry. Be sure to stop by the IOT Pavilion where you can experience the newest innovations in Internet of Things

Network Security: The rise of mobile cybercrime

The trillion-dollar mobile economy has not gone unnoticed by the greedy eyes of cybercriminals - where there is money, fraud will surely follow. But how aware are mobile phone subscribers of mobile network weaknesses and what are they afraid of? Turns out, mobile users continue to be unaware of the mobile dangers, 2017 will most likely see an explosion of mobile cybercrime as fraudsters further exploit the vulnerabilities in mobile phones and the networks that support them. The increased attention to SS7 in 2016 will see more CSPs taking action in 2017 before their customers and their bottom line are significantly hit. CSPs should position themselves as a trusted partner – not only by better protecting their networks, but also by providing their customers with guidance on how to better protect themselves. Stop by Xura’s stand to find out how network solutions, such as SS7 and Signaling Fraud Management can help CSPs protect their customers and their network.

What’s next in Artificial Intelligence: Chatbots 

Dean Bubley of Disruptive Wireless has made an ‘anti-prediction’ that chatbots and RCS will fail “except for occasional interactions with businesses you don’t are enough about”, but as more consumers demand personalized, intelligent and simple user experiences with information, entertainment, and communication in one application, it is clear that chatbot technology will continue to infiltrate as a mass market service in 2017. As such, telecom operators must be ready to secure part of this future and build upon the success of the humble SMS, moving towards more advanced messaging features. Telcos have the opportunity to become the trusted middle man between subscribers and bot technology by offering messaging gateways that provide chatbot functionality via both SMS or RCS.

It’s worth remembering, that operators have several key advantages that only they can provide, such as network reliability, global interoperability, service ubiquity and, perhaps most importantly, subscriber trust – enabled by security and privacy management. Ensuring a secure network will be especially important as chatbots rapidly move into the enterprise applications space in 2017. The NEXTech Pavilion will be a must if you’re interested in AI. See the latest cutting-edge technology, with VR, AR, robotics, drones and much more!

NFV: the hottest topic and its culture shift

While 2016 was the year operators started to take notice and plan for their Network Function Virtualization (NFV) futures, and despite some inertia from parts of the community, in 2017, NFV will become a reality. Operators see the real value in migrating to an NFV environment, and are highly committed to virtualizing their networks, with U.S. carriers indicating the fastest timeline to do so according to Xura’s research with Heavy Reading. After all, NFV’s architecture enables low-cost elastic scale, service agility and a reduction in both CAPEX and OPEX, transforming CSPs into cloud operators themselves.

But what obstacles will they need to overcome in order to accelerate NFV adoption in 2017? Operators must face issues like product interworking, orchestration and migration complexity head on, in order to reap the operational and cost benefits. Product interworking ensures that all technologies and products are compatible with each other while orchestration deals with the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of systems and services. Through thorough planning and analysis, including taking learnings from others already undergoing NFV migration, they can tackle any potential challenges from the outset. In doing so, they will ultimately reap a whole range of benefits, as well as, be better equipped to meet the perpetually evolving needs of their customers.

Keep your eyes and ears open at MWC17 where NFV is certain to be a hot topic of conversation, with NFV & 5G tours daily, as well as a session looking at how the virtualization of networks is developing: NFV – A Re-Examination. A trip to the Cloud Pavilion will be well worth a visit, where you can investigate how to integrate smart cloud solutions.

A2P Spam and Fraud: Operators turn the tables to make it a revenue generator 

A2P bypass fraud impacts subscribers, enterprises and operators – from reduced network service availability, to poor subscriber satisfaction and, of course, operator revenue loss. In fact, there is an estimated $6 billion annual loss of revenue due to SMS fraud. But, operators actually have the opportunity to monetize additional A2P revenue currently lost to bypass fraud through advanced grey route detection and control. Grey routes are sometimes referred to as “special carrier arrangements”, “settlement by-pass” or other unclear terms but are generally defined as a legal connection between two parties that is being exploited by a third party to route traffic at the lowest rate possible by manipulating the origination or termination information. By blocking all bypass routes on their network, operators can convert losses into A2P revenue, while also better protecting their network, their subscribers and also, therefore, increasing customer satisfaction

Advanced Communications and Messaging as a Platform (Rich Communication Services or RCS): Operators will get serious about making revenue  

Google and Samsung have stepped up with regards to RCS (or advanced communications), making it officially mainstream. This was underpinned by the recent launch of the GSMA’s new Universal Profilereigniting the service, which has truly been around the houses. At MWC the talk will be about what will really enable RCS to be a success now – and how will operators create additional revenues as a result? One line of thought is Messaging as a Platform (MaaP); stemming from RCS and providing operators with the opportunity to monetize messaging by opening up access to more content across the domain. MaaP creates a new hybrid model, in which app developers, enterprises, and other players, can build applications to send and receive messages, offering users a more seamless and efficient way to interact, and enabling new application-to-person (A2P) use cases. It will also interwork with legacy and IP messaging services as communication services transition, which is a critical capability given how fast technology moves today. In fact, this is also another specification being driven by the GSMA and expected to launch in Q2 2017, which includes APIs, plug-in integration, improved authentication and app security.

On Tuesday 28/2 Pamela Clark-Dickson from Ovum will be moderating The Future of Messaging: Engagement, eCommerce and Bots, definitely worth a visit.

Learn how we’re working with the GSMA to develop MaaP - the next step in offering users a more seamless and efficient way to interact linking all messaging services onto one platform. We’ll have demos on hand at our booth 8.1A41.

 

Every year Mobile World Congress delivers a host of product launches and industry announcements, and we can expect MWC17 to be no different. Looking beyond the launch of smartphone handsets and into the industry as a whole, Nokia’s comeback won’t be the only thing to get attendee’s attention. We’ll be focusing on the latest news for 5G and NFV, AI and RSC, as well as, how the industry is planning on targeting cybercrime in 2017.

If you’re interested in finding out how Xura can help you with monetizing, securing and virtualizing your network, get in touch with us at events@xura.com to book in a meeting at Mobile World Congress with one of our digital experts.  

Feb 24, 2017