Mobile World Congress (MWC) is a mobile phone tradeshow held annually in Barcelona. It involves over 2,000 companies and 100,000 attendees. While it may have started out with its emphasis firmly planted on mobile devices, its reach now extends to wearables, VR, and all manner of IoT. The event will also showcase drones for the first time. Keynote speakers include CEOs from PayPal, Facebook, AT&T, and Cisco. I'll be attending and interviewing a series of companies about their businesses and their products. With over 100 emails each day from PR people I thought I should put together some predictions:
Mobile phone launches
Most of these will be predictably held pre-conference the day before the real conference commences. Samsung will be launching the Galaxy S7 (great video) and it's most likely the LG G5 will be presented. No real surprise there. I'm more interested in Xiaomi's launch of its Mi 5 flagship smartphone. It can be bought readily in much of Europe but will they also launch an entry into the US market?
Likewise, they'll be plenty of discussions and reveals by mobile operators, service providers and transport and utility companies.
I'm expecting plenty of conversations about mobile security in the wake of Apple's letter this week, with IoT center stage. As a result, the IoT pavilion will be a hotbed of connected technology with plenty of emphasis on IoT security. Home devices will be getting more attention, especially in regard to home security and lighting, but B2B devices and platforms (with plenty of emphasis on the cloud) will be on an equal footing with companies like Jasper, GE, and IBM showing their wares.
Beyond the keynotes
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the big name companies, but I'm curious to see what vendors at the Greek Pavilion have to offer given they've been innovating under financially lean circumstances. Companies that not only have survived, but grown, their businesses throughout the six years of Greece’s financial crisis are a testament to the resilience of the country’s growing mobile technology community.
Wearables were huge at last year's MWC with everything from fitness bands to smart glasses. I've yet to see any wearables that I'm breathlessly waiting for, but there'll be plenty in the medical arena and protective clothing industries to sustain my interest. I'm predicting a touch of AI here as well, particularly in the prosthetics arena.
5G is coming
Most of the chatter at MWC will be around 5G, the next generation of the mobile Internet. 2020 has been touted as a deadline for the arrival of 5G, but there is still no global standard for the technology. I'm expecting lots of demonstrations of speed capabilities.
I'll be talking to lots of people over the week and providing you with plenty of interesting and informative insights. Stay tuned for more from Monday!