If you had a blast at Mobile World Congress Barcelona this week and can’t wait to book your plane ticket for the next telco conference, here is a handy list of upcoming telecommunications conferences still to come in 2018 – that could have you flying from Mexico to China, Germany to Brazil and Singapore to Kazakhstan.
Hot topics include: 5G and network slicing; IoT; voice market trends; blockchain in telecom; telco-as-a-service; data monetisation; next generation broadband; AI and machine learning; cybersecurity; network function virtualisation (NFV); and more.
Email platform headaches don’t rate a mention on the telecom conference agendas this year, but if you’re a telco looking for a trusted email provider to solve your email headache (so you travel the world and better enjoy this year’s telco conferences), we invite you to get in touch here.
1. Telecoms World Asia 2018
Bangkok, Thailand, 19-20 March 2018
Size: 600 attendees expected
For 19 years, Telecoms World Asia 2018 has been an annual platform for “leading international carriers, operators, authorities and suppliers to meet, learn and create fruitful business partnerships for the betterment of wholesale revenue and growth”.
The event’s three themes this year are:
- Telco 4.0 – Strategies, innovation and new services for the digital native;
- Networks – Planning, deployment and optimisation for next generation connectivity; and
- Wholesale – Capacity, content and collaboration.
2. America 2018 GCCM
Mexico City, Mexico, 9-10 April 2018
Size: 450 attendees expected
Run by the global Carrier Community (CC), America 2018 GCM is an exclusive telecom operator event for service providers, which is being held for the first time in the Americas region.
Around 450 club members are expected to join the event, from 200+ telecom operators from tier-1, tier-2 and tier-3. Attendees come from OTT, data, MVNO, voice, SMS, Mobile, VAS, cable, satellite, IX, ISP, enterprise, data centres and other related segments.
The organisers have said that 90 percent of the conference will comprise of business networking (rather than panel) sessions, to encourage attendees to build relationships and not just sit in conference lectures. So, perhaps whether this one makes it onto your wish list for 2018 will depend on whether you’re motivated by speaker sessions or networking.
3. MVNOs World Congress
Madrid, Spain, 23-26 April 2018
Cost: €999 – €3,495* + VAT
Size: 240 companies expected to attend
MVNOs World Congress in Madrid (for Mobile Virtual Network Operators) promises to deliver “more content than ever with dedicated tracks for MVNOs in IoT, eSIM and Wholesale” and 130 speakers over four days. Keynote speakers announced to date include:
- Mikkel Vinter, Founder and Director, Virgin Mobile
- Christopher Tooley, Group CEO, Lycamobile
- Federico Homberg, Head of Mobile Wholesale Business Development, Deutsche Telekom
- Malcolm Adams, Director of Mobile and Customer Wholesale Marketing, SingTel Optus
Can’t get to Madrid in April? Perhaps try one of the other MVNOs conferences: MVNOs LATAM in May; MVNOs Asia in Singapore in September; MVNOs North America in Chicago in October; or MVNOs Europe in November.
4. 5G and LTE Latin America
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 24-26 April 2018
Cost: US$1,799 – US$2,299* (free passes for operators were available at the time of writing)
5G and LTE Latin America is promoted as “the largest event in Latin America to focus on the opportunities and business implications of 4G and 5G networks”.
Topics this year include:
- The road to 5G
- 4G lessons for 5G success
- IoT applied
- NFV and carrier SDN
- Network optimisation and security
- A VSAT colocated event
- DCB and mobile content monetisation
5. International Telecoms Week
Chicago, United States, 6-9 May 2018
Cost: US$575 – US$1,150*
Size: 6,700 attendees expected
International Telecoms Week is the annual meeting for the global wholesale telecoms industry. Founded in 2008, International Telecoms Week was established by a group of some of the largest telecoms carriers at the time.
“The aim of the founding group was to create an affordable and beneficial platform for the entire community to meet and conduct business, this has continued to be the main focus of the event ever since and is the ITW Founding Principle.”
Their 2018 agenda has yet to be released.
6. Global Voice Congress and Digital Data Congress
Chicago, United States, 6 May 2018
Size: 300 attendees expected at the sister conferences, both run by TelcoDays
The conferences deliberately brings together a limited number of service providers, in order to provide a more close-knit atmosphere for networking, building long-lasting relationships and making deals. In their words, “[Our} approach to networking… is not a desperate glad-handing and grabbing business cards, but creating trusting, long-lasting relations with partners and customers.”
Topics for the Global Voice Congress 2018 include:
- Rethinking global voice market: Where wholesale carriers should go next?
- NFV: Where do opportunities lie for wholesale voice operators?
- Blockchain in telecom for fraud prevention: Opportunities, challenges and industry use cases
Topics for the Digital Data Congress include:
- Cloud and big data changing the world
- The role of cloud in digital transformation
- Data monetisation for IoT
- AI and machine learning: A step closer to self-managed data centres
- Cybersecurity: How to keep your data safe in the cloud
Digital Data Congress speakers include Rahul Vijay (Head of Global Telecom Sourcing at Uber) and Jeff Bak (VP at Tata Communications).
7. Big Communications Event
Austin, United States, 14-16 May 2018
Cost: US$899 – US$2,499* (free for carriers, hosting providers, public sector and more – at the time of writing)
Size: 1,500 attendees expected
Big Communications Event is heading back to Austin this May and promises “a fresh perspective on the rapid transformation of the telecom industry and the road ahead”.
Speakers for 2018 include:
- Melissa Arnoldi, President, Technology and Operations, AT&T
- Derek Peterson, CTO, Boingo Wireless
- Jim Fagan, Director, Global Platforms, Telstra
- Patrick Lopez, VP, Networks Innovation, Telefonica
8. 5G World
London, England, 12-14 June 2018
Cost: £1,395 – £1,795* + 20% VAT
Size: 2,000 attendees expected
5G World‘s steams and focus days this year are:
- Keynotes & TechXLR8 Headliners
- 5G in practice
- 4G to 5G
- Antenna Evolution Focus Day
- Network Security Focus Day
Headline speakers for 2018 include:
- Berit Svendson, EVP & CEO, Telenor Norway
- Paul Doany, CEO, Turk Telecom
- Andrea Calvi, Head of Network Innovation, Telecom Italia
- David Artuñedo, CEO, OnLife Networks (Telefonica)
9. CEE 2018 GCCM
Berlin, Germany, 18-19 June 2018
Cost: €490* + VAT
Size: 600 attendees expected
Central Eastern Europe’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members this June, again in Berlin.
10. Mobile World Congress Shanghai
Shanghai, China, 27-29 June 2018
Cost: US$75 – US$1,750*
Size: 60,000 attendees expected
Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai is the biggest mobile event in Asia, where the worldwide mobile industry comes to discover and experience exciting new technology and products. Similar to its parent conference, MWC Barcelona 2018, it’s a telco services on a massive scale and, whilst it’ll certainly whet your tech gadget appetite, it’s not the place to go if you are easily overwhelmed with crowds.
Guest speakers this June include:
- Thomas Noren, Head of 5G Commercialisation, Ericsson
- Joy Huang, VP It Product Line, Huawei
- George Guo, EVP & Head of Digital Services, Ericsson
- Caroline Chan, VP Data Centre Group General Manager, 5G Infrastructure Division, Intel
11. Asia 2018 GCCM
Singapore, 26-27 June 2018
Size: 450 attendees expected
Asia’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members this June in Singapore – at exactly the same time as Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
As a bonus, all GCCM registered guests have free access to the CC Submarine.
12. LATAM 2018 GCCM
São Paulo, Brazil, 20-21 August 2018
Size: 250 attendees expected
Latin America’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members this August in São Paulo, Brazil – the most populous city in the Southern and Western hemispheres.
13. International Summit on Telecommunications, Cloud Computing and Wireless Technology
Cost: €870 – €1,060*
The theme for Singapore’s International Summit of Telecommunications, Cloud Computing and Wireless Technology event is, Emerging Innovations in Communication and Wireless Technology for Connecting the World. The “organising committee welcomes all the engineering researchers, industrialists, young scientists as well as student and corporate delegates”.
Online details are a little scant, but apparently they will have “prompt keynote presentations”, so, if you’re someone who hates delays, this could be the conference for you (smile).
14. CIS 2018 GCCM
Almaty, Kazakhstan, 4-5 September 2018
Size: 350 attendees expected
Central Asia’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members this September in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
15. ITU Telecom World 2018
Durban, South Africa, 10-13 September 2018
Size: 9,000 attendees expected
ITU Telecom World 2018 is an annual ICT event organised by ITU Telecom, part of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency responsible for ICT-related issues.
“At ITU Telecom World we believe in the power of technology to transform lives. By bringing smart technologies together with smart ideas and smart people, we can make the world better, sooner.”
The telco conference moves this year from Busan, South Korea to Durban, South Africa.
Speakers and agenda are yet to be released.
16. Mobile World Congress Americas
Los Angeles, United States, 12-14 September 2018
Size: 21,000 attendees expected
Mobile World Congress Americas is the third monster conference in the MWC annual series.
2018 speakers have not been announced yet, but 2017 speakers included:
- Carlos Slim Domit, Chairman, América Móvil
- Dan Schulman, CEO, Paypal
- Ajit Pai, Chairman, United States Federal Communications Commission
17. Telecoms World Middle East
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17-18 September 2018
Cost: US$1,495 – US$1,975*
Size: 1,000 attendees expected
Telecoms World Middle East is combining the following four events into one platform:
- Telecoms World Middle East
- Carriers World Middle East
- Submarine Networks Middle East
- Telecoms World Awards
2018 speakers include:
- Raed Haddadin, CEO, Renna Mobile
- Paul Doany, CEO, Turk Telecom
- Fadi Kawar, CEO, Lebara KSA
18. Middle East 2018 GCCM
Dubai, UAE, 10-11 October 2018
Size: 350 attendees expected
The Middle East’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members this October, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates – same city as last year.
19. TC3 Summit
Silicon Valley, United States, 17-18 October 2018
Size: An expected audience of “100’s”
TC3 Summit, or Telecom Council Carrier Connections, is a 2-day, working summit where tech scouts from across the communications industry meet to discover innovation. It’s organised by the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley, which has been connecting startups with the greater telco ecosystem since 2001. Global telcos, vendors, corporate innovation teams, investors and startups from every corner of the ecosystem join members of Telecom Council’s ComTech Forum, Service Provider Forum, IoT Forum and Investor Forum.
20. Broadband World Forum
Berlin, Germany, 23-25 October 2018
Size: 4,500 attendees expected
According to Broadband World Forum, “Following a very successful first year back in the German Capital, we are returning to Messe, Berlin on the 23-25 October 2018 for more beer, more bratwurst and most importantly, more broadband!”
This year, they’re offering a new open telco track, which will focus on the potential of open source software to drive innovation and advancement within the telecommunications industry. Additional topics include:
- Paving the way for 5G
- Evolution from telco to telco-as-a-service
- Network slicing
- Delivering next generation broadband for all
- Effective virtualisation strategies
- Big data, analytics and network AI
- Building the in-home network
- Edge networking
21. Total Telecom Congress
London, England, 30-31 October 2018
Cost: £695 -£980*
Size: 700 attendees expected
Total Telecom Congress will take place this October in London. 2018 speakers have not been announced yet, but they are likely to be impressive, based on the following sample of names from 2017’s list:
- Kaan Terzioğlu, CEO, Turkcell
Ririek Adriansyah, CEO, Telkomsel
Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO, Deutsche Telekom
- Bryn Jones, CTO, Three
- Geoff Arnold, SCV CTO of Verizon
22. Africa 2018 GCCM
Cape Town, South Africa, 11-12 November 2018
Size: 450 attendees expected
Africa’s version of the 2018 GCCM conference is taking place for members again in Cape Town, this November.
Cape Town, South Africa, 13-15 November 2018
Cost: £900 – £1,500*
Size: 14,000 attendees expected
AfricaCom is a significant annual event that heralds itself as “the place to shape Africa’s digital future… where brilliant ideas are born and game-changing deals are done”.
Colocated with AfricaCom will be these complementary events: TV Connect Africa; LTE; Mission Critical Africa; and the AI Africa Summit.
Guest speakers this year are coming from: Millicom; Safaricom; Microsoft; Vodacom; Airtel; Facebook; MTN; Google; various government organisations; and more.
Berlin, Germany, 18-20 November 2018
Cost: €1,495 – €3,495*
Telco:CODE claims to be the first specialist conference on agile software development, CI/CD and DevOps for the Telecommunications, Media and Publishing sectors. Telco:CODE brings together DevOps practitioners and experts specialising in telco software development.
25. TelcoDays Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain, 20-21 November 2018
Size: 500+ attendees expected
TelcoDays Barcelona brings together wholesale voice, mobile, data carriers, SMS companies, MVNOs, solution vendors and other players of the international telecom market, with the goal of providing “a favourable environment to network, discuss industry issues, do business and build long-lasting relationships with peers”.
Bonus 1: CX Exchange Telecoms
London, England, 25-26 April 2018
Cost: £999 – £1,599* (includes accommodation)
Size: 70 attendees expected
With only 70 expected guests, this event might not count in the league of major telco conferences, but it’s worth mentioning due to its potential value for small group peer discussions.
CX Exchange Telecoms is the telco event in the CX Exchange series, which brings together senior telecoms executives who are interested in sharing/learning customer experience best practice. It’s an exclusive invite-only event. Invitations can be requested if you have an active project (or multiple projects) within your operational excellence function, and, you must answer ‘yes’ to two of the following criteria:
- My company’s annual turnover is €1 billion or above
- I sit in the C-suite or report directly to the C-suite
- I control or directly influence where customer experience budget is spent
- I control or directly influence corporate strategy at regional, divisional or group level
- I have a personal annual budget of €1 million or above
Bonus 2: Capacity Conferences
Capacity Conferences are also running multiple telcom conferences this year to connect regional carrier communities.
For more information, you are invited to click here.
Update: 11 July 2018:
If you’d like to see more telecom conferences for 2018, we invite you to see our follow-up post, 25 More Telecom Conferences in 2018.
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Enjoy your telco conferences!
Disclaimer: This list is not all-inclusive and atmail is not associated with any of the events listed.
*Rates subject to change and provided as a courtesy only. No responsibility will be taken for inaccurate rates.