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Mobile starts in full AI fever and with telecom mergers on the table

Date: April 20, 2024 Time: 07:17:46

The Mobile World Congress is back on the scene. The annual technological event in Barcelona starts this Monday in the midst of artificial intelligence fever but with mergers of telecom companies and the deregulation of the sector on the table. The GSMA, organizer of the event, hopes to reach the number of attendees prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The operators will once again emphasize their alliance, the so-called Open Gateway, to make the networks profitable with new digital services. They will take the opportunity to put more pressure on the Commission to facilitate this consolidation just now that Brussels has proposed a more favorable scenario after authorizing the union of Orange and Másmóvil. Huawei will once again have the largest exhibitor at the entire fair while the Government assures that it has no intention of confirming a veto with the list of dangerous suppliers.

The year 2023 was the year of artificial intelligence. And the boom has not stopped in 2024. Last year it already gained prominence at the Fira de Barcelona. Now it will do it even more. With 5G already very advanced and without major developments in ultra-fast networks – but with use cases yet to be fully developed – the industry is looking towards this new segment. From generative AI, to the role of operators in this technological ‘race’, through regulation or the increasing importance of cloud and data management.

Without major media interventions, as has been happening in the editions of recent years after hosting the CEOs of Meta, Tesla or Netflix, many eyes will once again be on the words spoken by the Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, himself luna In front of the Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, he has become the white knight for the operators and their intention to further deregulate the sector and open their hands more to compete. He will foreseeably hold a meeting with the ‘first swords’ of the large groups that will be present on that first day.

This visit by the commissioner comes precisely after it was known, through a draft white paper published by the Financial Times newspaper last week, that Brussels is open to mergers to help finance the deployment of 5G and update networks. . historical. That, along with deregulation, will once again be the message that will be put on the table by the large groups in the sector, with Telefónica as host. The CEOs of the Spanish company, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Orange will appear on stage to talk about the future.

The operator chaired by José María Álvarez-Pallete has been one of the most active in this pro-deregulation discourse. The Spanish group arrives at the event in the year of its centenary and without movements on the part of the State Society of Industrial Participations (Sepi) and the Saudi Telecom Company. Precisely, the Arab operator will be present as in other years in pavilion number 3 of the fairgrounds: only the Deutsche Telekom space will separate it. The Saudi firm will not have a relevant executive presence on the public agenda beyond some less important executives, although it is logical that private meetings may occur.

Beyond the ‘classic’ demands on the regulator, among which will once again be the so-called ‘fair share’ that is demanded of the large technology companies that consume a lot of traffic on the networks, the European telecoms – with Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange at the head – will once again gain muscle with the Open Gateway alliance. The announcement of the launch was made last year: it is a kind of standardization of access doors to the operators’ networks, in order to exploit the data on their networks. They will present at the fair the first anti-fraud services that will be launched a few weeks ago in Madrid.

In terms of international presence, Huawei will continue to have the largest exhibitor at the entire fair, in pavilion number 1, along with Ericsson. The Chinese giant will once again gain muscle, at a time when the veto in European telecommunications networks is still on the table. The Minister of Digital Transformation, José Luis Escrivá, closed the door last Friday to preparing a list of high-risk suppliers, as Europe recommends, in order to expel the Asians. “The Government has no intention, nor is there any European framework that requires it,” he stated in a forum just 72 hours before Mobile launched.

96,000 attendees

The 4yfn event, dedicated to startups and innovation, which is celebrating its first decade, will also take place in parallel. It will remain at the Fira de Barcelona, ​​​​after the first years it remained a separate event from the Mobile, and will expand two rooms with additional scenarios with a significant presence of AI as a star theme and with the potential recovery of the investment in venture capital and corporate startups also on the table.

The GSMA has kept ticket prices more or less stable. The organizing entity expects 96,000 attendees to be reached compared to 85,000 in the previous edition. This implies a practice of recovering the figures prior to the pandemic. According to Aena’s own figures, it is expected that the number of flights and seats in 2019 will be exceeded. Hotels in Barcelona are almost full, although with shorter stays. The inauguration will take place on Monday with the presence of King Felipe, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés. All of them will coincide at the traditional dinner this Sunday night.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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