Mobile World Congress Americas

"We had a lot of appointments as the location and access to Silicon Valley players was a draw to customers and partners interested in how the future of communications will take shape."

A Glance:
Exhibitor and Attendee Feedback

In addition to the keynote juggernauts, panel discussions and conference tracks revolved around "women4tech" policy, content strategies, AI, 5G, AR, VR in entertainment, digital education and sustainability, technology and climate change, FCC regulatory issues, net neutrality, smart cities, video and entertainment in 5G, technology and climate change, drones, among many others.

Below we summarize some of the thoughts from several companies highlighted in our MWC Americas pre-show article to see whether this inaugural GSMA-CTIA event met expectations, and gather their impressions of show. The overall feedback was generally good, but mixed and exhibitors were reluctant to go on the record with negative feedback. Of the positive feedback, most pointed to prearranged meetings and proximity to customers as the primary reason for their positive experience at the show — which may change when the event moves to LA next year.

Sigma Systems exhibited its catalog-driven B/OSS, and demonstrated its Sigma Catalog (enterprise-wide catalog), Configure Price Quote, Order Management, Provisioning, and the recently launched Sigma Insights — a product for intelligent data mining and analytics that provides meaningful insights into the commercial and technical performance of the business. Simon Muderack, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Sigma stated, "We saw a lot of interest around catalog-driven agile B/OSS and how it can help CSPs and businesses create, sell, and deliver digital products and services. We also had a lot of appointments as the location and access to Silicon Valley players was a draw to customers and partners interested in how the future of communications will take shape."

Nokia showcased the technologies that connect the world through innovation, software, and a universe of expertise in IoT revenue models, software-defined business through the Cloud, ultra broadband (UBB), digital health, virtual reality, among other things. According to Jimmy Mathai, head of Customer Marketing and Communications at Nokia and board member of Tech Titans, “We did not come here expecting this to be Barcelona, but rather a big regional event, important to us because of the innovation taking place in California and the proximity of the show to Canada and Mexico, which makes it logistically easy for customers and partners to travel. But we found that even our customers in China and Japan wanted to travel here as well; after all, this is the backyard of Silicon Valley, with Nokia Bell Labs right here and high-tech all around. So we consider this a great venue to see how technology is evolving."

Mathai further explained, "the showroom has been packed, with booths in the North, South, and West Halls very busy after the keynotes. And we have had a lot of traffic at our booth. In fact, we have achieved 80-90 percent of the target for booth tours and demos. Additionally, almost every one of our pre-scheduled meetings with CSPs and enterprises took place. Our President and CEO Rajeev Suri spoke in a keynote about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, highlighting that interest in 5G is accelerating, with deployments planned in 2019. He also talked about the importance of IoT ecosystems and how we are getting closer to live launches for 5G. His talk definitely drove traffic to our booth."

CSG International showcased its Ascendon digital services platform as well as Ascendon IoT, and a partnership it announced at the show with Arrow Electronics, to monetize the IoT through cloud-based SaaS for IoT providers. CSG is launching a new division for IoT connected health, automotive, manufacturing, agriculture and others to be monetized through an AWS-based platform.  "This has been very surprising, as I was here eight years ago and it wasn’t good, but now you walk around and the movers-and-shakes of the tech world are all around in the halls and conference sessions. I just saw Carlos Slim Domit and the ex-CEO of HP walking around. There’s a really good mix of ecosystem stakeholders here," said Ian Watterson, CSG's president of Americas and Asia-Pacific.

"It's about time, as there was a huge need for a show in North America with the growing interest in IoT, which will require that everything be connected from cars to refrigerators, representing growth for the industry. So that’s why Arrow, which wouldn’t have been at a show like this in the past, is here with us. Where the North American market was saturated in terms of new initiatives, the faster networks and IoT is driving renewed interest."


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