The eagerly anticipated framework agenda for Mobile World Congress 2018 has just gone live. The direct result of the GSMA speaker team reading some 3,000 speaker submissions and countless research briefings conducted over the summer.
This will go through another few rounds of refinement but it does see the GSMA draw its line in the sand in terms of the topics and themes that will be represented at the show and those that won’t. This blog explains the GSMA’s thinking and is well worth a read.
So, what does it reveal?
Well the first thing that strikes me is consistency. The 4th industrial revolution theme remains front and centre and comprises more sessions than any other theme. Given that this is where IoT innovation and diversification belongs, this is hardly surprising. Networks also remain a key focus – 5G advancement and developments in SDN and NFV look prominent.
We can also see decent focus on media and content strategies as per previous shows. The evolution in content services and consumer consumption will always have huge relevance, particularly with the advent of contextual marketing and the search for greater consumer engagement through better personalisation.
So, what is different this year? Well the one area that really caught my eye was how the GSMA plans to cover the ongoing digital transformation the industry is experiencing. It has decided to slice the topic in half and attack it from the perspective of the ‘Future Service Provider’ and ‘the digital consumer.’ This makes a lot of sense – it is essentially exploring the ‘push and pull’ behind the radical change the mobile industry is experiencing. I expect these sessions to be extremely well attended.
AI gets its own specific focus. This was only a matter of time. It dominated proceedings at Mobile World Congress Americas and it will be front and centre in Barcelona. It’s a topic that comprises so much opportunity as I mentioned in a previous blog.
And finally, there is no mention of sustainability. It appears to have been replaced with the ‘Technology in Society’ theme. This maintains valuable links to the impact of connected technologies linked to health, education, and the environment – precisely the same topics that sustainability and the fulfilment of the sustainability development goals covered previously. Just looks like a slight ‘re-badge’ rather than complete revolution.
Decisions on who makes the stage and who doesn’t will be made in the coming weeks. If you’re aligned to these topics and themes, you stand a better chance than those that are not.
Good luck everyone.