MWC19 (formerly Mobile World Congress) just wrapped up another year in Barcelona, Spain. MWC, which is produced by the mobile trade body GMSA, is considered to be the event of the year for the mobile and wireless industries, presenting thought leadership on the latest communications-related topics. Calero joined over 2,400 other leading companies to showcase our latest technology, products, and services at this year’s event. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth!
MWC serves as the conduit for what we can expect to dominate the mobile industry in the coming year and future. This year, MWC rebranded itself to emphasize that it is no longer just about smartphones, but rather about mobile as a gateway to a new era of ubiquitous connectivity. This year’s overarching theme was “Intelligent Connectivity,” a term that MWC used to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.
These technologies are the future of the mobile industry and the world. Here are a few of our key takeaways from this year’s event.
5G is inching closer to reality
Over the past few years, 5G has received a lot of hype about how it will change mobile as we know it, bringing speeds over 20 times faster than current 4G networks. This year saw the introduction of the first official 5G smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the LG V50, the Huawei Mate X and more. On the carrier side, 5G networks are proving slower to come to fruition, with many indicating their 5G networks will be available in the second half of the year. Estimates show that 16 major markets around the world are expected to have some degree of commercial 5G service this year. According to GSMA, 15% of all mobile connections around the world will be on 5G networks by 2025. In places like China and Europe, it is projected to be closer to 30% of all connections, while in the US and Japan, 5G is expected to be around 50%.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Vendors at this year’s event showcased IoT solutions for a variety of use cases, from consumer electronics, to how we grow crops, to supply chain and logistics and Smart Cities. The growth of IoT will drive richer experiences, as well as producing huge amounts of rich data. According to GSMA, the number of global IoT connections will triple to 25 billion by 2025, quadrupling IoT-related revenue to $1.1 trillion. The convergence of other technologies on this list, such as 5G, edge computing, and AI, will power the mass adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
From human-like robots, to Virtual Personal Assistants, to autonomous vehicles, products leveraging AI and machine learning technology are generating more interest. According to IDC, organizations worldwide spent almost $24 billion on AI systems in 2018. AI and machine learning are becoming incorporated into the systems we use on a daily basis, and new business applications are being created at a rapid pace. The growing use of AI is also leading to greater discussion on AI ethics and creating responsible AI. Addressing these issues will be a major factor in how AI technology unfolds in 2019.
The success of high-speed intelligent connectivity may lie in the computing paradigm known as edge computing. Edge computing refers to the gathering and processing of data at the source of, or close proximity to, an application or device. This is in direct contrast to the cloud model, where information is sent to a distant data center to be processed. Sending data over long distances, as in the cloud model, creates what is known as latency, delays in data communications over a network. In a world of connected IoT devices, edge computing can reduce latency by reducing data that must be moved, the resulting traffic, and the distances it must travel.
A Rapidly Evolving Industry
This year’s event and the theme of Intelligent Connectivity really drove home how quickly communications technology is changing, and how fast connectivity is becoming embedded in every aspect of life and business. In order to succeed in this hyperconnected world, organizations must consider the business impact of this shifting landscape, as well as the new opportunities it presents. The best way to do this is by staying informed, experimenting, and paying attention to quickly arising and converging trends. The year ahead is sure to bring about plenty to pay attention to!
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