The 2018 edition of Mobile World Congress has just yesterday closed its doors and is busy dismantling its stands. As ever the Canela team has been “living and breathing” the fair supporting our clients activities and learning about all the latest trends in mobile.
Five main trends emerging from Mobile World Congress 2018
Barcelona hosted more than 108,000 professional visitors from 200 countries, 2,300 exhibitors and countless conferences, product launches and presentations. However, this year, no one guru or device hit the headlines, instead at MWC 2018 much has been said about the following five trends that will mark the future of mobile technology.
5G takes off in Barcelona
Undoubtedly, the most expected innovation in this edition of the mobile fair is the display of 5G technology. Barcelona aspires to be the city that leads the development of this innovation in Europe and just days before the start of MWC 2018 the first call using 5G on the continent was made between Barcelona and Madrid.
But what advantages will the 5G really offer? As we have seen in MWC 2018, it is not just about navigating faster: the bandwidth that this innovation will bring will be the key to the definitive takeoff of other related technologies such as the Internet of things, autonomous vehicles or telemedicine. The bad news? To be able to access the 5G, in 2020 we will all have to retune our TV channels… again.
Mobile phones for all tastes, but with responsibility
As every year, at MWC 2018 we have seen hundreds of new mobile devices with all kinds of innovations: screens that cover the entire surface, retractable cameras, voice-controlled convertibles, computers the size of a mobile phone … and as always a touch of nostalgia such as a possible new version of the legendary Motorola Razr.
However, at MWC 2018 there has also been space for reflection of the ever-increasing role that mobile devices have in our lives. Motorola presented the results of a study that provides worrying data, such as 53% of Generation Z considers that the smartphone is their best “friend”.
The Internet of small and big things
As you know it´s not all about mobiles, so at the MWC 2018 we were able to see all kinds of devices connected with an infinite number of applications: from noticing when your baby’s nappy is dirty to controlling point at which meat is cooked. Since so many connected devices will be a magnet for hackers, several antivirus manufacturers were also present at the fair with their product designed to protect them.
Like last year’s edition, there were plenty of smart cars on show, connected and even autonomous. One of the most striking was the Seat León Cristóbal, a concept car that incorporates very practical innovations, such as a camera which detects if you have fallen asleep.
Everyone joins the Blockchain
Blockchain technology, which is rapidly spreading to every sector imaginable, also played a prominent role in this edition of the Mobile World Congress 2018. For example, Rakuten has announced that they will use this technology in its loyalty program, while Porsche will incorporate it into its vehicles and Telefónica into industry 4.0.
We have seen some of these novel applications in one of the parallel events that we like most about the MWC: the startups meeting in the 4YFN (Four Years From Now), which this year has had a session dedicated entirely to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
An Internet that is the same for everyone
In a year without headline grabbing guest stars like Mark Zuckerberg, one of the speakers that aroused great interest was Ajit Pai, president of the Federal Communications Commission. This institution has approved legislative changes that open the door to a “two-speed” Internet: faster and with more features for those who pay more.
This topic ended up generating a heated debate in the talk about the regulation of digital politics. Several representatives of the European Union assured that the Old Continent will not apply the “liberalization” of the Internet undertaken by the Trump administration. In addition, the EU will closely monitor Internet providers to ensure equal access to the network.
Finally, the organization of the Mobile World Congress has confirmed on the last day that the 2019 edition will be held in Barcelona again. So see you all again next year!