Mobile World Congress 2018: 3 trends to watch

08/03/2018

Mobile World Congress is the premier annual exhibition of new smartphones and mobile tech.

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Held every February, it plays host to major new launches from Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei and the other big players of the mobile industry. It also sets the tone for what to expect for the rest of the year.

Here are this year’s key takeaways.

 5G is a much wider revolution: it will change everything

Speed is the key to 5G, and it will transform how we play, work, live and consume. With 4G it takes between 1 and 5 seconds for two connected objects to communicate, with 5G it will take 50 milliseconds. Imagine the lives that could be saved by reacting faster (Remote diagnosis/surgery), accidents that can be avoided (connected/ autonomous cars), entertainment opportunities (download and watch movies in seconds) and industry (smart factories and supply chain) efficiency gains.

5G will impact virtually every vertical. It will set standards for a new digital transformation in the same way electricity transformed our economies and initiated the second industrial revolution. 

 

Smart Cities to become the norm

Combining increased battery life and the 10Gb bandwidth (up to 20Gb for ultrafast 5G) will be the breeding ground for Smart Cities, and as the first 5G Smartphones will be available by the end of 2019, the future of Smart Cities is only a few years away.

Here are several examples of how 5G will enable the acceleration of Smart Cities: it will become possible to adjust and improve user mobility, for example, think of high-speed transport. Additionally, increased use of real-time communication through voice, AR, VR, and high-speed mobile internet. Another example is a massive increase in connected objects. Lastly, it will also improve quality of life through better care and critical service response of the ambulance, fire brigades, and police services etc.

Enrique Blanco, Global CTO for Telefonica, claims that "5G will be differential with respect to previous technologies because it is a new software-based network, programmable, flexible, scalable, efficient and open."

Data as a new form of Capital

We’ve all heard that “Data is the new oil”, but with the wide adoption of 5G, data will become a new form of Capital. 

Data is the single biggest asset of most companies today. With 5G, Data will continue to be the source of much of the added value in the world economy.

Let’s illustrate the point with some forecasting:

- By 2020, we will speak to all the connected devices we own, not just Google or Alexa, and with this “Voice” each critical mass, with large-scale adoption will come more data collection opportunities.

- By 2023, we will have 1 billion 5G devices worldwide and 8x more data traffic than today (source Quancomm).

- 5G will move a vast amount of data between people, camera, connected objects and the cloud.

- In the same way, Mobile was at the heart of the new economy, 5G will help new business models emerge, while all the data collected will help AI learn to see, hear and react to their environment.

In my opinion, 5G will take-off faster than any previous mobile technology, and is going to combine an interesting blend of diverse and advanced technologies. Ultimately, I believe this combination will be for the benefit of not only brands but also society as a whole.

 

Aurelia Noel is Global Digital Partner.

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