This year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which will be held from Monday, 26 February to Thursday, 1 March, 2018, will once again make Barcelona the global centre of attention for the technology sector over the course of a few days.
Over 2,300 companies will take part in this year’s MWC. In alphabetical order, these companies include Alibaba, AT&T, BMW, China Mobile, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, NTT DOCOMO, Nokia, Oracle, Orange, Qualcomm, SAP, SEAT, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Toyota, Vivo, Vodafone, Xiaomi and ZTE, among others. Here you can see a full list of participating companies, and you can also search by industry activity, country or keyword.
It is not easy to get your bearings at an event with the size and characteristics of the MWC. For this reason, at ‘The New Barcelona Post’ we wanted to highlight eleven key ideas about this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress, which can serve as a guide for anyone who wants to follow the action at the MWC.
The fifth generation of mobile networks, known as 5G, has made a lot of big promises. It should bring users greater capacities and connection speeds than the current 4G network, in addition to offering better and more extensive communication between devices. 5G is also set to be the base that allows the so-called Internet of Things (or IoT) to develop even further.
“The New Barcelona Post” published the article “Barcelona, the City of the 5G Living Lab“, by Carlos Grau, which explains that “The arrival of 5G is one of the greatest technological transformations of the past decades”, comparable to “the move from land lines to mobile phones”.
Artificial Intelligence is, without a doubt, one of the hottest topics in many sectors, and this will also be the case at the Mobile World Congress, where one of the themes on the event agenda revolves around applied Artificial Intelligence.
The presentation for this section of the agenda states that “many of the solutions already implemented today seem to be drawn straight from science fiction and the potential for disruption and innovation seems almost boundless”. However, as the MWC organisation also points out, Artificial Intelligence is a tool for technology and business that is “still in its infancy”. The issues to be addressed include looking at how “AI is the key to managing, using and scaling the rich data sets provided by connected technologies”.
INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)
The digital interconnection between all kinds of objects, a concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT), is a key element for the future development of many industries. We are heading towards an automated society, thanks to the growth of connected technologies. One of the key themes of this year’s MWC agenda is entitled “The 4th Industrial Revolution”, which is presented as “one of the most complex, inclusive and automated revolutions our society has seen and at its heart, lies mobility”.
Automation involves basic aspects of our daily lives, such as transport. More specifically, connected vehicles will be the focus at this year’s MWC, as well as looking into the way we communicate. Automation is enabling the creation of intelligent services that can translate into “a new way to live life”. This revolution will have an impact on companies of all kinds, as well as cities and governments.
THE BATTLE FOR THE DIGITAL CONSUMER
This is one of the key points for the success or failure of any company today: its ability to connect with the new digital consumer. 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”, according to the presentation of the MWC agenda about to the digital consumer.
This is all about knowing how to offer “rewarding customer experiences” during the entire relationship process with a product or service, while empowering digital trust. This will be discussed in several sessions during the conference, with the aim of showing how the relationship between companies and their customers evolves as “data driven, automated, intelligent and personalised”.
The world of entrepreneurs is the main protagonist of 4 Years from Now, the business platform run by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, which is holding its fifth edition this year, and which will be attended by more than 650 startups.
4YFN connects startups, investors, public institutions and corporations with the aim of launching new joint projects during MWC 2018. The platform aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem that “positions Barcelona as a leader in digital entrepreneurship globally”.
The MWC will offer the Women4Tech forum for the second time, a space with which it aims to raise awareness in the sector about the need to encourage more women to join the technology and mobile industry. It will feature four days of conferences, debates and activities focused on diversity and equality in the sector. The MWC organising body states that women make up 24% of the audience attending the congress.
NEW SAMSUNG MOBILE LAUNCH
All eyes in the industry will be on Samsung‘s presentation, which is scheduled for Sunday 25, a day before the official start of the MWC. The Korean multinational is expected to launch the Galaxy S9 model.
The video released in the run-up to the presentation focuses on the new possibilities offered by the camera.
FERNANDO ALONSO AND FORMULA 1
On Tuesday, 27 February, at 4.45 pm, Spanish McLaren Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso is scheduled to make an appearance as one of the keynote speakers at the MWC. Alonso will share the stage with the executive director of the McLaren Technology Group, Zak Brown. The two will talk about their vision for the intersection between motorsport and cutting-edge mobile technology. The session is titled “The 4th Industrial Revolution”, and you can follow it via streaming, like all the other keynote speeches, on Mobile World Live (www.mobileworldlive.com).
This marks the first time that Formula 1 will make an appearance at the Mobile World Congress with its own stand at the congress: a 450 m2 area where visitors can learn about how Formula 1 is active on digital platforms.
VIRTUAL REALITY, DRONES AND ROBOTS
This year, advances in areas such as virtual reality, drones and robots will have a special place in the MWC, both on the conference programme and in the products and services put on display by exhibiting companies.
GLOMO AWARDS 2018
Every year the GSMA organises the Global Mobile Awards (GLOMO awards), a prize that aims to “showcase how mobile technology continues to inspire new levels of ingenuity, innovation and achievement”, explained Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. Here you can see the full list of finalists in each category of the GLOMO awards.
The president and CEO of CCS Insight, Shaun Collins, has been named president of the GLOMO jury from 2018 to 2020. In his opinion, “there is little doubt that connectivity will be as important to society in the 21st century as electricity was in the 20th; the scope of these awards is testament to this momentum”.
YoMo BARCELONA, THE YOUTH MOBILE FESTIVAL
For the second year in a row, students will have a specially designed space for them at the congress. This is the Youth Mobile Festival Barcelona (YoMo Barcelona), which will take place from Tuesday 27 February to Friday 2 March at the venue at La Farga L’Hospitalet. Among many other activities, YoMo Barcelona will offer the “SDG Trail”, an interactive tour to educate students about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and their impact on society, as well as the “Teacher Track”, a three-day programme featuring workshops and events designed for education professionals.