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What to look forward to at mwc Barcelona 2023

Shamik Mishra
24 Feb 2023

As the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event, Mobile World Congress Barcelona is a pivotal point for many in their annual business calendars. Quite simply, it’s an unmissable business-to-business event for everything mobile.

Coming back to its full overwhelming extent, this in-person large scale congress that’s getting closer and closer to CES, promises to be a refreshing experience to reunite with clients and partners – old and new – with the possibility of impromptu encounters, quick coffee breaks, and stand-up meetings at the booth.

MWC is always a bit of a hybrid show as apart from showing a bunch of product announcements, mobile industry goes there to do business. That’s why there’s always a lot of chat around the show. Outside of the consumer sphere, it also draws in many industry heavyweights to talk about the future of mobile, like 5G, mobile hardware, VR, AI, edge computing, and other associated technologies. Themes at the show this year, according to the GSMA, will range from the metaverse to fixed wireless, open RAN, cryptocurrency, virtualization, sustainability, and private networks.

Some of the key MWC 2023 themes I look forward to see include:

  • Private networks: At this year’s show, I expect to see more diversified and immersive 5G-powered use cases that can bring value to industries. Last year, 5G private networks became mainstream with commercial deployments. Use cases that demonstrate industrial automation, immersive experiences, and productivity improvements have also seen higher adoption.

5G private networks combine 5G networks with multi-access edge computing that can host ‘network-aware’ applications. Additionally, the developer ecosystem can be harnessed by providing simplified models to onboard applications through enhanced developer experience.

At this year’s MWC, Capgemini will demonstrate our 5G connected experience solutions that converge Capgemini software frameworks like 5G RAN, core network, and intelligent edge application platform (IEAP). We will showcase use cases like metaverse, industrial automation, rich developer experience, and practical examples of 5G industrial use cases.

  • I also expect to see a lot of interest in open networks this year. Open disaggregated networks like O-RAN provide more automation, more visibility, more diverse vendor ecosystem, and offer an intelligent radio platform that encourages application development by simplifying the access to deep network insights. This year, Capgemini’s O-RAN software framework and RIC platform will showcase a number of new and innovative applications.
  • Right now, I can see a growing and stronger push on sustainability ­­– especially when it comes to the carbon impact of telecommunications. Nowadays, we spend more time thinking about what we can do to help other industries decarbonize. With rising energy prices and inflationary pressures, I anticipate much of the focus to be on how the industry can reduce energy consumption and overarching operating expenses. Operators need help on their long-term path to Net Zero and their short-term journey also needs to keep at least some control over energy costs, while the GSMA’s themes of 5G Acceleration and OpenNet bring more network complexities that will require operational efficiencies only available via greater network automation. Energy costs account for between 15% and 40% of OPEX for Telcos – and that figure is expected to increase sharply in the next few years.

Capgemini’s “Green Network” initiative will demonstrate network energy management through network AI as part of the Project Bose. We will also demonstrate how we are scaling sustainability in partnership with Snowflake and how computer vision is used for improving the quality of FTTH access network

  • 5G Monetization and early 6G will also be a key item on the table. Hopefully, in Barcelona, we will see more innovation from operators on 5G Standalone services for vertical solutions and more advanced consumer applications, and more from vendors on progress with 5G-Advanced solutions that will really complete the 5G vision. I expect initial discussions on 6G to focus on standardization activities, early research, and challenges that 6G expects to solve.

Capgemini will host multiple live stage conversations around 5G monetization and 6G research including our initiatives with universities.

  • Network-as-a-service: 5G monetization also requires the ability to look at the network as a platform. Application developers need these to access insights and information from the network through APIs. Telco network APIs are critical to ensure a path towards automation and monetization. Additionally, automation is crucial for operators as they try to navigate the higher “run” costs. Automation at scale can help them improve their efficiencies and have more control and visibility over the networks. This also requires treating the network as a platform. 5G automation solutions, like network slicing when driven out of cloud, can turn enterprise network provisioning into a fully automated, single click solution.

We will demonstrate a first of its kind, cloud-driven network automation solution for network slices at the MWC in partnership with BluePlanet, Casa Systems, Juniper, and Microsoft. You can also experience our Advanced Network Automation (ANA) solution that makes granular control over network automation possible for operators.

Visit Capgemini’s Future of Connected Reality section at MWC 2023 and witness the coming together of the physical and digital world. Something like that requires connectivity at a level never seen before and we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through advances in this direction.

The Future of Networks section showcases how Capgemini and our partners are paving the way to a future where high-performance connectivity can be accessed anywhere in the world, delivering resilient services for the most complex use cases. We are confident that the future of networks is open, sustainable, automated, and managed through intelligent orchestration.

At Capgemini we believe 5G is the fabric of the future and the future is connected. The key to that connection is 5G. Capgemini engineers are expanding the limits of 5G in multiple areas, connecting industries with telco at the core. Join us at Hall 2 #2B90 to experience the future of technology and participate in some live stage presentations with partners and clients. We look forward to meeting you there!

TelcoInsights is a series of posts about the latest trends and opportunities in the telecommunications industry – powered by a community of global industry experts and thought leaders.


Shamik Mishra

VP, CTO Connectivity, Capgemini Engineering
Shamik Mishra is the Global CTO for connectivity, Capgemini Engineering. An experienced Technology and Innovation executive driving growth through technology innovation, strategy, roadmap, architecture, research, R&D in telecommunication & software domains. He has a rich experience in wireless, platform software and cloud computing domains, leading offer development & new product introduction for 5G, Edge Computing, Virtualisation, Intelligent network operations.