Powering Connectivity: Top 3 Takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2024

Late last month, innovators from across the telecommunications spectrum — and all the industries that rely on connectivity to succeed — gathered at Mobile World Congress Barcelona (MWC), the biggest telecom conference of the year. More than 100,000 attendees came together with service providers, device manufacturers and tech companies to discuss and discover how technology advances like generative AI (gen AI) and 5G, along with business imperatives such as powering new revenue streams, are reshaping the industry — adding both complexity and opportunity when it comes to global business competition.  

As a sponsor, Snowflake had a large presence at this year’s MWC. We hosted sessions and demos to show how the Snowflake platform can break down data silos to enable secure collaboration, innovation, data monetization and, most important, business growth. We met with key industry influencers to discuss what they’re seeing and anticipating across the telecom space. And we heard from customers about how they’re using the Telecom Data Cloud to build a simplified data foundation that fast-tracks progress toward key goals such as operational efficiency, resilience and sustainability — and supports data strategies that meet the challenges of the future today. 

Here are the top three insights our industry experts took away from the dynamic four-day event.

1. Telecoms Are Getting Serious About Gen AI

If 2023 was the year when generative AI burst into the cultural consciousness, 2024 looks to be the year when businesses retain or gain a competitive edge by consolidating their proprietary data to create data-driven applications and collaborations that unlock new revenue streams. The telecom industry is no exception, as was demonstrated by the massive focus on gen AI at this year’s MWC.

The transformative power of gen AI for telecoms is undeniable, which is why thousands of conference attendees delved into ways gen AI can help them build business strategies that address complex challenges, including:

  • Optimizing network performance 
  • Delivering insights that power revenue streams
  • Identifying and resolving network problems
  • Automating the design and deployment of new networks
  • Predicting network outages, traffic spikes or other problems

2. The Telecom Data Strategy Is Evolving

A reality for telecommunications companies is that their legacy infrastructures — mixing cloud-based and on-premises data — thwart their ability to capitalize on AI. Figuring out how to consolidate all their siloed data onto a single, unified platform, securely and compliantly, is the first major milestone toward developing an effective data strategy. 

What we heard at MWC was that service providers generally find themselves at this earliest stage of trying to simplify their data foundation. And even that is often difficult. Beyond data consolidation, the same barriers telecoms face to consolidating their vast amounts of data also create a challenge when it comes to developing and deploying effective machine learning and large language model applications. The bottom line? All this can impede crucial AI transformation. 

A theme at this year’s MWC was how establishing a robust data infrastructure is key to creating a strong data strategy. Telecom companies are seeing the long-term value of collecting data in one place, securing it, sharing it safely and streamlining data collaboration between internal and external parties. Partnering with third-party data is the next step toward a truly modern data platform. Snowflake is purpose-built to facilitate such a data strategy evolution.

3. Data Collaboration Will Enable Sustainable Competitive Advantage

As the planet faces increasing impacts from climate change, many companies are more sharply focusing on sustainability, looking to create a more open, collaborative ecosystem that will help achieve sustainability goals. Telecoms we heard from at MWC want to build ecosystems that support seamless and secure network solutions — while also being sustainable. Data collaboration is essential to achieve this.

In Barcelona, Snowflake’s industry leaders discussed how telecoms can support sustainability initiatives using its platform. “Data for good” use cases include Snowflake Marketplace, where customers can access ESG and sustainability data sets, and the Sustainability Data Foundation (SDF) program, a global initiative that offers a unified repository of customer information, streamlining data quality processes and operations while helping businesses drive meaningful improvements and sustainable practices.

Snowflake and other industry leaders believe that, in the near term, promoting sustainability through data collaboration will become the norm in the telecom industry. That’s based on resounding data that consumers will increasingly demand it.

Download the Top 3 Takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2024 ebook to learn more, or visit the Telecom Data Cloud page to see how Snowflake can help you build a strong data foundation and prepare for what’s ahead.

The post Powering Connectivity: Top 3 Takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2024 appeared first on Snowflake.

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