Mobile World Congress Americas 2018, which takes place in Los Angeles (September 12th-14th), will focus on key themes in the wireless industry, including 5G network build-outs and go-to-market strategies as well as innovations that are advancing the Internet of Things (IoT).
Kathryn Weldon, Research Director, and Emma Mohr-McClune, Service Director, at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, share their insights on what to expect from this year’s MWC-A event.
Weldon comments: “Unlike last year’s event, we are closer to 5G commercial service rollouts, so all vendors and operators that participate in the 5G value chain will be touting their wares, showcasing the possible use cases, and amping up the excitement for adjacent technologies that will be advanced by 5G such as AR/VR, enhanced video broadcasting and streaming, and advanced interactive gaming systems.
“A handful of operators have already gotten beyond the mature trial stage to offer a heavily cordoned off form of service, either for a handful of enterprise customers, or for a major event, or even a small region. Still, the ‘first-to-market’ hype is very much current, and we expect – and hope – that MWC-A sessions will acknowledge the importance of offering differentiated services and capabilities beyond those of 4G, and also, how to educate potential customers on what to expect as services are launched.
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“Last year, low power wide area networks (LPWAN) roll-outs were fresh and new and there was much news as well as insights at MWC-A about which operators had rolled out which technology, to which countries and cities. This year that steady stream of news has settled down to a low hum. In fact, now that many of these networks are actually in place, there is surprisingly little information in the public domain about customers, use cases, and LPWAN connection growth. We expect that some of the sessions at MWC-A will note success stories, while acknowledging existing obstacles in deploying IoT across traditional cellular and LPWAN networks.”
Mohr-McClune adds: “These events are always a timely reminder of just how fast our industry is moving these days. Last year, the Sprint/T-Mobile merger was not even in the wind. This year, it is inching toward a resolution that could shake up the US wireless industry in new, and primarily B2C, ways. The opening keynote at MWC-A features the COOs of both companies; GlobalData analysts will be there, and listening carefully. As many of the heavyweights in the telecom industry will also be at the show, we expect to see some interesting new business-to-consumer (B2C) applications and services, albeit all a little ahead of commercial deployment. It is an ‘innovation’ show, after all.”