That’s A Wrap: Mobile World Congress Delights, Impresses

Eric Klein

The technology ecosystem is as fragmented as ever—but, MWC remains as the best event of the year for vendors to demonstrate the latest mobile infrastructure innovations that will soon deliver massive improvements to latency and bandwidth across the globe.

Vendors are spending a significant portion of their marketing budgets at MWC, and the event (and venue) continues to attract the most important and innovative technology vendors across the globe. Services and solutions from around the world are featured in the country pavilions at MWC—many of which are funded (in part) through state and local governments. As would be expected, the world's largest vendors such as Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, NEC, Nokia, and Qualcomm brought their key executives with fresh and bold messaging, presenting attendees with real world examples of their visions for product and service innovation.

See related: Mobile Focus Finds Its Way Back To Mobile World Congress

The range of vendors exhibiting at MWC is extensive: several high-profile and widely anticipated handsets are always revealed, and vendors time many of their important announcements for the event itself. For example:

  • The xRAN Forum and C-RAN alliance announced they had merged to pursue standardization and to promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based radio access network architecture.  The new entity (named the ORAN alliance) will be operator-led, and is comprised of AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, and Orange; the carrier-led effort's goal is to drive new levels of openness in the radio access network of next generation wireless systems.
  • Sprint revealed that it planned to launch its Massive MIMO service to augment TDD-LTE networks in six US cities this coming April. The service promises to offer a 10x increase in sector capacity and will offer “’5G-like’ speeds”. The company will use equipment from Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, and will upgradable (through software) to support 5G.

These are but two of the many announcements that were made this past week at MWC. Many vendors were emphasizing the data privacy and compliance elements of their solutions―considering the deadline for organizations to be GDPR compliant is in less than three months, compliance officers are still ensuring their organizations are compliant, and must continue to be mindful of new and emerging threats. Vendors like IBM shared their knowledge and experiences with attendees and worked through the difference between compliance and ethical business (an ethical approach to client data requires ensuring that customers consent to and are comfortable with their vendors’ data practices).

Mobile enablement vendors were largely behind the scenes at MWC. Several Apple executives were in SAP’s booth to tout the progress they were making since the partnership was revealed at MWC last year. The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS now features new controls and tighter integration with Apple’s Xcode dev environment.

See related: Will The Future Of Enterprise Tech Be Found At MWC 2018?

MobileIron was still riding high on the partnership it revealed with Google this past January (Google will utilize the company’s EMM tools with its Orbitera commerce platform to offer an integrated marketplace to deploy, secure, manage and analyze business applications). Briefings with Citrix, IBM (the company is saving its mobility announcements for its Think event later this month) and VMware showed that each was actively innovating their interpretation of UEM and the future of work.

Some of the best elements of MWC are the impressive technology demonstrations that are showcased—from smart cars to cities, innovation was on full display in Barcelona.

Unfortunately, finding the time to see all of the demos and keynotes at MWC is the hard part!