5 things you gotta do at MWC24

I always get excited about MWC because it takes me back to my fond memories of #CLOUDCITY. We were still in the throes of the pandemic. MWC got rescheduled to late June. Ericsson bailed on its sponsorship of the event, giving up its 6,000 square meter, prime exhibit space—not to mention the center-stage visibility. We jumped on the opportunity to bring the message of the public cloud to the telco industry, and built CLOUD CITY in less than 100 days. I’m still so proud of what we did. It was EPIC. To this day, these pictures live rent-free in my head.

But enough about me. What about YOU? You’ve checked the Barcelona weather forecast. You’ve packed your bag. You’re thinking about all that jamón. As you start to plan your daily itinerary, make sure to make time for these five things. 

1. Check out the Totogi booth.

Absolutely, positively, do not miss the Totogi booth. We’ll be in Hall 2 at the Fira. As the acting CEO, I’m biased, of course. I think our vision for the telco industry is the most exciting thing going on in telco software right now. Plus, our booth is insane! We’ll have product demos, a huge video wall, delicious free snacks, and, of course, the BEST COFFEE in Barcelona.

Plus, it won’t be just the usual amazing products. We’re launching something new at the MVNO Summit (more on that below). We think of it as the perfect BSS. So, be sure to stop by and take a look for yourself. For 1:1 attention, book a meeting with the Totogi team!

2. Visit your hyperscaler.

MWC is the perfect opportunity to meet with your hyperscaler(s) and see what’s new. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have been going bigger every year at MWC, and I’m sure this year will continue the trend. They all had a big physical presence last year, and also lots of telco-related product announcements. Azure’s list was particularly impressive and I hear AWS is planning to unleash a treasure trove of announcements. 

Make time to drop by your hyperscaler’s booth to get the inside scoop on what’s coming. It will probably be showing off awesome new artificial intelligence (AI) tools for our industry. You can also introduce yourself, shake some hands, and put faces to names. Ask about other telcos in your market, other telcos of similar size, what deals it has for telcos, how it can help you migrate workloads, and what third-party vendors it’s working with. If you stop by the AWS booth, be sure to visit the Digitizing industries section and meet with Totogi where we’re presenting our 5G Private Network monetization solution with Verizon! 

3. Ask a lot of questions about AI.

I’ve spent a LOT of time with AI advancements in the last year, and I’ve noticed that there are companies doing it right, and companies that are touting #fakeAI. Everybody wants to LOOK LIKE they’re on the cutting edge. Only a few are actually putting in the work to get there.

With industry pubs saying MWC24 will be all about AI, you know we’re gonna be knee-deep in hype from vendors about all of their new AI features. How do you tell what’s real innovation and what’s window dressing? Who’s killing it, and who’s just going through the motions? It requires some (relatively easy) homework.

So, do this: Make a list of your key vendors. Find them at MWC and ask about what they’re doing with AI: chatbots, copilots, RAG tools, LLMs, etc., and ask to see their demos. (They should have them front and center!) My recent blog provides the questions, the follow-ups, and even a handy scoring system to help you spot the fakers.

4. Get in on the network API action.

New network APIs are cropping up all over the place these days, and from operators worldwide. It’s been a year since GSMA announced the Open Gateway initiative, and the last few months have seen several announcements from the 40-some telcos that have signed on to the framework of universal network APIs.

Last September, Deutsche Telekom, under the brand MagentaBusiness API, launched three APIs: Quality-on-demand, Device Status, and Device Location. November saw Sri Lanka’s four mobile operators launch One Time Password Validation, Device Location, and Carrier Billing, followed by Brazilian operators Claro, TIM, and Vivo with Number Verify, SeIM Swap, and Device Location. Earlier this month, Spanish operators Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone announced Number Verification and SIM Swap. BT is reportedly thinking about it.

Mike Dano from Light Reading reports that AT&T is launching an accelerator program to promote its network APIs to developers, and Verizon and T-Mobile have similar efforts underway. AT&T and Verizon also announced plans to work with Ericsson’s Vonage, which is rolling out its API platform on AWS Marketplace, to get their network APIs into the hands of more devs.

Need to get on this train? Send your developers to the Open Gateway DevCon on Wednesday, February 28, from 3 – 7 pm for insights, practical knowledge, and a list to them get started. (Note: this session overlaps with the MVNO Summit.)

Regular readers know I’ve been conducting studies and thinking and blogging about network APIs a lot (and buying CPaaS companies, and launching products, and blogging about that, too).

In short, I’m all for Open Gateway, but building network APIs is the easy part. The hard part is building a developer network, which is THE KEY to monetizing the APIs. And bad news for telcos, this is not something you can go out and buy; you actually have to build it yourselves. We have to make it massively easy to move and significantly cheaper, which is exactly why Totogi launched Whoosh! 

5. Come to the MVNO Summit (and our AI-CONIC afterparty!)

Come to the second annual MVNO Summit! Even if you work for a giant mobile network operator (MNO), you’ll want to hear my amazing talk and get your 20,000 steps in by making your way to Hall 8, Theatre 4, Fira Gran Via. It starts at 4 pm CET on Wednesday, February 28, but get there early! Last year, it was standing-room-only in the 350-person room, and pre-registrations are going fast. I’m providing the pre-Summit drinks and snacks, so make the trek, it’ll be worth it!

Totogi is unveiling a new product at MWC that will build the perfect BSS. Hold on to your socks, because our demo might just knock them off. Here’s a little teaser video to whet your whistle: 

After the summit wraps at 6:30 pm, join us at our AI-CONIC party! It’ll be the best party in Barcelona, at a super cool venue. Last year someone told me that the parties we throw remind them of old-school telco parties, which is a good thing, I guess?!?! DM me on LinkedIn or X @TelcoDR for an invite.

Okay, that’s my list! Be sure to do your AI homework. I don’t want you getting snowed by some of these #fakeAI vendors that are all talk and no action.

Are you ready? Are you pumped? AI AM! Haha, see what I did there? I can’t wait! See you at MWC, nerds.

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