MWL LAS VEGAS PREVIEW UNWRAPPED: Telness Group founder and CEO Martina Klingvall is to bring her digital-first MVNO model to the MWC Las Vegas keynote stage next week to discuss how automation, self-service and customer experience could disrupt the US telecoms sector.

Former Telenor executive Klingvall saw an opening in the market for a digital challenger across the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) vertical after she noted a low-level of customer satisfaction in Sweden.

Telness was founded in 2016 with the goal of simplifying and improving the customer experience by using automation and other tools to create a digital first model. The company’s overall goal was to white label its services and sell them to other operators using a SaaS model.

“We took some quite risky bets of building technology to actually serve these segments in a digital manner,” she told Mobile World Live this week during our MWC23 Las Vegas Unwrapped event. “We realised we couldn’t have the offering we wanted in the market with existing BSS/OSS platforms out there, so we started to build it ourselves in 2016.”

By 2017, Telness became the highest customer-rated MVNO in the market, which eventually led to Klingvall splitting off the company’s cloud-based telecom offerings into Telness Tech in 2021.

Telness Tech has launched more than 16 brands since its inception, and now Klingvall is bringing that digital model to the US.

“I’m trying to bring some inspiration into the US market,” she said. “There’s obviously an opportunity here that no one yet has tapped into. There’s inspiration from the Nordic market, obviously from ourselves, but also the other brands that we are serving, to enable digital services.”

Klingvall will share the MWC Las Vegas keynote stage with the likes of AWS and Schneider Electric on 26 September – watch the stream exclusively live on Mobile World Live.