Members of the TechComms team were excited to be at last month’s hugely successful Mobile World Congress. It was another amazing event connecting with the world’s best from across the mobile industry.
This year the MWC theme was intelligent connectivity and this was fully supported in the many announcements made around 5G and what this will mean for the future of the industry. AI and machine learning were also getting plenty of attention.
With 5G set to officially become a reality this year, expectations are high. Service providers showcased 5G-enabled handheld devices, and promoted the enhanced user experience and new applications made possible with faster gigabit speeds. Sprint revealed its 5G launch time frame – May 2019 starting in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City but with another five US cities having 5G network rolled out by the middle of the year. T-Mobile however said that it’s 5G network would not launch until the second half of 2019 – later than it had originally intended.
With 5G roll outs now being planned and announced, new 5G ready phones were also revealed at MWC2019. Galaxy’s S10 5G and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 5G along with the V50 ThinQ 5G, while HTC’s upcoming 5G Hub debuted.
But 5G was not the main focus for new phones as the latest in device innovation, folding phones, were showcased on the big stage and received an enthusiastic response from attendees and media alike. Nubia’s dual screen phones were put aside in favour of its Alpha smartphone-watch hybrid at the event. Galaxy showcased its standout Galaxy Fold, which is overshadowing competitors as it’s agreed as having components that are simply generations ahead of anything else. Huawei’s Mate X rose to that challenge though with a sleek design which was quite mesmerizing and attractive.
Blu Wireless demonstrated its real-time 4K video connections in the GSMA Innovation City and the data sharing capabilities and next-gen technologies being introduced and discussed at the event brought the reach of controlled autonomous vehicles (CAVs), virtual reality (VR), Industry 4.0 and augmented reality (AR) to life. The exciting applications and products that these evolving technologies are making able are taking an increasing amount of the MWC spotlight. While mobile devices will stay a key part of MWC, next year we may see wireless technologies become more of a thing as 5G continues to develop those opportunities.
AI assistants and keyless access and activation plus telematics were all demonstrated and talked about in the cool, connected cars on shown at this year’s MWC 2019. BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler and Tesla were just some of the automotive brands to showcase their products and services. Qualcomm announced its expansion into the auto sector, with its suite of smart technology and automotive solutions, including the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms and Qualcomm C-V2X “paving the way for cars to connect to each other, the road, and virtually everything else around them”. The conference topics for auto OEMs included presentations on intelligent connectivity, asking how the convergence of core technologies like AI, 5G, IOT, and even blockchain are driving mobility, and the future of mobility with vehicles driving data to the edge.
Emerging technology breakthroughs that we saw and marveled at went from simple cool new AR headsets with integrated speech and a wider field of view plus better hand tracking for gaming to 360-degree cameras that are absolutely tiny but super duper powerful, like the Ricoh flagship Theta Z1. Lenovo revealed its Yoga ANC and ThinkPad X1 ANC lines of noise-cancelling headphones. Smartwatches were also a highlight of ours, since we all wear one here in the TechComms’ office. Our favour from the elegant and lightweight newbies was the Samsung Galaxy Watch as it comes in a few different colours – silver, green, rose gold and black – so you can choose whichever colour best suits your style.
More than 25,000 female attendees registered for this year’s MWC and women representing 37 per cent of keynote speakers and 27 per cent of all speakers in the conference programme. Recognising the contributions women in tech are making in the world of digital communications, the third year of the GSMA Women4Tech Summit was a bona fide success, bringing together women leaders from across the industry.
Watch the MWC2019 highlights from Mobile World Live here.
For a closer look at the top announcements and their impact on the industry, here are just a few on-demand webinars hosted by leading industry analysts discussing key takeaways and providing their expert insight into this popular event.
- Ovum MWC19 Debrief webinars: Operator Strategies and Technologies & Devices
- Strategy Analytics MWC Webinar: Commercial Opportunities for the Components Industry
- For an overall look at 2019 trends, check out 451 Research series of webinars here.
Save the date for MWC2020 Barcelona which kicks off on 24th February next year. More information is at mwcbarcelona.com. We hope to see you there!