Report from Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona

Mobile World Congress 2018

Between February 28 – March 1, Barcelona hosted the world’s largest event related to the mobile industry: Mobile World Congress devoted to the mobile market ecosystem.

For many years Mobile has not been the market of mobile phone or internet access only, but also a market of all software-based solutions and specialized equipment for radio networks, including those of the latest 5 generations (5G).

Visitors were surprised by the Fairs’ impressive size and number of exhibitors. There were stands of the smallest players supported by national trade organizations and represented by 1-3 person teams, as well as the largest manufacturers of phones such as Samsung or LG, or even Chinese manufacturers offering phones of similar quality, such as the Xiaomi brand. Their stands were just as impressive as those of already known mobile giants. The market’s revolution is visible and soon we can expect the deposition of producers of Korean devices.

However, the Barcelona Fairs proved that the largest revolution occurs in other fields – such as solutions for the Internet of Things. These are solutions that act as sensors equipped with a communication module and the possibility of cyclical data transfer through a network of mobile operators (NB-IoT) or other alternative solutions, such as Sigfox. Such communication, based on mass-produced (cheap) devices, requires the application of networks having a huge bit rate and the possibility to separate this traffic from traditional voice, SMS and data communication. The answer to these challenges includes the first implementations of the 5G network, which, in addition to significantly higher network transmission speeds and capacities, will provide real support for IoT devices.

The so-called “connected cars”, namely cars equipped with constant communication with the Internet, is a new direction visible at the Fairs. For individual customers, this means better quality of the Internet delivered to their cars, with real-time video and other entertainment systems, as well as better navigation. Equipping the latest vehicles with autonomous systems requiring proper equipment that constantly monitors the car’s surroundings (360 degrees) and collects and transfers a huge amount of data (counted in TB) seems to be an obvious direction of development. However, for automotive companies, information sent by sensors located in a car gives the possibility of advance measures: system is able to determine the possibility of failure of a given car part and call the car’s user to make a predictive maintenance. The idea of a service team appearing in front of our home to change a potentially defected part seems to be extremely interesting, even though a failure has not occurred yet. Such activities will surely influence the positive customer experience.

Our presence at the Fairs was particularly related to the interest of the software available in the SaaS model for the actors in the mobile market. With the number of solutions presented at the Fairs, we count we could use several of them in our mobile solutions business. It was also nice to see stands of Polish companies at the Fairs, such as Comarch.

I am glad that the mobile application for Bilo payment (http://bilo.co), which I am responsible for, fits in with the latest trends in fin-tech and mobile solutions.

The MWC Fairs have been taking place in Barcelona for more than a dozen years. Due to the winter date (February), it is a nice break from the cold temperatures in Poland at that time. This year, the temperature difference was up to 30 degrees: when it was -15 degrees in Warsaw, there was +15 degrees in Barcelona! See you in Barcelona next year 😊

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