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Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry and this year it took place from February 28th to March 1st in Barcelona per usual. It’s no surprise that companies from around the world come to MWC to leverage their message and upcoming announcements in front of a diverse audience, but many see the event as an arena to address important trends going on in the industry. That said, what stood out to us most this year?

The great 5G debate

You mean our mobile networks aren’t already fast enough? The answer is no. This has been a topic of discussion for some time now and most companies in the mobile connectivity space are talking about ways to successfully execute 5G availability. Forbes discussed the implications of 5G in its recent MWC trends wrap up and noted, “In simple terms, 5G will be up to 100x faster than current 4G and 10x faster than the broadband connectivity that we are used to.” Forbes also suggested that technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), virtual (VR) and edge computing will improve significantly with the advent of 5G. While it seems we are the closest we have been to general 5G availability, the question is who will step up to the plate first and perfect their 5G offerings.

The 4th Industrial Revolution

Industries today are experiencing undeniable changes in structure given the new era of connectivity. This era has been widely referenced as the Fourth Industrial Revolution and there was no shortage of buzz around this trend at this year’s MWC. From self-driving cars to IoT sensors to smart grids, connectivity is shifting entire enterprise ecosystems. With the development and rollout of 5G, we will have created a faster and more capable technical ecosystem than we have ever seen before.

AI wiggles its way into telecommunications

AI seems capable of disrupting almost any industry it touches and the mobile connectivity world is no exception. This year, MWC rang in the promise of upcoming AI capabilities and IEEE Spectrum noted that, “many of the companies at MWC demonstrating machine learning AIs are focused on finding new ways to monetize subscriber data—things like analyzing the data of CSPs to find customers who might be in danger of switching to a new provider.” While it seems the telecom industry may just be scratching the surface when it comes to AI, it looks like it will definitely be a common theme moving forward.

This year, MWC seemed aligned with the general trend we are constantly seeing in the media today and that is: the customer is king. There is a hyper-focused pursuit of the technologies that are capable of improving customer experience and satisfaction. Thanks to new developments in things like AI, IoT sensors and improved speed of connectivity, we are inching closer and closer to a connected world. Mobile World Congress 2018 is the show that reflects what is to come and it looks like we have an exciting year ahead of us.

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