We were thrilled to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona this year as guests of Samsung Next. MWC is the largest mobile conference globally, with this year bringing together 88,500 attendees from 202 countries. Attendees span all areas of the mobile ecosystem, run the full breadth of technical expertise and experience, and represent every sector.
This year there were 8 halls, each jam packed with activities, exhibitors, and speakers. The total grounds are 400,000 sq meters (for a sense of scale, that’s larger than 80 football fields!) Traveling from Hall 1 all the way to 8 is an event in and of itself, even aided by moving walkways.
One of the biggest highlights of this event for us was being able to get together with so many incredible people across the industry and the globe to talk about the future of mobile and telecom.
We had the pleasure of hosting a booth as part of the Four Years From Now (4YFN) exhibition highlighting innovative start ups. Throughout the week, we had more conversations than could possibly be summarized in a single post. From our booth to the exhibition hall to dinners and events after the show, we saw some common themes repeating.
We heard from several companies who started with or are using FreeSWITCH today and were looking to integrate into a scalable cloud solution. This is something that’s always been top of mind for us, and was one of the primary drivers behind creating SignalWire.
Our Solutions Architect, Luca (who was in attendance at MWC) explored this topic more deeply in his blog on Scaling FreeSWITCH Video using SignalWire. It was great to be able to provide guidance and resources for folks that have trusted FreeSWITCH and been with us for years, and to hear direct feedback from those who have already migrated or are looking to in the near future.
One main focus across the board was CPaaS. Many of our conversations centered around the understanding that telcos need to engage more with their customers, and that this is a fundamental investment. Whether they were looking to build their own or buy a pre existing package, companies at every size and every stage were looking to either add CPaaS to their offerings or utilize it in their own products.
At the software layer, the interfacing gap between the internet and the telcos is coming more and more into focus. Our conversations around this topic highlighted the fact that many of the current offerings don’t have the low level telco background and are approaching their implementations from the internet side, rather than trying to bridge the gap. Coming from our FreeSWITCH roots, these conversations were especially interesting and gave us better insight into the roadblocks companies are facing to implementing these CPaaS solutions.
Another major pain point that came up again and again in our conversations was data residency. Companies doing business in Germany, Australia, and Canada were especially interested in discussing residency requirements, but we saw this concern across the board.
SignalWire is one of the few companies in the market that can deploy a UCaaS/CCaaS service that meets data residency requirements as well as being HIPAA compliant, which led to many conversations around the future of data privacy/residency and how companies can respond to these requirements in an agile way while protecting their users.
One last topic that really stood out to our team was the softwarization of the telco layer. Whether the discussion was 5G private networks, small scale deployments, or novel future-facing use cases, many telcos are looking to the value that is available in web-style services. We’re following these types of explorations with great interest, even as we continue to refine our own products to meet the ever evolving needs of the industry.
Overall, MWC was a great experience all around and our team left feeling energized and ready to tackle what’s next in communications. We look forward to joining Samsung Next at future events, alongside many of the incredible startups we had the opportunity to learn from and network with. Check out our upcoming events for other places you can connect with the team in person or digitally, or join us on our Community Slack to connect today.