Cloud City News

Changing the conversation at MWC21 with CLOUD CITY


Putting the DR into TelcoDR

KD: DR, thanks for joining CLOUD CITY NEWS. As an, ahem, experienced MWC journalist, where I’m sitting I’m usually drinking Ericsson coffee and attaching to Ericsson Wi-Fi, but of course for various reasons everything is different this year. We’re in CLOUD CITY now. Tell us why you did this.

DR: I was always going to attend MWC21. I knew this was going to be the year of the public cloud. But when I saw the news in early March that Ericsson was pulling out of MWC, I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

While taking over this space and creating CLOUD CITY by TelcoDR was not something I had originally planned back in December, it was an easy decision for me. The return on investment is instant and massive.

Customers who have been visiting the Ericsson booth for over 14 years, will return to the space and now see me and my future forward message, instead of the legacy past, and learn about all things public cloud and Open RAN.

KD: How on earth was TelcoDR able to make CLOUD CITY happen in such a short period of time?

DR: Looking back – it’s not something I would recommend! Ericsson used to take 9 months to plan the same space in 3 months. We pulled in hundreds of new people and dozens of new agencies to pull this off…and probably a lot more 100-hour weeks by way too many people than I’d like to admit! But never underestimate what a startup can accomplish when singularly focused on a goal. It’s been incredible.

At the start, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted the booth to look like. But we knew that we wanted it to set a new tone for the MWC. We set out to show senior telco execs that there’s more to see than the legacy players – all of whom have abandoned the show – and show them the new technology that’s going to help them revitalize their organizations.

Telco needs a heavy dose of public cloud innovation, and MWC21 is the time and place to do it.

KD: I count over 30 partner exhibitors in CLOUD CITY, an extensive conference programme, a whole lot of demos… I’ve yet to get around them all. Why are we seeing a proliferation of telco software vendors providing software and services purpose-built to run on the public cloud?

DR: Because it’s time! The public cloud has proliferated in every other industry and it’s just a matter of time before it infiltrates telco. With the Dish AWS news – it’s showing that the time is now.

Thankfully carriers are slowly coming around to the fact that moving PARTS of their network and operations to the public cloud can deliver benefits. But CLOUD CITY shows telco execs that moving ALL of their network and operations to this environment can be transformative! Other sectors have already fully embraced the public cloud and their customers LOVE them for it. Telco needs to do the same.

Any telco that is still adamant on deploying on-premise solutions is wasting their money and wasting their time. They’re squandering the valuable innovation plays that come with leveraging the public cloud.

Another very cool part of our MWC21 presence is showing CSPs why moving to the public cloud benefits their most valuable stakeholders – their subscribers.

Telcos have been delivering static, sub-standard subscriber experiences for years, because their infrastructure isn’t built for providing compelling customer engagements.

We’ve gone all out with CLOUD CITY by TelcoDR to show telco executives how the public cloud can help them harness their valuable network event data to deliver an exceptionally engaging subscriber-centric experience.

We created CLOUD CITY to be an awesome vision of all of the cool stuff the public cloud can do for telcos.

I believe the use of the public cloud is a wholesale platform change that is coming to our industry

KD: What is TelcoDR’s role in this telco public cloud ecosystem?

DR: TelcoDR is solely focused on driving telco to the public cloud, plain and simple.

There are many ways in which my organization intends to help the telco industry fully realize and capitalize on this coming change. I’ll continue to proselytize the public cloud. I’ll continue to advise and consult with telco executives who need help moving to the public cloud.

I’ll invest in telco software providers that align with my vision for building telco software for the public cloud – like I did with Totogi.

I’ll acquire telco software providers that need help in aggressively moving their products to the public cloud.

And when necessary, I’ll build the software when no one is stepping up to the plate.

I believe the use of the public cloud is a wholesale platform change that is coming to our industry.  I see this as an inevitable change, and I’m super excited to lead this parade and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

KD: You mentioned Totogi…my eyebrows raised right up when I saw you had secured a US$100 million investment into Totogi, one of the companies here at MWC21 this week. What is Totogi all about?

DR: Totogi is a telco software company like no other. We are starting with a Charging System and BSS product, both of which are based entirely in the public cloud. Because everything is built on the public cloud, it has an awesome side benefit: 80% lower TCO. By being built with the public cloud technology it is 10x more scalable, and automatically resilient.

Make sure Totogi is your first stop when you visit CLOUD CITY and you’ll get to see a couple of never-seen-before-in-telco features AND a world record-breaking performance benchmark. One-million transactions per second 5G network traffic benchmark on the public cloud.

I genuinely believe that what telcos need to do now, is realize all the great benefits of the public cloud

KD: Aside from Totogi, what should virtual and in-person attendees check out at CLOUD CITY by TelcoDR?

DR: We’ve broken our space up into three major themed areas: The New Subscriber Experience, The New Network, and The Future of Work.

The New Subscriber Experience space is where you go if you want to see what focusing on the customer can really do for your ARPU growth. We’ve got a really cool 360-degree immersive experience where I’m gonna show telco execs what subscriber experience could and should look like.

The New Network area is where you can see what’s new and killer in networking tech, and it’s where Ericsson customers can go to see how to replace their proprietary network products with new O-RAN technology. This is THE place to learn about all the amazing stuff telcos can do with the public cloud, not just at the network core, but at the edge too.

And finally, The Future of Work space. This area recognizes that where and how people work has been transformed in 2020. This space is dedicated to the idea that the future of work isn’t housed in corporate real estate, but instead it’s distributed. And the pandemic showed us that the only way to deliver these experiences was with 2 things: with the public cloud and the NETWORK. I think there’s a huge opportunity for telcos to capitalize on this shift and sell xTTH for the world’s employees.

And if you haven’t heard – we also have Jon Bon Jovi playing at CLOUD CITY on Tuesday night! So if you want to see him, download and play CLOUD CITY Quest – a fun app that shows off the power of the public cloud. I can’t wait!

KD: I did used to work on the docks! Finally, where do you think we are going to see the telcos take their next meaningful steps in harnessing the public cloud? We’ve seen co-plays between hyperscalers and operators on edge cloud and enterprise services, we’ve seen operational software and BSS companies already make the move to support functions in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, and even with DISH we’ve seen parts of the vRAN be hosted in AWS locations. Where do you think this is all headed?

DR: If you’re a telco looking at your future investment decisions, you really can’t afford to ignore the public cloud anymore.

To those that think telcos still aren’t ready for the public cloud or that it won’t happen at all; just look at DISH. If DISH does what it set out to do, we’re going to see the most complete use of public cloud for a telco to date. From core to edge, BSS to network – DISH is using the public cloud in ways no other telco is attempting. It’s great.

Nobody expected that a major network in the US, and one of the biggest networks in the world, would be built entirely on AWS – but DISH is doing it. And in doing so, they’re en route to building a dramatically better product for their subscribers at a dramatically lower cost.

They’re saying their 5G network is going to cost them $10bn to build. That’s insane! Visitors to CLOUD CITY have the opportunity to hear directly from Open RAN vendor Mavenir to learn how they are deploying their products at DISH.

I genuinely believe that what telcos need to do now, is realize all the great benefits of the public cloud and give up managing the full stack – parts of the network included – in order to shift their focus on building lasting subscriber relationships and protect themselves from further OTT revenue erosion.

There is a lot of debate in our industry about the public cloud – is it good or is it bad? I’m going to talk about that in my GSMA Keynote speech. Join me in Hall 3 – or virtually – on Tuesday, June 29th in the speaker block that starts at 9:30am. It will be awesome!

KD: DR – thank you so much. Of course, CLOUD CITY NEWS is bringing the whole CLOUD CITY experience to our readers live throughout the week.