Of all the ways that I’ve seen the mobile market in Asia Pacific explode in the last few years, witnessing the growth of Mobile World Congress Shanghai has been one of the most impressive. I recently returned from this year’s conference with a Syniverse team, and what a week it was for us and the whole mobile industry.
More than 60,000 attendees from over 100 countries came to the conference, the GSMA’s largest event in Asia Pacific, where the mobile market has reached 2.7 billion unique mobile subscribers, according to GSMA Intelligence, representing more than half the world’s mobile subscribers.
Syniverse’s week was dominated by three highlights. The biggest was an opportunity to participate in a Mobile World Congress Shanghai panel session titled “Security in the Operator.” There, I discussed one of Syniverse’s most crucial areas of focus this year.
This area pertains to the use of a private, isolated network to protect and authenticate transactions and customers in an age when not only the public internet has become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack, but when new technologies like the internet of things and new regulatory policies like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are raising the stakes for the safeguarding of data. Critically, a private, isolated network can be utilized to minimize business risk by running completely independently from the public internet and allowing a new level of attribution. This means knowing not just the rights and privileges of the devices accessing the network, but also knowing that individuals or machines behind the keystrokes or actions are exactly who or what they are supposed to be.
As our latest step with this initiative, we just launched Syniverse Secure Global Access last month to provide customers this network. So far, we have several multinational businesses already using it, and we have received a number of positive media reports on it. We look forward to more industry conference opportunities this year to talk about the imperative for a private, isolated network, and to using Syniverse Secure Global Access to help our customers implement this network.
In addition to my speaking opportunity, David Hassman, Vice President of Strategy, also spoke, at a panel session for the 42nd Asia Pacific Mobile Operators Conference, where he led a section titled “5G Readiness.” David explained how to prepare for 5G, what industry opportunities and threats lie ahead, and what steps Syniverse is taking to help customers get ready.
A second highlight for us at Mobile World Congress Shanghai was the release of the results of our latest study revealing that 4G LTE roaming traffic volumes from Asia Pacific to other regions around the globe grew 317% over the last year. The results were measured by analyzing the year-over-year trends in roaming traffic moving across Syniverse’s global platform, which includes over 20,305 LTE Diameter roaming routes reaching more than 470 operators in over 150 countries. The results showed that the majority (57%) of roaming traffic that came from Asia Pacific in 2018 is still traversing older network technologies, like 3G. Consequently, this points to an urgent need for communication providers to focus on expanded network capability before Asia Pacific can move forward with global rollouts of new technologies, like 5G, and it’s an area that Syniverse has made a priority in working with customers to address.
Our third highlight from the show was sponsoring the GSMA members cocktail reception, where we hosted over 100 operators, technology companies and other mobile players. There, we had an opportunity to meet a number of customers and partners to engage in some fascinating discussions on hot topics like the internet of things, cybersecurity, and 5G. It was an engaging evening, as you can see in the photos below, and an event that Syniverse has been fortunate to be able to sponsor in Shanghai for the last six years.
All in all, we had an amazing week at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. With more than half the world’s mobile subscribers, Asia Pacific is poised to continue to see rapid mobile evolution with unprecedented demands for rich and high-speed mobile experiences. We look forward to sharing our insights on the secure network, 5G growth, and LTE roaming to help this region enable this exciting future.
As Group Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy, Michael O’Brien is responsible for driving Syniverse’s global strategic planning, developing new avenues for revenue growth, ensuring synergy across different business organizations, and identifying and managing partnerships. Previously, Mike served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Risk Management and led Syniverse’s global fraud prevention and revenue assurance services, helping service providers control risks related to fraud and security, accurately capture revenues, and prevent revenue leaks. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and oversaw Syniverse’s acquisitions, new customer relationships and industry relationships. Earlier, Mike was Vice President of Marketing and responsible for management of all products and services globally, and, before that, served in a number of other senior-level positions in the company, including Marketing Director for North American Wireless Services, Product Manager for Network Monitoring and Loyalty Products, Customer Service Manager, and Manager of Network Operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Virginia.