Mobile World Congress 2018 #MWC18

Posted Monday, February 12th, 2018 by Dawood Ghalaieny

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA and held in the Mobile World Capital, Barcelona, between 26th February and 1st  March 2018.

With over 108,000 attending including , 2,300 exhibitors and 400 operators from 208 countries. No matter what anyone has to say about Mobile World Congress, its a must attend event for anyone in the mobile ecosystem.

Year in year out there are new and recurring themes. In 2018 the congress is based around 8 core event themes from The 4th Industrial Revolution, the Future Services Provider, The Network, Applied AI to the flakier topics of The Digital Consumer, Technology in Society, Content & Media, and Innovation. The range of themes and the extent of them being contrived to genuine, you decide!

What is the 4th Industrial Revolution? The growth in IOT has meant that every type of industry is now looking at connected technologies to ensure it is ready for the move from automated production and IT, to an automated society. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, is one of the most complex, inclusive and automated revolutions our society has seen and at its heart, lies mobile. From transportation to how we communicate, automation is creating smarter services and a new way to live life. The MWC audience has evolved in similar fashion because of this now huge and complex ecosystem. In this we see the complex web of technology trends, partnerships, business concerns and opportunities that enterprises of all kinds need to address to survive and thrive in a fully connected world, and the demands and chaos this creates.

The Future Services Provider is how operators need to address the fundamental strategic question of where and how they want to compete going forward. What will that look like, what are the strategic options, how will they make money and how do MNOs transform themselves, to ensure a bright future?

The Network includes everything from 5G and LTE, to NFV, SDN, radio spectrum, core network infrastructure, back haul infrastructure, billing, customer care, mobile device RF components and much more. Rapid developments in network technology, offering immense opportunities for lower costs and new business creation.

The Digital Consumer is a battle is on to engage the consumer, and the stakes are high. The way consumers interact and transact with companies through digital channels is rapidly evolving, driven by constant and rich connectivity, and data creating new services and interfaces. By employing analytics throughout the customer life cycle, delivering rewarding customer experiences from pre-purchase through product or service end of life, and empowering digital trust, companies will build digital brands that retain customers and rise above the rest.

Technology in Society is linked to connected technologies that have the potential to offer huge benefits for society; better government, security, transport, health, education, emergency response and the environment. But a tool without guidance, ethics and craft is useless or even dangerous.

As online services become the primary means of media consumption, Content and Media become more critical. The relationships between content creators, distributors and consumers continue to evolve to something richer, more direct, immersive and personal, more complex and tougher to manage, but the rewards are significant for those who succeed. MWC again dives into the world of VR, content rights, production, acquisitions, partnerships, delivery networks and more.

In Applied AI, machine learning, cognitive computing and AI are being hyped, but for good reason: many of the solutions already enabled today seem to be drawn straight from science fiction and the potential for disruption and innovation seems almost boundless. AI is the key to managing, using and scaling the rich data sets enabled by connected technologies. As a technology and business tool still in its infancy, however, it brings along a complex web of issues and this theme aims to cut through that complexity.

Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more-effective products, processes, services and technologies or business models that are readily available. The term “innovation” can be defined as something original and more effective and, as a consequence, new, that “breaks into” the market or society.”

The innovation theme features anything that falls outside of the other themes. In any case, the most innovative solutions, are often the most unexpected and therefore hard to classify.

Whatever it is you are looking for you are likely to find it at MWC, if you have the time, energy and will.

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