Perspectives from Mobile World Congress Americas 2018

3 minute read

Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) 2018 brought industry leaders together in the media and entertainment capital of Los Angeles to discuss a wide array of challenges and opportunities around mobile, wireless, and Internet of Things (IoT). We are at a key inflection point in the IoT space, as applications have become mission-critical, business-critical and, in some verticals, even life-critical.

As you may have seen, in our blogs and on our social media channels, one of the hottest topics this week was 5G. It was emblazoned across booth designs, hand-outs and t-shirts. Yet, beyond the hype, industry experts are still waiting for the concept to deliver tangible IoT-specific benefits and for greater clarity around its true promise and specific pricing. Multiple panelists cautioned that ROI may not come until as late as 2025; and while 5G is an exciting concept, it is important to focus strategy development on business outcomes, not just speed and bandwidth considerations.

We were also excited to see the GSMA’s discussion around Intelligent Connectivity. It is essentially connectivity that matches the reaction time of humans, with incredible reliability. With our deep heritage and experience in secure, reliable, and global connectivity, we know it is foundational to IoT advancement and evolution, and is something we will closely watch in the immediate term.

Of course, another prevalent conversation at the show centered on navigating and simplifying the complexities of IoT. Panelists often noted that many proof-of-concept IoT projects never actually make it to fruition. More often than not, these projects fail due to poor strategic planning, coupled with challenges to understand certification costs, realistic time-to-market, scalability and real total cost of ownership (TCO). This is an environment that has shaped KORE’s own evolution, so we entered this week excited to talk with our customers, partners, key influencers, and others who closely follow our sector regarding what is needed to help our customers, and the market at large, solve for these common IoT deployment challenges.

In KORE President and Chief Executive Officer Romil Bahl’s flagship IoT keynote address, he shared insight on how enterprises of all sizes can maximize ROI from their IoT investments. Some of Romil’s key observations, based on his experience working with KORE’s 6,200 customers and their approximately nine million devices around the world, taught attendees how successful IoT deployments require a deliberate, holistic, and disciplined approach, from assessing IoT readiness through endpoint lifecycle management.

I also had the opportunity to speak at the show, participating on the “Delivering Mobile IoT at Scale” panel. My co-panelists and I talked through how increasing ROI from IoT deployments requires a secure, global network designed for IoT applications. Moderator Ricardo Tavares challenged us with a tough question on how eSIM technology will play out, and when. Speaking for KORE, we are excited about how eSIM could drive landmark efficiencies and capabilities across multiple industries, and help to “future proof” mobile technologies in the years to come.

As you can see, one takeaway is clear: as we wrap MWCA 2018, the future of IoT is bright and dynamic, and we can expect to see incredible strategic, operational, and technological advancements in our space by the time we reconvene for next year’s action-packed week of learning, sharing, and planning for the future.

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