Public cloud evangelist Danielle Royston (pictured) made good on her promise this week to benefit from Ericsson’s withdrawal from MWC Barcelona 2021, signing up to secure 6,000 square-metres of floorspace under the name of her own consultancy TelcoDR.

Earlier this week Royston posted on LinkedIn that she would be “happy to take over Ericsson’s stand space in Hall 2.” MWC organiser the GSMA this morning announced TelcoDR “will create a stand exclusively focused on ways to leverage the public cloud in telecom”.

It will be one of the largest exhibitor spaces at the show.

The GSMA noted in a statement: “TelcoDR will create a showcase for the most exciting cloud innovators in the telecommunications sector who will demonstrate the cloud transformation opportunity for the industry.”

In a series of tweets earlier this week, Royston highlighted Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as major players which could join its exhibitor space.

Public cloud software start-ups Totogi, DigitalRoute and Circles.Life, among others, were also cited as potential partners.

Royston is on a mission to convince operators they should move as much of their IT environment as possible to the public cloud, a shift at odds with the traditional model backed by Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei.

“Public cloud is crucial to the future of telecommunications and will enable operators to transform their networks, IT workloads and processes to create massive efficiencies, innovate and become much more profitable,” Royston was quoted as stating in the GSMA announcement.

Prior to esablishing her public cloud consultancy, Royston was CEO of Optiva, where she claimed to have turned the company into a leader in cloud-native BSS/OSS on the public cloud. She quit in May 2020 following a clash over pay.

TelcoDR’s MWC deal caps a week of headlines for the GSMA.

On 15 March, the industry association announced its health and safety plan. Within 48 hours Ericsson and Nokia announced their withdrawal from the on-site element of the show, but Royston’s bullish move is evidence there is appetite elsewhere for the physical event to go ahead.

“Following an extremely successful MWC Shanghai event in February, it is time to reconvene the global mobile ecosystem, safely in-person in Barcelona, and virtually for those unable to attend in person,” noted John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “There is a real appetite in the industry to connect people, industry and society, and TelcoDR’s commitment to MWC Barcelona 2021 is proof of that.”