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Mobile World Congress 2018

EDITOR’S BLOG 191017 Oh What a World Telemedia

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“Well that was good, wasn’t it?” Those were the words that greeted me at Malaga airport on my way home from World Telemedia from a UK delegate I bumped into in the queue to get in. And he was bang on. That was one hell of a show.

As we outline in some of our round up stories today – more to come, along with videos and more in the coming weeks – the show was the most international so far and was all the better for it.

The hot ticket at the show was data – not just GDPR (boring but really important) – but more how it is the new money in many senses as it drives everything. Personalisation drives everything from advertising to content to payments and even affiliate marketing. Understanding what data to collect and what to do with it is what will drive businesses forwards.

More specifically, billing and payments were hotly debated at the show. Carrier billing is vital for the industry, but it still struggles to gain ground in a crowded market. The key is to use it to add value and to get it in to new areas.

IoT and smart cities are crying out for uberisation of payments, making things seamless and personal. Mobile offers this and carrier billing is ideal. The challenge is to get the buy in. In the UK carrier billing still carries the whiff of the unpleasant and MNOs do spend huge amounts on handling a relatively small amount of complaints. This has to be erased and the benefits pushed to a wider audience.

Affiliate marketing and promotions were also high on the agenda, showing just how important to telemedia these services are. Again, these too suffer from an image problem and need to be redeemed. Here again data is the key: sharing how things work, where traffic comes from and the good ganging up on the bad is the only way to stop it becoming a problem rather than a solution.

On the value added services front, the show delivered some spirited debate on how to using carrier billing to add value and how OTT messaging needs to be monetised and brought into the telemedia fold.

All this happened alongside a raft of meet and greets, speed networking and the usual parties. But while these offer some well needed R n R they also proved to be the place where deals were done.

All in all, it was a great show – and hopefully the first of many greats to come. Stay tuned for more analysis, content and thought-leadership from the show.

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Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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