My Colleague, Marisa and I just returned from attending the Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) in Los Angeles which was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, CA from 12th – 14th September. The focus of this event was a relatively pivotal one for the mobile industry with a particular focus on North America. The companies exhibiting at this show ranged from small start-ups introducing their first product or service to well-established titans of the telecommunications industry.
Mobile World Congress Americas overview
Mobile World Congress Americas was well-organized and in spite of boasting over 15,000 attendees, the event did not leave attendees feeling cramped together as is often the case with larger tradeshows. The event was held in two separate, but connected exhibition halls (South Hall and West Hall). Most companies that had an exhibition’s presence in the West Hall tended to be involved with wireless infrastructure, accessories as well as telecommunication equipment hardware such as routers, etc. Companies exhibiting in the South Hall were focused more often than not on services and non-physical technologies such as 5G, etc.
Personally, my main goal of attending MWC Americas was to meet with partners that I have only spoken to over the phone or via email and foster a stronger connection. I had the opportunity to sit down and build a stronger rapport with these partners. One such example would be when Marisa and I sat down for an insightful meeting with the team from OpenMarket. It was a chance to learn about what new technologies they are focusing on and to better understand how Forest Interactive possibly can take advantage of additional services that OpenMarket will be rolling out in the near future. One such technology is RCS (Rich Communication Services) which creates a much more customer-engaging alternative to SMS. It allows for companies utilizing it to include graphics, video, etc. as opposed to simple texts. The main advantage, as presented by the companies offering RCS, is that this new technology will result in lower consumer attrition rates and a more customized experience for the end-user that will lead to greater satisfaction rates and ultimately a more reliable revenue stream for the companies that embrace this next-generation technology.
Imagining A better future
Another benefit of attending MWC Americas was to meet with companies that I have researched or perhaps heard of but have not had the chance to speak with before the event. One such company was a software and hardware manufacturer called Circle. By creating innovative partnerships with companies such as Disney and NETGEAR, Circle has been able to create a user-friendly portfolio of products which allow parents to monitor and control the time that their children spend using mobile devices. Even as we were speaking with the Director of Product Marketing for Circle, an attendee (and parent) enthusiastically shared with us how satisfied she was with the suite of products. That sort of customer validation is something that every company dreams of and rarely receives.
In addition, the event also gathered industry titans such as Samsung and Verizon where they occupied large portions of the tradeshow floor and drew eager attendees to their multi-faceted displays. Verizon focused on how their innovation labs churn out real-life applications for industries ranging from AR advertising to gaming. Samsung, on the other hand, was primarily showcasing their mobile devices and various features.
5G Moves from trials to commercial reality
If I had to choose one theme that was pervasive throughout MWC Americas this year it would have to be the much-anticipated technology known as Fifth-generation wireless or more commonly referred to as 5G. Our partner in the United States, Sprint, did an impressive job highlighting a variety of real-world use cases that rely on 5G technology to bring new applications from concept to market. One such application is a state-of-the-art automotive blockchain router developed by one of Sprint’s hardware partners called NXM Labs. This computer mouse-sized device which when installed in an automobile utilizes Sprint’s 5G network to monitor the health and safety of the vehicle resulting in safer and more enjoyable driving experiences.
To sum up…
Having a presence at this year’s event was important because it allowed us to get a better understanding of the trends in the telecommunications industry that will impact Forest Interactive in one way or another. The other aspect of attending this year’s event was to be able to meet with a whole host of interesting people that introduced us to a range of technologies as well as ideas that will allow us to offer a richer customer experience.
About Forest Interactive:
Established in 2006, our headquarters is located in the center of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with global operations across 36 countries. Throughout its inception, the company has entrenched itself to play an important part within the vibrant mobile industry, working closely with Mobile Network Operators, Industry Regulators, Government Agencies, Consumer Groups and related associations in ensuring as well as enabling innovative solutions for the mobile ecosystem. We have established a competitive portfolio of end-to-end solutions for our telco, enterprise and content partners that reach out to more than 2.9B subscribers worldwide and has already partnered with over 100 corporate clients and 93 mobile operators across Asia, the Middle-East and the USA.
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