By Peter Jarich, Head, GSMA Intelligence
MWC23 – If I had to prioritise five sessions
Head of GSMA Intelligence Peter Jarich gives Mobile World Daily an overview of his expectations for a very busy MWC23.
One thing that always surprises first-time MWC attendees is the massive, sprawling nature of the event. The magnitude of exhibitors and demos. The crowd of people to meet. The incredible amount of content to absorb. This last aspect can be particularly overwhelming, and not just for first-time attendees. With so many keynotes, panels and summits, deciding what sessions to join is no small task.
This dynamic often results in people not attending any sessions. “I’ve been locked in too many meetings and demos this year. Did you attend any cool sessions?” This is something I hear year after year. I’m guilty of it myself and it’s not good.
The content programme is all about an opportunity to hear from a diverse set of smart people – an opportunity to get out of our own personal echo chambers and directly engage with some of those smart people. And, if you’re counting on the media or your friends to pay attention to all the aspects you care about in all the sessions you might care about…don’t. The insights that matter to you (and your business) may well be specific to you and will only reveal themselves if you’re there and listening for them.
If nothing else, this is what I’m telling myself as I make an attempt to hit more sessions this year.
So, where to start?
The first thing to note is that conference sessions are like children; they are all unique, loved and special in their own way. The second thing is that it’s impossible to take it all in. There is just too much going on across the four days. Finally, the keynotes are their own category of content; the big names from across the mobile, telecoms and technology ecosystems make them the de facto content for many people to go and see.
Where I’m focused, then, is on a set of sessions beyond the keynote stage. My interests may be different to yours but they’re pretty broad, with my Top Five including something for everyone.
Going Green: Are We Meeting Targets?
Monday 14.45-15.45 CET
The mobile industry has taken a lead with its commitments to net-zero targets. But there’s a big difference between targets and progress. The GSMA Intelligence team has been working with operators to benchmark their sustainability efforts for several years and it’s encouraging to see the tough questions around green operations being addressed head on. Bonus – loading the session with speakers from Qualcomm, Intel, Ericsson and Huawei ensures a diversity of views.
Manufacturing Summit: Digital Reality in the Industrial Metaverse
Monday 16.00-16.45 CET
Okay, I’m flagging two sessions on the same afternoon. But this one kicks off a whole 15 minutes after the previous one ends – and they aren’t very far from one another. Following on from MWC22, the metaverse hype hasn’t abated, regardless of whether anyone has a clear view of the market’s trajectory or its biggest revenue opportunities. One thing is certain: a focus on consumer metaverse use cases dominates the industry narrative. That’s a shame, if only because industrial use cases may be easier to identify and monetise.
DIVERSITY4TECH Summit 2023
Tuesday 09.30-12.15 CET
Amid the myriad MWC tech demos and discussions, we cannot forget that the industry is made up of people, and that a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry impairs its ability to innovate. I highlighted some marquee names in the Going Green session on Monday, but this roster doesn’t disappoint either: AWS, Burberry, Cisco, Colt, EY, IBM, Meta, Nokia, Zain. Perhaps more importantly, it promises actionable insights and guidance for achieving DEI goals. Let’s hope it delivers; a lot rides on getting this right.
eSIM Summit: eSIM to Power Connected Devices
Wednesday 09.30-11.30 CET
Would you believe that 2023 will mark the five-year anniversary of Apple including eSIM functionality in all new smartphone models? With consumer awareness of eSIM remaining low and the growth in eSIM consumer devices yet to achieve a hockey-stick trajectory, it’s easy to forget that we’re talking about a mature technology. How, then, do we get from maturity to scale? A focus on key use cases (consumer and IoT) along with critical enablers (provisioning) seems like a good start.
MWC23: Who Won, Who Lost, & What Did We Learn?
Thursday 11.15-12.00 CET
Full disclosure: this one is a shameless plug. For the last few years, I’ve gathered some of the smartest industry analysts to join me on the last day of MWC to talk about their takeaways from the show. Bringing together analysts from across a diverse set of research and consulting firms is an incredible privilege. At the same time, getting the scoop on MWC23 from people who share their expert insights for a living is an incredible opportunity.
ABOUT GSMA INTELLIGENCE
GSMA Intelligence is the definitive source of global mobile operator data, analysis and forecasts, and publisher of authoritative industry reports and research. Our data covers every operator group, network and MVNO in every country worldwide – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. It is the most accurate and complete set of industry metrics available, comprising tens of millions of individual data points, updated daily.
GSMA Intelligence is relied on by leading operators, vendors, regulators, financial institutions and third-party industry players, to support strategic decision-making and long-term investment planning. The data is used as an industry reference point and is frequently cited by the media and by the industry itself.
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