Emerging Trends from Mobile World Congress (MWC)

Emerging Trends from Mobile World Congress (MWC)

The Mobile World Congress is the one of the largest mobile technology show, and incorporates a conference featuring prominent executives representing global mobile operators, content owners, device manufacturers’ technology providers and vendors.

All eyes were on MWC19 Barcelona to see emerging mobile technologies which would be showcased. The exhibitions at MWC gives us a preview into our immediate future, showing us the handsets we’ll be using and highlighting the infrastructure that will power them.

Last year, 5G dominated the headlines at MWC with smartphone manufacturers simply iterating. This year was more exciting with introduction of foldable phones, 5G tech finally being appreciated, and tepid news from the virtual and augmented reality space. Good to see specific trends emerging and hinting at where the mobile industry will go in the next several years. While 5G has been a part of MWC for several years, this is the first time it felt like it was a tangible product.

Key highlights from MWC 2019

  • 5g:

    5G rumours are around for over a year, and all big companies are working swiftly to accelerate the release of this tremendous speed network. Key players in the industry like Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel and Cisco stated that they are all investing heavily in R&D within this field. 5G is almost 100x faster than the current 4G network, and the NGN has the potential to have a huge impact in the development of self-driving cars, virtual reality, smart cities and health care. Its power was demonstrated at MWC when a doctor used 5G to direct surgery live from a stage; the super-fast technology meant the doctor could provide instant advice and guidance to his team who was located 3 miles away.

  • Latest trending smartphones:

    While the highlight last year was on bazel-less handsets, this year saw many innovative technological developments in the handset market. The star of the show was Samsung Galaxy Fold and Samsung discussed the enormous amount of technology that has gone into the making. Huawei gave quite a competition to Samsung just before MWC 2019 with the announcement of its own folding phone.

    Apart from these two star launches, we also saw few other smartphones such as LG G8 ThinQ (Air Gestures), Samsung Galaxy S10/plus (hole punched screen), Nokia 9 Pure View (camera cramming), Sony Xperia 1, Xiomi Mi Mix 3 etc. Apart from these being 5G ready, MWC 2019 showed that handset manufacturers are increasingly making niche phones, providing to consumer’s specific needs.

  • Game streaming:

    5G was a focus point last year for the planning and implementation of the technology. This year saw 5G giving a boost to the mobile gaming experience. Speedy game streaming is one of the critical components of gaming experience. With high speed internet, gaming experience is combined with high quality music and video. With the success of games such as Fortnite and PUBG on mobile, the appetite for games requiring high speed internet was made evident. Mobile gamers will be able to play any game they want on the go, once 5G is deployed and with the kind of speeds that would be available then. Not all mobile gaming will be for these AAA console-quality titles. 5G and Game streaming will support users to have more choices on the types of games they play.

  • Augmented Reality Virtual Reality/ Mixed Reality struggle to go full-on:

    MWC has been a launchpad for VR and AR headsets over the past few years, and Microsoft certainly validated that at this year’s show. Microsoft had launched its Hololens 2 AR headset, which are lighter than the first generation, features better hand tracking, and increases the field of view. But the Hololens 2 did not see much development and was marketed for the enterprise sector. Priced at a staggering $3,500, only large businesses will be able to afford the technology. VR, AR and MR’s showed a slow movement towards mainstream not just due to slow, iterative hardware developments. It’s also because there’s lack of interesting content for AR and VR in the market. We can safely say that VR and AR will drive the future of fully immersive gaming, there needs to be compelling content for the platform to drive users to it.


Overall, the annual exhibition in Barcelona always have interesting offerings with devices galore and the opportunity to play with some cool technology. The most mind-boggling launch to grab headlines this year were definitely the foldable phones. Although this shows a high level of innovation and evolvement of technology, it still needs to be seen if it remains costly for consumers in the short and medium term. The developments in 5G presents IT companies substantial opportunity to work more closely with telcos. This in turn will open up new cases and services across the industry.
The exhibition also opened up initial level discussions about what 6G may look like.


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