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March 1, 2018updated 02 Mar 2018 10:02am

Five Things You Missed at MWC 2018

Mobile World Congress fulfilled exceptions and beyond, here are some of the best bits from the Congress if you didn't get chance to attend.

By April Slattery

Following a whirlwind few days in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress (MWC) has come to a close for another year. The congress showcased above and beyond what spectators expected to see, with a great year in store for the technology industry.

If you somehow missed the innocuous amount of announcements from the Congress, here are five of the best bits CBR thinks you should know about.


Coming out of the closet, from many different vendors, was the use of Blockchain. Straying away from its original use in the crypto-currency world, the likes of Cisco and VMware both vowed it would enhance the way infrastructure operates in the modern digital world.

VMware suggested that Blockchain would boost the way services work, enabling different platforms to collaborate together. Unlike the traditional method, VMware noted Blockchain would operate the opposite way. Instead of having exchanges and information freely open to the wider audience, these would remain anonymous. In comparison, vendors exchanging information would be explicit. Changing the technology to operate this way will benefit businesses by giving them the ability to exchange ideas through an easy platform, as well as ensuring safety is optimised throughout the entire process.Bank of America beats IBM and Mastercard on blockchain patents

On the other hand, Cisco suggested using the technology in a similar way to its original form but for smart cities. The growth of smart cities is leading more and more businesses to reap the benefits and have their own input. Therefore, Cisco believes Blockchain could be a big influence in the development of smart cities by bringing together ideas and exchanging services for local coins in the city. This has been demonstrated in the city of Hull already, exchanging good deeds for crypto-currency to enhance the sociability and collaboration within communities.

Edge Computing

Another technology that is not so new on the block, but ready to be utilised in the modern digital era. Months ago edge computing storage was trialled, especially within the automotive industry. Now, vendors including Dell EMC and VMware are looking to use edge computing across more than just the automotive sector.

The ethos behind edge computing is to only store the relevant information at the ‘edge’ of the device. Therefore, instead of sending all data up into the cloud to then bring back the relevant information it is done within the device at a much quicker rate.

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Dell EMC CTO John Roese looked to the technology to enhance efficiency within organisational infrastructure, denoting that physics somewhat inspired the technology development.Roese pointed out that physics looks at constants, which is what time is. Therefore what must differ is how the technology works.

VMware used a similar ethos, predominantly within industries with heavy sets of data to be analysed such as healthcare and manufacturing. Edge computing can help boost efficiency in these fields by sending irrelevant information to the cloud, leaving the necessary information with machinery to analyse and make decisions there and then. Something so simple will make a large impact to industries, so definitely a key point to bear in mind from MWC.

T-Mobile moves to 5G

Of course, 5G was a huge topic expected to be explored and announced at MWC and T-Mobile was not exempt from this. Over the course of the four-day Congress, T-Mobile announced its plans to push forward with a 5G strategy with big goals on the horizon.

The network provider has said it will begin building a 5G platform, on a larger scale than what has already been done. Aiming to compete with fellow network provider Vodafone, which has successfully carried out trials in Milton Keynes, T-Mobile aims higher targeting the 30 cities worldwide including the likes of New York.

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If you didn’t attend the Congress, this is definitely news to your ears and something to watch out for, as it was a pretty big claim from the provider. No other company has experimented on such a level to date, so it is something to keep an eye on in the coming months. Could your city be on the radar for T-Mobile’s 5G platforms?

Infrastructure First

Similarly to edge computing, infrastructure does not seem like such a big fish in the sea of MWC announcements. However, the underlying principle almost every spokesperson talked about was infrastructure. Whether it be physical infrastructure of platforms, or the infrastructure of businesses MWC ensured it was at the forefront of developers’ minds for future innovations.

Dell EMC’s CTO said that without an effective infrastructure, the business will fall apart and not reach its aims and objectives in the digital world. Therefore, it was unsurprising a lot of vendors tapped into this theme within each of their announcements.

Cisco’s IoT platform demonstrated its infrastructure enhancements with its new NB-IoT platform, as well as noting the importance of infrastructure when developing Smart Cities. Satyam, MD Smart Cities and Digital Transformation at Cisco exemplified the importance infrastructure holds, using autonomous vehicles as an example stating a great idea will not work without the sufficient infrastructure behind it.

AI ready

It may seem somewhat of an obvious statement, but a point made clear at MWC was that the world is now AI ready. Over the last few years, AI has gone above and beyond expectations in the technology world across all industries. However, despite its presence there has still been speculation of its trustworthiness, job prospects and accuracy ability.

Despite concerns, AI was firmly put at the forefront of a lot of vendors technology hit list and incorporated into many of their announcements. Ericsson was one of the many utilising the technology, for none other than its networking platforms. The company wants to use AI to enhance its network capabilities, with automatic updates to the platform.

Furthermore, Roese outlined AI will come up bigger this year and demonstrate that it is not a replacement but instead a helping hand. Healthcare, manufacturing and the automotive industry have each already tapped into the technology leading Dell EMC’s CTO confidently said that this is the year to see AI fully roll-out.


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