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February 23, 2018updated 18 Jul 2022 12:21pm

MWC 2018: What to Expect

The time of year has quickly dawned upon us once again, as thousands of spectators head to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2018. Technology has advanced dramatically in the last year, so what can you expect to see in Barcelona this year?

By April Slattery

There’s only two days to go until Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off again in Barcelona. Spectators have been teased and tormented with what to expect to see this year. From mobile devices, to exploring the capabilities of 5G and smart cities there is something for everyone to look forward to.

CBR, who will be reporting live from the conference, has picked out some of the biggest trends attendees can expect to see in Barcelona this year, including what vendors expect to be the big hits for 2018.


It is unsurprising that 5G has been a big talking point to be featured at MWC this year, seeing as almost ever vendor is trying to tap into the technology. Faces to watch out for are Intel, Huawei, Ericsson and just about every other vendor that will be at the show. Each and every one exploring 5G in their own way.

The network has been tried and tested across the UK and many other cities already, so it comes as no surprise that the wireless technology is hot on the radar this year. 5G is not just about connectivity to broadband, but connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.MWC 2018: What to Expect

A lot of partners attending MWC, for example Huawei, are exploring 5G with its capabilities partnered with IoT. Huawei is investing heavily into the network, to cover wireless networks as well as devices and driving large-scaled commercial deployment of IoT networks.

5G will be used for conversations between driverless cars and enable effective smart city connections, so watch this space at MWC and prepare to be amazed.

Artificial Intelligence

The last year has proven a booming year for AI technologies, as it has surged in every industry as more businesses adopt the approach. Machine learning and automation have become an essential need to businesses, ensuring efficiency and accuracy is achieved at the highest rate possible.

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At MWC this year, the focus on AI will shift from the capabilities AI offers and onto the results it can bring. Using the technology can drive time and cost savings for companies, as well as reducing the fatalities within an organisation.

Moving away from robotic devices as much, MWC expects to hold use cases and examples of using AI over network capabilities to better those outcomes too as well as tapping into mobile technology with the likes of LG utilising AI in smartphones.

In recent months the use of ChatBots has risen, in the banking sector and other areas such as healthcare within the NHS. This is only expected to rise in the coming year and MWC will showcase the different opportunities AI presents for the year ahead. Dell EMC in particular will be on to give an insight into reaping the benefits of data and AI, giving the best customer experience possible.

Internet of Things

IoT is another hot talking point at the moment, as many vendors try to adopt the technology to provide the best services. Whether it is around autonomous vehicles or robotics, there is bound to be some mention of IoT taking the world by storm as almost every industry benefits from it.

Huawei and VMware are two to watch out for covering IoT at MWC this year. The first, VMware, plans to touch on its latest IoT solutions in the cloud industry as well as other news across the sector for business benefits. Huawei are looking into big IoT data, covering all the sensors across smart cities such as smart water/gas to better the user experience.MWC 2018: What to Expect

Rather than showcasing what IoT can do, MWC is set to present what can be bettered with IoT. We know its capabilities; it has been drilled into individuals enough. Now, vendors put their money where their mouths are and demonstrate the areas it is most needed in with use cases.

Cisco will be one of the big vendors to touch on the topic, with its new Cisco Kinetic platform as well as capabilities it has teamed up with AT&T to produce. Security is another area of importance for IoT, so look out for McAfee and how it prepares for the future of IoT.


As the number of devices has increased across technology scene it is causing quite a competition among vendors. The iPhone X took the world by storm on its release last year, now a lot of companies are also adopting similar capabilities to compete in the heavily targeted market.

LG are among the many vendors that will be at the show, demonstrating the use of AI in its smartphones. Another one to let the cat out of the bag has been Samsung. There has been pictures of its S9 model leaked, expected to be the smartphone operating on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. It will incorporate fingerprint sensors on the screen, with two variants like last year.

The smartphone world will continue to be disrupted as Google has announced its first batch of Android go smartphones will be revealed in Barcelona. Costing as low as $50 they could be the ones to watch out for at MWC.

Smart Cities

Another crowded space in the technology world at the minute is smart cities, as vendors compete for the best smart city solutions. Just today AT&T, attendee of MWC, announced new solutions added to their smart city platform and so the story continues with others such as Nokia.

Vendors will be delving into the latest techniques and innovative solutions they have shed light on, to make cities operate more efficiently and provide the best services. With so much potential in the sector, smart cities will be a major focus point in Barcelona this year.MWC 2018: What to Expect

Those attending MWC this year will also aim to demonstrate to customers how solutions can solve the capacity challenges of today, whilst being ready with 5G. Infrastructure, connectivity and sensor devices will be the key to the success with many vendors showing off in Barcelona.

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