What to expect at Mobile World Congress

All eyes will be on Barcelona in the first week of March for the 27th in the series of annual trade shows known as Mobile World Congress or MWC 2015.

So what can we expect from the world’s biggest mobile show?

Last year there were 85,000 attendees from over 200 countries visiting over 1,900 stands, and these figures are expected to be exceeded this year.  Based on exhibition entries, the UK stands in February 2014 were the second largest in number only after the US. Many nationalities are present and some country pavilions sit alongside the major technology vendors. Yet the interest is still widening amongst the innovation and internet communities to offer more solutions and services to a growth market expected to rise from eight billion to 20 billion connections in the next five years or so.

MWC 2015 will showcase a number of influential speakers from around the world, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the Chairmen of China Mobile and Telefónica.

Here are a few of the major themes expected this year:

  • Wearables are forecast to capture a lot of attention whether for hands free workers, fashion or sports / wellness
  • Devices continue to multiply whether for people or machines.  For example connected weighing scales and connected toothbrushes were on show last year – but they now have games / health apps available
  • The Internet of things has risen on the back of M2M connectivity, but where the Internet can deliver more is in measurement, management, storage and support
  • Connected cars – where connectivity makes a difference to energy management, real time navigation or simply Internet on wheels
  • Connected city – BBC Breakfast has given live broadcasts from this series of Smart Homes and their connected displays.
  • Network technology will be widespread, whether for early or latest generation 4G equipment and 5G concepts
  • Billing and Customer care will be present, but with much more emphasis on Cloud services , Online care tools, and apps based visualisation.
  • Apps for everyone. The Apps Planet is now spread across the 8 halls!

#MWC15  may have to be renamed as a Digital Economy event as every sector is expected to be represented.  And the theme this year – ‘The Edge of Innovation’ offering more choices than ever before.

About Dr Mike Short CBE

Mike’s career includes 4 generations of mobile communications development, and spans 4 decades in Electronics and Telecommunications, covering Technology, Innovation and Public policy.

After running design and manufacturing for Philips Industries, and Toshiba, he joined BT in 1983 and was appointed in 1989 as a Director of Cellnet (now branded O2) to launch Digital 2G (or GSM) mobile networks. He later went on to run the 3G business case, launch 3G in the UK and research new business including 4G.

He’s served on various Government committees on Spectrum Policy, Internet and Broadband access, ICT Trade and on London 2012 advisory committees. He was elected Chairman – global GSM Association in 1995 and then a Board member until 2002 ; chaired the UK Mobile Data Association 1998 – 2008 ; elected IET President 2011/2012. He was also elected to the Board of ETSI for 3 years 2011/14 and Chaired the TSB backed ICT Knowledge Transfer Network 2007/14.

Mike’s Telefónica focus today is on innovation, whether research or new business development. This includes a focus on advanced mobile services and data applications including Mobile TV, Smart Metering, Connected Cars , Smart Cities, Connected Healthcare, Emergency services and ‘5G’ Research.  He’s a Visiting Professor at Surrey, Leeds, and Lancaster Universities; a Board Governor of Coventry University and Ravensbourne , Greenwich.

Mike is a Fellow of IET/BCS/RGS/ Royal Academy, and was appointed in 2014 University Research “Impact assessor.  Mike was honoured with a CBE by the Her Majesty the Queen in June 2012 for services to the Mobile industry after 25 years industrial experience.

Read more from Mike Short in his latest blog Driverless cars, thing of the future? Think again