Articulate live from Mobile World Congress, Barcelona Spain

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is meeting this week (Feb. 27-March 2) in Barcelona, Spain – a huge annual gathering and trade show for mobile telecommunications service providers from around the globe. The meeting comes at a time of multiple critical issues facing the industry.

One of them is corporate cybersecurity. As cyber attacks increase every year, hackers are finding new ways to breach enterprise firewalls. And with companies increasingly relying on a mobile workforce connected with mobile devices, you can guess what the latest targets are for cyber thieves.

Many companies encourage their employees to BYOD – bring your own device – to work, some offering a monthly stipend. This, of course, mixes official business with personal use of the device. Hackers know this and are finding vulnerabilities.

Thus, the function of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is gaining traction in the corporate world. Essentially, an effective EMM program will manage the deployment and security protocols for all mobile devices within an organization, as well as negotiate contracts with carriers and device manufacturers.

Sound easy? Not so much. Remember the last time you tried to figure out a puzzling charge on your cell phone bill?

That’s why EMM is also generating opportunities for managed services providers who can take on many of the critical functions from an over-stretched corporate IT staff.

Other topics of discussion at MWC include the changing economics of mobile telecom providers, many of whom are now offering unlimited data plans and phasing out the practice of subsidizing mobile devices.

And if you travel internationally, the issue of those outrageous roaming charges showing up on your bill may soon be a thing of the past, according to Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman of the GSMA, which produces the MWC. According to USA Today,  Mittal said that he is committed to end such onerous charges. He said 55 percent of developed world travelers and 90 percent from emerging markets switch off their devices when they travel – using WiFi at hotels or hotspots instead – because of roaming charges. “What have we done to our industry?” Mittal asks. “This must stop. I can promise within my term at GSMA roaming charges…will be a thing of the past.”