Credit from Daniel Newman
Remember when Mobile World Congress was just a specialized conference for the telco industry? It is hard to believe that the annual event, which has become arguably the biggest enterprise tech show on the planet, used to have a much narrower focus. With thousands of exhibitors hoping to attract customers and one of the biggest trade show stages in the world, the question on everyone’s mind is what will be this year’s biggest trends at MWC?
5G Runs The Show!
After several years of anticipation and perhaps a bit of a false start in 2018, this year WILL be the year of 5G. Carriers will be bringing mainstream trials, finalizing standards, and with Qualcomm announcing its new Snapdragon x55 this past week, ahead of the show, 5G-enabled devices will become a commercial reality in 2019.
It is safe to expect that the show floor will be covered with 5G signage, and that companies, whether building edge servers, PCs, or mobile phones, will be showcasing their 5G-ready solutions. Given the massive impact that 5G is likely to have on infrastructure, connected vehicles, smart cities, personal entertainment and the significant improvements in connectivity speeds that it promises mobile users, 5G will deservedly be everywhere.
Mixed Reality Reboot
Rich ecosystem of development kits to enable developers to build tools that can support, for instance, front-line workers (to improve productivity in factories or on-site service calls), and consumer applications (to build blended experiences that go far beyond the initial Pokémon Go warmup). Magic Leap and HoloLens have been two of the biggest players in this space, and it will be interesting to see where their vision for mixed reality, 5G, and new software development kits will intersect as we approach 2020.
Devices Galore, Connected Much More
Just like CES, MWC knows that gadgets are near and dear to the hearts of tech enthusiasts, and on that front, this show never disappoints. Although Apple is an annual no-show (as an exhibitor anyway) and Samsung “unpacked” their new phones a week ahead of the big show, you can still expect lots of new toys from device-makers like ZTE, Xiomi, Dell, HP, Huawei and the aforementioned Samsung.
2019 will also be the year of the always-connected PC - otherwise known as the ACPC. These lightweight, battery rich, always-connected laptops will be as portable as our mobile phones, but high-powered for serious all-day work and play, will likely be turning heads at this year’s show. Foldable phones and tablets will also be everywhere.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Everywhere
Before this year CES predicted that AI would start turning up everywhere in 2019. From high performance servers that sit in the data center, to edge computing, to on-device inference, you can be certain that AI will be thematic to just about everything discussed at this year’s show.
On a slightly geekier note, AI and Machine Learning will also be finding their way into critical telecommunications technologies like network function virtualization (NFV), software-defined networks, and important security technologies like fraud detection, spoof prevention, and data privacy/protection capabilities at the infrastructure and service provider level - meaning that AI and 5G will be mentioned side by side a lot.
Autonomous And Connected Vehicles:
Mercedes Benz and Audi even have booths at the show. Connected and autonomous vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, and as tomorrow’s cars live at the intersection of physical mobility and communications mobility, it makes sense that the show should begin focusing a lot more on this growing technology sector.
From sensors and IoT being used to collect massive data from the vehicle, to real-time processing (using 4G LTE, 5G, machine learning and AI) to provide information about the world surrounding it, 2019 will bring a lot of significant improvements to the space.
MWC is no longer a show just for the telco space. Not even close. It is one of the world’s greatest showcases of enterprise technology and emerging trends.
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