A Look Back at MWC 2023: Top Trends and Industry Next Steps in 5G, the Metaverse, CX and Cloud Technology
The Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC), is one of the largest events in the mobile industry, providing a platform for companies to showcase their latest innovations in the connectivity space. At this year's event, several themes dominated the stage including 5G, the metaverse, customer experience and cloud technology, all of which are set to revolutionize the industry in the next few years.
Although 5G technology has been around for a while, its continued rollout presents fresh opportunities that will push the industry to entirely new levels. Discussions about the social impacts of 5G, cross-industry possibilities and innovative use cases dominated panel discussions, private events, meetings and hallway conversations at MWC 2023. The unrivalled advantages of 5G remained a key topic, expanding beyond faster broadband to areas including enhanced security, cost savings and new opportunities for co-innovation.
Compared to previous years at MWC, which mostly focused on 5G hardware, this year's event featured new cutting-edge 5G solutions, including integrating 5G with immersive technologies for cross-industry optimization and digitization. 5G-powered Virtual Reality (VR) demos were prominent throughout the event, demonstrating the advantages of 5G for wide-spread VR application. The demos, which included 5G-powered VR flight simulators, allowed users to experience VR in more immersive way than ever before.
As a part of its technology previews, EPAM presented the first metaverse solution in the Spanish market—Vodafone Spain's 5G Virtual Reality—developed by Optiva Media, an EPAM company. Featuring a VR experience of a football match where users could interact in real-time, the demo illustrated the possibilities of 5G-VR in gaming, education, entertainment and sports.
Debates concerning the current state of the metaverse and the readiness of the industry for this transition took center stage during MWC 2023. However, it was evident that the sector is still in its experimental stage of the metaverse, exploring the possibilities for business optimization and industry application. Speakers emphasized that telcos would play a significant part in the development of the metaverse, whether providing the data pipelines for apps or developing networks that could support the demand for more immersive technologies in the future.
MWC 2023 stressed that the metaverse will not be a standalone mission. If we are to realize the potential of this new phase of human-technology interaction, there must be cross-industry cooperation. Telcos must seek support from industries such as gaming, entertainment, education and healthcare as they explore the immersive and educational potential of the metaverse. To enter this new market, companies should identify the right platform, enhance their online presence, create AR/VR applications, target their audience and work with content creators to establish NFT collections.
Businesses must consider their metaverse strategies now to remain relevant, and upcoming features such as NFT integration and blockchain technology must be considered. In short, companies entering the metaverse must take similar measures as they would when entering a new physical market, and industries should continue to build metaverse use cases collaboratively across sectors.
Customer experience (CX) leaders emphasized the continued importance of telcos in providing individualized experiences for end users to maintain their competitiveness in 2023. Despite being excellent at operational efficiency and connectivity, telcos need to prioritize CX to reinvent their business models and stay relevant in a fast-evolving industry.
Advancing technology, such as the metaverse and metahumans, present a huge opportunity to reimagine the future of telecoms, and CX must be at the heart of this transformation. Companies can leverage these enhanced personalized and immersive experiences to reflect customer preferences and behaviors. Metahumans can be used in various ways to provide cost-effective solutions for improving efficiency, creating original systemic capabilities and taking CX to a whole new level. By employing lifelike avatars that presenting human-like behavior, they offer engaging experiences in industries such as gaming, education and healthcare. Real-time analysis of data enhanced CX further as the customized avatars can reflect customer preferences and behavior.
MWC 2023 witnessed the launch of EPAM’s digital metahuman, Vivian, that can interact with humans in real time. It uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) technologies to understand human speech and respond accordingly. Powered by a combination of AI-enabled chatbots, motion capture and 3D gaming software, EPAM’s digital metahuman will enable digital businesses to offer customers real-life experiences for technical support, sales, customer service and more, creating remote lifelike interactive customer engagements that facilitate education, autonomy and convenience. Used in various industries such as healthcare, retail, finance and entertainment, Vivian is set to be the future face of customer experience.
The cloud took center stage as companies showcased new products, features and partnerships aimed at helping telcos transform their services, modernize their networks using hybrid cloud principles and unlock new revenue streams through innovative monetization strategies. The cloud is currently affecting various areas of the industry, including enterprise tech, telecoms, and network infrastructure.
This year, discussions and innovations associated with cloud technology focused on edge computing, green computing, AI, data and enterprise cloud and the necessity for carriers to evolve their infrastructure stacks to more open, flexible, and cloud-like models. It was evident that cloud technology will have a significant impact on the industry in the future, expanding to a highly distributed fabric, spanning 5G to space, fueling telco-techno transformation, unlocking differentiate revenue streams and enabling a new era of innovation for telcos.
Overall, MWC 2023 served as a crucial nexus for highlighting top trends and cutting-edge solutions that will shape the future of the connectivity industry. 5G, the metaverse, CX and cloud technology have the potential to revolutionize human-technology interaction in the coming years, delivering value and financial benefits to organizations not yet realized.