Another full-on Mobile World Congress proved itself to be about far more than just talk as we saw operators and their partners coming together with exciting proofs that the sector is ready to reap the benefits of all the intense network and ecosystem investment.

Generative AI was a bright thread running throughout the conference and we at AWS were delighted to be showcasing applications in action, including proving that the tech goes way beyond chatbots.

With over 25 showcases, around 45 AWS studio sessions and 500 meetings, our 200‑strong team in Barcelona took MWC on a deep dive into how monetisable use cases are opening up across industry verticals to provide a foundation for telecom revenue growth as telcos move through the gears of cloud network transformation.

AWS for Telecom at MWC 2024

AWS: the buzz at MWC is the sound of getting things done

Source: AWS

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is always an energising and inspiring event. Every year, there’s a different atmosphere and an underlying energy.

Dafna Yanay, AWS for Telecom, Head of Marketing

Dafna Yanay

For me, the buzz in 2024 is the sound of a telecom industry getting things done, of tangible results emerging from past years’ massive groundworks.

This MWC was not one of hope (or should I say hype?) built around still emerging technologies — it was a demonstration of reinvented cloud networks being put to real-world use, delivering on their promise and powered by an expanding digital community. For me, it was telling that talk of 6G was muted, with minds clearly focused on monetisation breakthroughs that can make the most of still‑untapped 5G potential.

Amazon Web Services: Mobile World Congress 2024 meeting check-in

AWS at MWC24

Of course, there are still big themes, and optimism for future potential, but this is grounded in real progress. Generative AI is now everywhere as a transformative technology living up to its ‘gamechanger’ tag. But even this breakthrough is built on years of groundwork by ourselves and others across the industry, which is enabling us to rapidly open up its potential for purposes that go far beyond chat.

As Deepika Adusumilli, BT Group’s Chief Data & AI Officer told us, “We’ve been doing this for a long time, it’s just got a lot of spotlight now”. BT’s own long‑running passion for AI can be seen in its success deploying AWS’s CodeWhisperer, which taps Generative AI to eliminate tedious, repetitive tasks for its many software developers.

Amazon Web Services: handshake in front of BSS/OSS demo

BSS/OSS demos

Safaricom, talked to us in the AWS Studio about the nuts and bolts of ensuring that the right data is available for the surge in generative AI applications, and I couldn’t agree more with Charlotte Kepadisa, Head of Big Data & AI for the operator, when she described MWC as “reinforcing the power of AI and the role that responsible AI can play in transforming organisations”.

In his conference keynote, Deutsche Telekom’s Tim Höttges fittingly described AI as “a CEO topic”, and discussed how it is increasingly infused throughout his business — and our demo of how DT’s NatCo T‑Mobile US is using generative AI to optimise its network maintenance helped underline that point. The feeling across MWC only emphasised the truth in Tim’s take that AI is the real deal, will change everything, and is here to stay.

Making the cloud network AI-active…

AI is already impacting the cloud‑based networks that are becoming the new norm.

We showcased a raft of dynamic demonstrations and partnerships that featured generative AI and AWS enablement as a vital ingredient in cloud networks, from the core to the RAN.

Network ecosystem demos

Network cloudified demos

Alongside Samsung and Qualcomm we highlighted network deployment and operation use cases with AWS‑powered generative AI ensuring optimisation:

  • TELUS and ng‑voice detailed the gains provided by generative AI when applied to operations and management.
  • Demos with Amdocs proved the benefits for network lifecycle management.
  • CSGi was among the partners spotlighting generative AI’s role in billing optimisation.

Meanwhile, Ericsson’s fine‑tuned telecom large learning model is driving use cases to offer better outcomes for its customers in areas such as domain knowledge access, troubleshooting, network analytics and optimisation, all built on Ericsson Language Intelligence on AWS.

Looking deeper at the impact of generative AI for operators, we shared use cases across key functions, including customer experience and marketing, working alongside SK Telecom and Anthropic. Our collaboration with Anthropic took another significant step forward this week, with the announcement that its boundary‑pushing Claude 3 foundation models are now available, and scalable, on our Amazon Bedrock.

SK Telecom is also leading the Global Telco AI Alliance, doing vital work with peers DT, e& and Singtel to develop telco LLMs, with more operators expected to join soon. SK Telecom hosted a great event celebrating this initiative, getting MWC off to a flying start.

Nokia Cloud RAN and AWS Continuum demo

Nokia Cloud RAN on AWS demo

Last year, we demonstrated Nokia Cloud RAN running on the AWS cloud, and this time we showed how telcos can boost the scalability and robustness of their 4G and 5G RAN through the utilisation of Nokia Cloud on AWS predictive capabilities.

And beyond RAN, Nokia and operator partner Telstra demonstrated how interworking IMS resiliency on AWS can ensure voice services are maintained when faced with unplanned network interruptions.

As we displayed the merits of network cloudification with our partners at MWC, the icing on the cake (and the proof of the pudding!) came as we celebrated that NTT DOCOMO has chosen AWS for commercial deployment of its nationwide 5G Open RAN in Japan. Here, we will help streamline operation and optimise deployment of 5G Core and RAN for 89 million subscribers.

… plus providing the springboard for industry monetisation…

Cloud transformation is happening, and it is clearly happening now.

Airports industry demo

Airports demo with Snowflake

From my conversations with customers and partners across MWC, I can see they agree that we have moved beyond theorising, and are now actively accelerating cloud transition to open up opportunities such as network APIs, private networks and industry solutions.

Crucially, this is opening new paths to monetisation for operators, which is a key focus for AWS.

At MWC we shared demos that brought together telco networks with our cloud capabilities and ISV partners to create powerful and unique solutions that can be deployed fast to drive revenue.

Chivas Nambiar, our General Manager for Telco Business, describes MWC as “a telco melting pot” where the value of collaboration is evident. At our stand, through demos of enterprise use cases with partners including T‑Mobile and Celona in the healthcare sector, Verizon and Totogi in ports, and TELUS and Red Hat in agriculture among many others, we were able to demonstrate the tangible benefits available to operators now. As Chivas notes, this showcase offers our customers the chance to see success in action, and illustrates that, when it comes to growing an enterprise business, “the fastest way to do that is to work with us and our partners to help build solutions and trial them out quickly”.

Industry demos

Digitising industries demos

A demo that proved a particular standout, both with us and on the conference stages, featured global manufacturer Jabil, with a use case that encapsulated this power of collaboration. Alongside Accenture and Verizon, AWS supported Jabil in delivering a 5G private network solution that improved worker safety around heavy machinery. Leveraging video, IoT sensors and edge compute capabilities, Jabil not only lowered the risks faced by employees in a modern manufacturing environment, it also achieved a 28% improvement in productivity.

Moving to a different industry and set of use cases such as delivery and surveillance, I was delighted to see Unmanned Life chosen for the prestigious GSMA Foundry Excellence Award for Digital Transformation. The robotics software developer has created a platform for autonomous drones for data collection that is anchored on our services and using network APIs from Liberty Global.

This is a leading example of the benefits of ‘network-aware applications’ that will help revolutionise the telco sector.

… and bringing the 5G and AI value into consumers’ lives

AWS InnovARTE powered by Amazon Bedrock

AWS InnovARTE powered by Amazon Bedrock

While industrial use cases are expected to unlock the potential of 5G for operators, cloudification will also help transform the consumer segment, enabling new technologies and services in areas such as gaming and the smart home.

We saw NVIDIA and MCE Systems, for example, demonstrating enhanced mobile gaming experiences built on real‑time network analysis, with Vodafone’s WavelengthZone supporting delivery of ultra-low latency and AWS generative AI services. It was terrific to see so many gamers relishing their playing experience!

Reimagining consumer experience demo

Reimagining consumer experience with TELUS

Also hosted by AWS was a demo of the TELUS SmartHome platform, which brings more personalised, adaptable and responsive smart home applications into areas including wellbeing, patient monitoring and home automation. We are working with TELUS to create new partnership and revenue‑generating opportunities.

It was great to see so many industry players coming together to create these new monetisation solutions where generative AI is such an important contributor in supporting new customer experience and services in the home, and where it is proving to be far more than just a basic Q&A chatbot application.

MWC — inspirational for 2024 and beyond

AWS at MWC24

AWS at MWC24

Telecom operations and business transformation is being partnered with another vital change in the sector, with great strides being made in supporting diversity.

Diversity felt like a major part of how MWC24 demonstrated the exciting opportunities that are coming to life as telcos open their networks to create a new world of collaboration and innovation, working with the growing community of partners to make that leap towards a digital TechCo future.

I was really pleased to see data from the GSMA continuing a rising trend post‑pandemic for the 100,000‑plus attendees, with 26% now female, and women comprising 40% of event speakers this year — led by the CEOs of European telco giants Orange and Vodafone.

AWS at MWC24: Experience the next level

Experience the next level

At AWS, we hosted panel discussions on the opportunities ahead for women in the sector, and were proud to support the Equality Lounge in partnership with PwC and Verizon.

Embracing diversity is an “innovation multiplier”, as discussed on the conference stage. Greater diversity equates to greater ideas. 

AWS at MWC24: bridging the telco‑techco gap

In a Special Report, TelcoTitans further explores the backdrop and impact of AWS seen at MWC24 in a year when a dynamically different conference presented a microcosm of the new telco industry. Featuring insight from senior AWS figures speaking at the conference on the technologies that are emerging as part of operators’ digital transformation plans, TelcoTitans spotlights how the cloud giant is seeking to support the sector in its techco future.

AWS at MWC24

AWS at MWC24

Source: AWS