Monitoring MWC 24 for developments in the wireless sector

Barcelona set to host Mobile World Congress at the end of February 2024

The wireless industry has been a part of our lives for decades. During that time, it has consistently been a sector in flux. The upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will provide insight into the current state of wireless technology and future trends. Let’s examine what’s next for investors, consumers, businesses, and workers.

Continued investment in the 5G wireless rollout is ongoing, with preparations also being made for 6G. Despite the billions of dollars being poured into networks, the industry is still seeking new avenues for increased revenue and profits.

In previous years, #MWC24 illustrated a unified wireless industry. However, the landscape has changed, and various wireless networks and builders are venturing in new directions.

The pursuit of growth is always a priority for rewarding investors, and 2024 is no exception.

MWC 24 Highlights New Wireless Growth Opportunities

Historically, the wireless industry has experienced both successes and failures.

For instance, several years ago, AT&T acquired Time Warner, CNN, and Warner Brothers Studio to form WarnerMedia, while Verizon acquired AOL and Yahoo, aiming to expand beyond wireless into entertainment and news. Although these moves were bold and exciting, they ultimately ended in disaster.

Today, new growth and direction appear more promising and robust, although challenges on the wireless road ahead are inevitable.

In 2024, as the industry expands and progresses, we see various companies in different sectors and countries utilizing wireless technology to transform themselves and their industries.

The transformational potential of wireless is expanding to other industries, similar to what Uber and Lyft did several years ago, revolutionizing the taxi and limousine sector as data speeds increased.

Today, many companies in different industries are leveraging wireless, along with AI, IoT, and the cloud, to revolutionize their offerings, compelling competitors to rise to the challenge.

Let’s examine and discuss these new areas of growth in 2024.

FWA: Home Wireless Internet Poses a Challenge to Wired Broadband

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) presents a significant growth opportunity embraced by the wireless industry, offering wireless broadband services.

While this represents an opportunity for wireless, it poses a competitive threat to telephone companies and the cable television industry.

Telephone and Cable TV Companies Face Off Against FWA

The cable TV industry is witnessing a decline in both cable TV and broadband customers, with smaller providers holding a mere ten to twenty percent market share and gradually withdrawing from the cable TV business. Broadband is poised to be their next challenge.

Likewise, telephone companies are losing market share in wireline voice telephony and broadband services.

Is it conceivable for telephone and cable TV companies to venture into wireless space?

Private Wireless: A New Growth Opportunity

Private wireless is a burgeoning growth opportunity, characterized by more secure services offered by a diverse array of wireless networks and builders.

Traditional wireless carriers are beginning to offer this service to enterprise customers, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular.

While the significance of private wireless continues to grow, obstacles lay ahead.

Leaders in Private Wireless Compete for Attention

Over time, various competitors have sought my attention, showcasing their innovations and attempting to garner support for their endeavors.

While I believe private wireless presents genuine growth potential, several issues need to be addressed first.

Competitors utilize varying terms, making it challenging for enterprise customers to make comparisons.

Public wireless services offer this new private wireless technology, along with numerous other large and small competitors who can establish an independent private wireless network for enterprise customers.

Key Players in Private Wireless Include HPE, Juniper Networks, Betacom, Qualcomm, US Cellular, Boldyn, Edzcom

Smaller private wireless competitor Betacom has partnered with Qualcomm and US Cellular to offer private wireless services, enabling mutual benefits through collaboration.

HPE recently announced its acquisition of Juniper Networks, positioning itself as a significant player with deep pockets compared to Juniper’s limited financial resources. This collaboration ensures mutual success in a growing market.

Boldyn Networks is in the process of acquiring Edzcom from Spanish tower company Cellnext Telecom, expanding its private wireless business.

Competition and Collaboration Among Private Wireless Giants

I anticipate the pace of growth to transform with increasing partnerships and M&A activities in the future.

Furthermore, numerous other private wireless competitors, both large and small, are emerging, such as Ericsson, NTT Docomo, Cradlepoint, Cisco, Nokia, Intel, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, Ruckus Celona, and Federated Wireless, along with satellite service providers like Globalstar, SpaceX, and Starlink, which are beginning to experience growth in the wireless space.

Satellite, AI, IoT, Cloud: Additional Growth Areas for Wireless

Satellite providers, driven by industry leaders like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Paul Jacobs, are entering the wireless industry, while AI, IoT, and cloud technologies are poised to enhance the wireless experience and create new opportunities for growth.

Proposing Solutions to Accelerate Private Wireless Adoption

These emerging sectors present lucrative growth potential, inciting excitement among investors and companies. However, private wireless faces significant challenges.

To address this, I propose establishing a common language and direction within the private wireless industry to aid customers in understanding and comparing various offerings, ultimately accelerating growth.

Implementing a Step-By-Step Approach for Private Wireless Adoption

Allowing enterprise executives to gradually adopt private wireless, providing a slower and controlled experience, may be more viable than an all-or-nothing approach, making it less risky for customers to embrace new technology at their own pace.

This phased approach enables customers to experiment with new technology and gradually transition from the old to the new, ensuring a smooth and controlled migration.

Unfolding Opportunities for Wireless Growth in 2024 and Beyond

Despite challenges, private wireless presents a substantial growth opportunity. Establishing a customer-friendly environment will be pivotal for success.

Wireless technology remains one of the most important growth industries, constantly evolving and presenting new opportunities for growth, albeit with its share of challenges and disruptions.

Adopting new thinking, ideas, and technology will continue to drive the industry forward, creating unprecedented opportunities for the future.

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