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© teleplan General | March 07, 2016

Mobile World Congress – What the big trends mean for AMS

Each year Mobile World Congress holds the attention of the mobile and telecoms industry with a plethora of new technologies being showcased to the world. But, what impact will they have on the AMS industry?
This variety of new devices and services also needs to be considered by the after sales market who will be faced with testing, repairing and refurbishing the new devices and the hardware which enables new services to be delivered, such as Radio Base Stations.

After attending this year’s Mobile World Congress there’s a couple of big trends we believe will have a big impact on the after-market services (AMS) industry over the coming year:

VR everywhere

Virtual reality (VR) technology has dominated the news at MWC. Of course Mark Zuckerberg took center stage at the Samsung press conference to talk his vision, Oculus Rift is set to ship this year as is the Samsung Gear VR and then there was the announcement from HTC regarding the availability and pricing of Vive. Everywhere you looked around the halls VR is on display, not least on our very own stand where we had a roller coaster VR experience!

But if VR is a new product category coming to market, it is also a new consideration within AMS. With Samsung giving VR away with purchases of its new phone, adoption will get a huge boost and these devices are likely to come swiftly into the mainstream market.

I think it’s clear we are going to continue to see more devices launch through 2016 and these devices will need to be supported for repair and return in the same way as wearables and mobile devices. The after-market industry needs to start fully understanding the needs of the market now, to prepare to manage the repair and return of these devices.

Unlocking new opportunities for networks

Another topic hitting the headlines at the show was 5G. Our hyper-connected lifestyles mean we now expect a good web connection to enable us to experience quality video calls, watch movies from anywhere, and easily transfer content to wearables or other devices in the home.

But in order to permit faster services, better coverage, range and lower latency, no one company can tackle the problem alone. Scaling traditional telecom infrastructure to meet this ever growing global data challenge is no easy task but needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

This is being made possible by companies such as, Huawei, which announced its focus on 4.5G at MWC, believing increased capacity is needed sooner, rather than later, to give consumers an improved service whilst their development of 5G continues. While Facebook and EE in partnership with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) are collaborating on projects to bring 4G to villages that have previously had no cellular coverage.

To reach remote places it’s also an essential responsibility for the after sales market to maintain the repair and management of old Radio Base Stations (RBS) for reuse, which will help to keep disruptions to the in-country network infrastructure at a minimum. One way this can be achieved is by working with an after markets services partner with equipment that can reduce RBS testing times to around 30 minutes, a significant time saving on the six hour norm, increasing network efficiency and unlocking new opportunities for everyone in the ecosystem.

The latest and greatest devices

You can’t talk about Mobile World Congress without mentioning the various new smartphones and mobile components launched during the show. With devices launched from HTC, Sony, Samsung, LG and Alcatel to name a few there’s no doubt that this year is going to see thousands of consumer trading in their old devices for one of the many newer models. Models which will no doubt require AMS services at some point over there lifecycle.

Many devices have the same core component, so including these new devices in an AMS process doesn’t present too many challenges in theory. However, what the AMS industry does need to start preparing for is some of the key components which the handset providers are using, such as the curved edge screen on the new Samsung Galaxy and the ceramic backing on the new Xaimoi Mi5.

These features, which make the phones so desirable for the general public, present challenges for the AMS industry in that they need to source enough of these new components from OEMs and approved partners so that there are no delays in the repair process due to lack of parts. AMS providers need to start thinking now about how these new device components can be catered for so that they aren’t caught out when these devices enter the AMS process.

Author: Sven Boddington, Teleplan’s Vice President Global Marketing & Client Solutions

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