While the show was pretty short on ‘wow factor’ this year, seemingly only really trying to big up handset launches (yawn – well apart from the Nokia Banana phone, but it has really come to something when the highlight of the show is the relaunch of a 20 year old handset) and visitor numbers, there were a few gems buried in the aisles.
The past few MWCs have pushed 5G and, with the technology now being deployed, there is a swell of people starting to think about how it might actually impact telecoms in more prosaic ways than carrying out surgery remotely and making gaming better (or, if you are some sort of psychopath, both). Today, companies such as RGK Mobile are looking seriously at how 5G is going to shake up streaming services and how it can capitalise on that – both in the developed markets of western Europe, but also out in India where it’s recent deal with Airtel positions it nicely to look at how to use the new tech to offer new services, and Asia where it is teaming up with Axiata Digital to develop carrier billing.
RGK is also looking at how to combine this with carrier billing – which also had a boost at the show, with many more companies offering it as a serious proposition for payments around these new services. Check out RGK Mobile talking about all this in this video.
Carrier billing was also on the menu for mGage, which was at the show rolling out Payforit with a twist. Thanks to accreditation, mGage can now offer Payforit skinned for the merchant or retailers brand, making it a much more attractive prospect. Check out how that works in this video.
Another area where there is much for the telemdia sector to get excited about is RCS. Rich Communications services are the Google-powered next generation of SMS and allow businesses to offer rich text messaging that allows for branding and really rich functionality within the messages.
One advocate of this is IMI Mobile, which was on hand to showcase how RCS works and, moreover, how distribution company Hermes is planning to use it to keep customers updated on deliveries. IMI and Hermes showcased the service on the GSMA stand and you can see it in action in this video.
IMI’s Hermes demo is part of the company’s launch of RCS for businesses that took place at the show and which aims to bring rich engagement through ‘sms’ to a whole new audience of businesses and merchants – this really is a big deal for telemedia companies. Suddenly messaging is a whole new ball game.
And logistics is a whole new market that telemedia companies are looking to tap into. Also at the show was Crazy4Media which, among other things, was rolling out a Blockchain-based service to help not only track deliveries, but also to reward early or on time ones and penalise late ones. Still a work in progress – described in more detail in this video – the move shows just how telemedia companies are now at the forefront of taking much of the hype from previous MWC events and turning them into real world services that not only generate new revenue streams for the industry, but also deliver increasing benefits to the public.
So, yes MWC18 was the usual back-slapping festival par excellence, but there were some interesting nuggets out there to see and some food for thought as to where the telemedia industry can take these things. Encouraging signs abound and it augers well for this year’s World Telemedia show in October.