5G, Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, , hardware, iot, mobile payments, Mobile World Congress, Samsung, software, virtual reality, wearables

2016 Mobile World Congress Wrap-up

By: Mike Johnson, Cluster Manager at MassTLC

2016 marked the return to the core
of the MWC. Connected cars, mobile payments, wearables, and even the over
the top new phone drops were far from the main attractions. It was back to the
providers, the hardware, and the software that power the industry. Partnership
announcements from IBM and Apple, Facebook and Samsung, Cisco and Ericsson,
small cells, indoor networks, and new chipsets expanding mobile’s capabilities
were the newsmakers (but the internet searches will still just show you
pictures of phones).
Mobile has become such an integral
part of so many industries that they no longer need to have the niche crowd from
the MWC to attract interest in their “traditional” industry’s new mobile
integrated product, they can do it at their own conferences and still create a
buzz. The “fringe” that was starting to fill some of the holes this year were
the Internet of Things devices and Virtual & Augmented Reality that
utilized mobile handset hardware, most notably Samsung’s presence, not only as
an exhibitor, but in the number of brands using their VR products to showcase
their own.
The talk of 5G was what attracted
many to the conference and the consensus is that there generally is no
consensus as to what 5G will be. There’s a large push from marketers to be the
first with 5G technology on the market and we’ll start seeing it soon, but there
won’t be a standardization by the time it hits, so what 5G may be for Verizon,
might not be what SK Telecom is calling 5G. In the meantime, the industry
innovators are bypassing any network standards and building work-arounds or
focusing on improving efficiencies with things like edge caching.  
Next year’s theme? 5G
standardization? IoT is the new wearable? Check back for our 2017 wrap up! 

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