Research Note

March 2024 The Mobile Wild Congress delivered its flurry of rosy announcements, contrasted by a bleak outlook

March 2024


According to the GSMA, 101,000 attendees flocked to La Fira Gran Via between February 26 and 29, 2024, to attend the Mobile World Congress (MWC24); that is 8,000 attendees short of the 2019 pre-COVID-19 record. Given the current state of the industry, this is astonishing! According to the association, there were more than 2,700 exhibitors, sponsors and partners at this year’s event and the key topics explored included AI, GSMA Open Gateway and the mobile usage gap, which has remained unresolved since the beginning of this century. What about open RAN and 5G SA? Well, we found that AI is spreading fast from RAN to core.

Let’s focus on the excitement to offset the reality of the telecom landscape; how many laid off people did you meet at MWC24? A lot, and since for most of them the trip was already paid for, they came to look for a new job while staying on the payroll for a little while.

Betting on AI, welcome to the AI-RAN Alliance!

This year’s MWC kicked off with the launch of the AI-RAN Alliance, yet another alliance on top of many in the telecom industry and RAN is no different, do you remember the X-RAN Forum and the C-RAN Alliance merging into the O-RAN Alliance in 2018, which was launched at MWC18? What about the Open RAN Policy Coalition? And the Global Telco AI Alliance? (see “Hey, hi!” A look at AI in a telecom disinvestment cycle marked with the emergence of augmented intelligence). Every time, each new alliance’s goal is different and this time with AI, it's about tackling inefficiencies and drumming up new revenue streams.

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Other companies covered in this analysis include Acceleran, Airspan, AW2S, Benetel, BT, Comba Telecom, DELL Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, Kyivstar, Mavenir, NEC, NOW Telecom, NTT docomo, Orange, Rakuten Mobile, Rakuten Symphony, Red Hat, stc, Telefónica, VMware, Vodafone.