MWC Barcelona 2023: three key trends for businesses

Another Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 event has come and gone. Each year, this Barcelona-based event brings together companies and thought leaders from hundreds of countries around the globe for valuable networking opportunities and to showcase what the future of telecommunications holds. 

With a wide array of exhibitors and themes, how can you tell which will have the biggest impact on your company for the year ahead? Below, we highlight the most significant MWC Barcelona 2023 trends and what they mean for your business. 

MWC Barcelona 2023 recap

This year’s MWC Barcelona event hosted more than 88,000 attendees from over 200 countries. The 2023 keynote speakers included Xin Dong of China Mobile, racing driver Laia Sanz, GSMA’s Lara Dewar and many more.

The MWC Barcelona 2023 themes included topics such as FinTech, 5G innovation and immersive technology. Featured talks by industry leaders also focused on the importance of sustainability, environmental conservation and equality in the telecom industry. 

In addition, financial application company Payflow won the 2023 4YFN (4 years from now) Awards, a competition featuring the best startups worldwide. The company faced fierce competition from other top contenders, including Microverse, Unmanned Life and DeafTawk.

Key trends from MWC Barcelona 2023

Below, we share some of the most significant trends from this year’s show and what they mean for your business. 

The continued rise of 5G

Although 5G isn’t new, it’s continuing to play an integral role in innovation. Most customers haven’t experienced pure 5G. What most of us know as 5G is a hybrid mixture of 4G and 5G. In fact, pure 5G is considered one of the top tech trends for 2023

5G’s fast connectivity is making mobile platforms even smarter and powering AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and even pioneering solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change. 5G is also opening the door to new revenue streams for businesses and transforming the digital economy.

As our lives become increasingly digital, customers demand the fast connectivity that 5G home internet provides. As more people work from home and as they increasingly depend on smart home devices, 5G will become a necessity for almost every aspect of your customers’ daily lives. 

Companies are increasingly focused on sustainable technology

Nokia’s CEO, Pekka Lundmark, announced six new business objectives as part of the company’s rebranding efforts. As it increasingly focuses on the enterprise market, Nokia’s leadership has vowed to develop environmental, social and governance (ESG) into a competitive advantage over other brands. 

But Nokia is certainly not the first business to take this approach. MWC attendee Huawei launched its TECH4ALL campaign in 2019. As part of the TECH4ALL initiative, Huawei is working with conservation organizations to use technology to protect biodiversity and ensure sustainable management of natural resources. 

In addition, the company has launched a global recycling program for customers to reduce e-waste, and it’s focusing on increasing the energy efficiency of its products. The company has also vowed to reduce plastic packaging and use electricity from renewable sources in its daily business operations. 

MWC Barcelona also focuses on its own sustainability program and supports its business partners and vendors in going green. In 2023, it’s increasingly apparent that sustainability will be an integral part of telecom innovations. 

Everything is migrating to the cloud

Cloud technology was a central theme at MWC 2023. Many communication service providers (CSP) realize that in the era of increased demand for 5G, cloud technology is critical to scale quickly to meet customer demands. 

This is because traditional legacy automation networks are more complex, requiring significant time and money to maintain. This can make it more difficult to scale, which can have devastating consequences for businesses in an era where smart home devices and apps contribute to record-level demand for 5G. 

Cloud-based technology is critical to reducing operational expenses. In fact, through Ozmo’s cloud technology, Verizon has saved tens of millions each year. From supporting the rapid scaling of networks to lowering tech support costs, cloud technology is essential to staying competitive in the telecommunications industry. 

Want to learn how to improve cost savings like Verizon?

Top MWC Barcelona 2023 takeaways for telecom

Now that you’re familiar with this year’s trends, you’re probably wondering what impact they have on your business. Here are a few critical considerations for telecommunications companies in 2023.

Increased demand for 5G means increased demand for support

It’s estimated that a third of the global population will use 5G networks by 2025. With rising demand for faster connectivity comes increased demand for tech support.

Customers will need companies to provide better smart home support for the many smart devices 5G powers. Customer support should be a priority in your company’s efforts to scale its business. This is because 72% of customers will switch providers after just one bad customer service experience.

To provide competitive customer support, tailoring the customer service experience to consumer demands is essential. For example, over 89% of customers expect brands to provide self-serve options so they can resolve a technical issue independently. Self-serve solutions like Ozmo self-serve helps you meet customer expectations, cut business costs and improve your net promoter score (NPS)

However, customers use various smartphones, tablets and smart home devices. In addition, customers may have different versions of that same device. Purchasing and maintaining physical phones or tablets for contact center agents can add up fast.

Cloud library solutions like virtualization can help lower customer service expenses. Virtual devices have the same functionality as physical devices. But unlike a physical device, agents can switch between multiple versions of that device to provide a more tailored service experience. This helps businesses increase first-call resolution rates and customer retention. 

The demand for 5G creates new revenue opportunities

As the growing demand for 5G creates previously untapped revenue opportunities for telecommunications companies. In fact, due to the expansion of 5G, it’s estimated that the top three U.S. mobile carriers will earn $20.2 billion in profits in 2026. 

The importance of smart devices in these potential earning opportunities can’t be overstated. In 2022, more than a third of U.S. households had smart devices in their home, and that number will only continue to grow. By 2030, the smart home market will be worth more than $537 billion. Many businesses are seizing the opportunity the smart home market creates, bundling smart home devices with home internet packages to upsell and cross-sell to customers. 

Companies should also focus on ensuring a truly exceptional 5G experience. Customer expectations are high, and they’re willing to pay for a high-quality connection. Research shows that 88% of customers are willing to pay more for 5G access

Additionally, 76% percent will switch carriers to get 5G connectivity. Therefore, prioritizing top-notch service can not only help retain customers, but also provides an opportunity to acquire new customers and convert people unsatisfied with your competitors. 

Sustainability is vital to staying competitive

Sixty-nine percent of U.S. consumers say that a company’s sustainability efforts factor into their purchasing decisions, and with good reason. Globally, the amount of e-waste people generate daily weighs as much as 100 blue whales. 

As customers grow more concerned about their environmental impact, many tech companies are pivoting to meet the demand for more sustainable goods. While many businesses are shifting to more eco-friendly processes due to company values, business leaders also realize this is becoming an increasingly important way to differentiate themselves from competitors. 

For example, in a report by Apple, the company stated that 59% of its products now use recycled aluminum and that it will eliminate plastic from product packaging by 2025. And many other companies are following their lead in a rush to attract more environmentally-conscious consumers.

But how can your business improve its sustainability efforts? Some steps your company can take towards more sustainable business practices include:

  • Aligning your business with ESG goals.
  • Allowing contact center agents and other employees to work remotely (this reduces emissions from cars).
  • Educating customers on the importance of sustainability.
  • Providing tech recycling programs for customers.
  • Providing the opportunity for customers to maintain and update legacy devices.

The future of telecom is here

The future of telecom isn’t a few years from now; it’s already happening. Customer demands are driving innovations in 5G, creating new revenue opportunities for telecom companies. Simultaneously, in response to customers shopping more sustainably, companies are focusing on ESG goals to maintain a competitive edge. 

Studying these key trends and insights from MWC Barcelona 2023 can help your business develop its value proposition and stand out from competitors. By taking advantage of cloud software’s many benefits and focusing on exceptional customer experiences, your business can scale to meet customers’ demands while decreasing costs and boosting revenue. 

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Are you looking for a simple customer service solution that increases NPS while reducing costs? Ozmo is a leading omnichannel support solution trusted by brands such as Verizon, Cellcom and more. Learn more about the future of tech support today!