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Back to the Future In Mobile Technology

Third in a series of three articles from @Conduent leaders who attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest annual gathering for the mobile technology industry.

So what was new and exciting at Mobile World Congress 2017? You might say it was an old concept: a mobile phone that does one thing very well: Making calls! That was the buzz in Barcelona behind the Nokia 3310.

In the age of the smartphone, who would have thought we would go back to buying phones for making calls….or is it a mere publicity stunt? “The Original is Back!” Nokia claims in its marketing for the product.

But there is more to this phone than just Nokia’s sentiment over the past. The industry is anxiously discussing how operators, now challenged by increasing competition and narrower margins, will adapt. This comes at a unique time, with the industry needing to invest in the new 5G wireless standard.

And yet, with this need,  we go back to our nostalgic memories of the good old days.

No wonder, then that regulators are being questioned about the rules of this game. Can a country sustain three or four operators? Or should it be more? Or less?  This question is even more pertinent to the European market, which is already fragmented by its diverse landscape of countries, languages and local markets.

Nokia 3310


How to make the huge investments in 5G and get a proper return for shareholders is the thing that keeps CEOs awake at night. This requires much management attention and focus – where to place the right bets and how to approach and talk about the subject with regulators are just two of the areas of concern. The implementation of the industry’s next-generation technology is a massive one that requires additional time and attention.

This represents an opportunity for business process services companies to help fill the gap. In my view one thing is very clear. Network operators will remain focused on retaining market share, revenue and profit. Building more effective and efficient business process will be vital partners to that effort by providing a keen operational focus. Going back to the future? Well, not totally – the Nokia 3310 still offers a multi-megapixel camera, a few select games and a long lasting battery. But nevertheless, renewed focus on core business is key going forward.