The announcement that Mobile World Congress 2020 (MWC2020) was cancelled sent shockwaves through the whole mobile industry and the wider tech sector. Thousands of companies had been gearing up for months to attend this essential gathering of the global mobile movers and shakers, with stands and meeting space booked and diaries full of appointments to meet with partners and customers.
However, it didn’t take long for people to realise that they could not get refunds on flights and hotels, and so the phones started ringing, emails and messages started pinging and the seeds were sown for an alternative. After all, the show must go on.
Of course, it wasn’t enough for many of the telemedia industry to consider not still making the annual pilgrimage to Barcelona; there needed to be a clear focal point and reliable source of information — an industry voice if you like. Step up the World Telemedia team – who quickly launched #unofficialMWC2020 and a “movement” was born.
One company that followed this powerful hashtag was Simfony – a company that break down the entry barriers for MVNOs and SPs with their white label MVNO solution. Its pay-as-you-grow model allows telecom providers to quickly launch and deliver own-branded IoT products and services in multi-national and multi-operator environments without high upfront investments or commitments.
Simfony’s platform includes a full MVNO core network stack, together with all the necessary customer support facilities, OSS/BSS, online charging system, real-time self-service platform and all corresponding APIs. The branded SIM cards are based on the latest eSIM/ eUICC standard, and thanks to their strong global carriers partnerships they can offer extremely competitive wholesale rates.
“We started to notice some initiatives for alternative / unofficial events, but the one that really stood out for us was #unofficialMWC2020,” says Joachim de Wild, Simfony’s CEO. “We really appreciated the enthusiasm and energy that went in from the Telemedia team, so we decided to not only attend but also sponsor the open rooftop bar at Hotel Casa Bonay [Mini Show] on the Monday evening. We managed to get some last-minute branded beer mats and banners produced and five of us attended this packed out networking event, which in hindsight turned out to be a highly valuable alternative, at least as interesting as official MWC and a lot more fun.”
And feedback shows that Simfony was far from the only attendee to feel this way about the unofficial initiative. It certainly brings into question the validity of creating a single all-encompassing umbrella over a mobile industry – which clearly has so many individual sectors within it.
In short, has MWC just become too big and is it now fit for purpose? Is MWC2020 going to be a turning point? Certainly, the way companies in the telemedia – covering the VAS, content, billing, messaging sectors – pulled together and reacted to their own specific call to action would suggests that future renegade events might well prove to be, at the very least, a valuable supplement to the traditional 100,000 person “scrum down”.
By filtering out the people that identified as being part of the telemedia community, it was clear that they were not only united under a clever hashtag, but perhaps more importantly a unique creativity and entrepreneurial mindset that can so often be lost in the chaotic exchange of business cards at the Fira Barcelona.
As de Wild concludes: “I am pretty sure that #unofficialMWC2020 will remain and exist in the years to come as a great alternative to the gigantic and less personal MWC event – and Simfony will definitely be back as a sponsor next year. Your event was awesome, and we were glad we were a part of it.”
Simfony is GSMA member and ISO certified and onboards over 10 new MVNOs every quarter. It is an IoT focused MVNE that offer immediate IoT Infrastructure, global connectivity and MVNO capabilities that enable telecom providers to build, deploy and manage innovative IoT projects under its own brand.
Simfony’s platform also includes a full MVNO core network stack and LoRaWAN network server – together with customer support facilities, online charging system, IoT applications development environments, real-time self-service platform and all corresponding APIs.
Contact the company for a live demo of the Simfony platform, or visit its website for more information: www.simfony.com