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Mobile World Congress 2015: Impressions and trends from Barcelona

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The annual appointment with the Mobile World Congress was on March 2-5, 2015 in Barcelona. All the major telecommunications vendors and buyers converge from all over the world to present their new products and services to journalists and public. With almost 93,000 visitors, including 4,500 CEOs and more than 2,000 exhibitors, MWC 2015 featured major announcements from the world of telecom. Catherine Peyrot, Senior Sales Executive at One2Team, was there. Here are her impressions and highlights from the event: 

Investments in innovation and IoT

The telecom market in general has improved and innovation is at a peak. In addition, we had important operator mergers and acquisitions that took place in late 2014 and early 2015 and the announcement of 5G deployments being planned to start in 2020.We are also witnessing increasingly substantial innovations as most major company announced a successful year. 

Another critical trend: connected objects are about to take over. Estimates put the number of connected objects at more than 50 billion by 2020. From Fitness Tracker helmets to augmented reality connected cars and bikes, the trend nobody can ignore is Machine-to-Machine technology. From home automation to Smart Cities, the Internet of Things is booming.

Major announcements

Big announcements from vendors punctuated the event:

Day 0: Even before the official start of MWC, Samsung started with a bang and unveiled its new flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Day 1: The first day was marked by several IoT announcements. Connected Huawei and LG watches created a buzz thanks to their design and performance specifications.  Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg fielded a Q&A session, carefully outlining and defending his project to connect the world, Internet.org, highlighting the benefits it could bring to telecommunication ecosystem players.

Day 2: Day two began with a major announcement from Google. The company will launch into the market its virtual operators, available initially on the Nexus 6 smartphone. Meanwhile, Canadian phone manufacturer Blackberry introduced the Leap, its fully touch screen phone, though this brand has always been the phone with the physical keyboard. Another milestone: the winners of the 20th edition of the GSMA were announced at a ceremony hosted by John Cleese. The Connected Vehicle Cloud by Ericsson was nominated for its connected car platform. Ditto for the service portfolio Etisalat "Connected Commerce" that brings real added value to the retail industry. The award for Best Mobile Innovation for IoT was won by Jasper for its Cloud platform.

Day 3: The final day of MWC was all about the new Nokia N1 tablet and the debut of Huawei’s new budget smartphone, Honor 4, marketed at less than $250.

Cloudification, security and more.

Throughout the show, cyber security was on everyone's lips. Marketing Directors and CIOs talked a lot about consumer privacy and personal data security, major challenges in 2015.

This year's MWC continued to emphasize that companies in all sectors realize the importance of mobile in their Information Systems and their ability to interact with their employees, partners and customers. It should also be noted that OEMs, such as Huawei, gave priority to deployment projects of small cells as part of their offer of In-Building solutions. A similar story came from Alcatel-Lucent, which integrates its small cells on the JCDecaux street signage, including bus shelters deployed using the One2Team solution.

On the 5G front, developments are expected to focus on the convergence and aggregation of technologies, including those of LTE-WiFi, present on all exhibit booths this year. 

"The idea of LTE-WiFi is to monitor the network to offer the best rate available to the user," explains Michel Corriou, Network and Security Manager within B-com, who was visiting at MWC. "But it remains to be seen if the technology will operate seamlessly as promised." 

This technological evolution is necessarily accompanied by “cloudification” of the network, which is designed to distribute the load of the network through its automatic reconfiguration on demand thanks to SDN (Software Defined Network) technologies.

Barcelona has been the economic and innovation capital during these few days, stealing, if just for a few days, the spotlight from Silicon Valley. 

See you in 2016 for the next edition of MWC. 

Image CC Flickr/hagengraf

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