After several years of muted attendance, mask-wearing, virtual sessions, and caution, MWC returned this year in full force with more than 88,000 attendees, 2,400 exhibitors, and a refreshing sense of normalcy across the Barcelona venue.
Among the participants at this year’s event was a contingent of executives from Aria, intent on meeting the increasing demand for enhanced cloud billing capabilities, particularly as telcos seek to adopt the flexible capabilities needed to support new digital business models, 5G-powered services, and a growing ecosystem of partners. Aria showcased its cloud BSS solution, developed in partnership with Salesforce, and participated in a panel discussion examining the benefits of cloud applications and a best-of-breed approach for billing, CRM, and other back-office technology solutions.
Aria Sales Engineer Hamish Cummins noted how in a nod to the growing importance of smaller, individual service providers, many of the monolithic companies like Microsoft, Nokia, and Ericsson dedicated significant space within the footprints of their very large booths for these types of companies. This is a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of best-of-breed partnerships and the role vendors like Aria are playing in helping CSPs gain a digital advantage using innovations like AI and CX toolsets. “Agile revenue management will be a must-have for even-faster product rollouts and ever more imaginative products and services.”
From the perspective of Tony Jackson, Senior Product Manager at Aria, this year’s MWC showcased multiple real-world use cases demonstrating the impact of 5G’s low latency capabilities to power critical, latency-sensitive services. According to Jackson, “5G and 6G networks offer the promise that actions really can be occurring at exactly the same time in multiple locations.” He cites the replication of human movements by robots and the ability of people to collaborate in real time within a “mirror world” as examples of how remote collaboration can be advanced by these next-generation mobile networks.
Aria Vice President of Product Marketing Akil Chomoko was pleased to see marketable progress and industry support around the GSMA API initiative. “For years, the industry has discussed the idea of providing external, non-telecom companies and developers access to APIs to enable innovators to exploit network access and control in their services.”
Several interesting, and in some cases, quite bizarre, advancements in AI-powered products also caught Chomoko’s attention, including the “personalized AI clone” that allows descendants to continue interacting with a loved one after their death via videos, images, and audio samples captured while the individual was still alive.
For Victoria Reardon, Aria’s Marketing Events & Communications Manager, the sheer size of the event and the realization that perhaps we are finally back to normal times were the big takeaways. Seeing the innovations on display also made an impression.
“The advancements in technology were remarkable. There were crowd-drawers such as the SK Telecom VR helicopter, the AI robot barista, and all the new Samsung mobile devices. The Metaverse and the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds to create truly immersive and connected experiences seemed to be on everyone’s mind. But I think it still has a long way to go before it is fully fleshed out.”
The sheer size and breadth of industry events like MWC mean that attendees have unique experiences and absorb different trends and themes. For Aria, the opportunity to engage with the global telecoms industry and strengthen its successful partnership with Salesforce, a fellow best-of-breed provider, certainly made this year’s event a success.
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