The Mobile World Conference is the largest mobile event in the world, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 leading companies, with a highly-rated conference programme assembling today’s visionaries to explore the hottest topics influencing the industry.
This year, MWC was in Barcelona and featured extensive learning opportunities from dozens of partner-led programmes, GSMA seminars, summits and more. Here are four notable headlines from this year’s conference that you might have missed.
1. GSMA Report Highlights 20 Per Cent Annual Increase in Mobile Money Accounts to More Than 866 Million Worldwide
On Tuesday, GSMA unveiled its eighth annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, offering a current snapshot of the mobile money landscape and highlighting the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation, especially in emerging markets. The report provides a comprehensive picture of mobile money adoption and usage around the globe. At the end of 2018, there were more than 866 million registered accounts in 90 countries – a 20 per cent increase from 2017.
2. Smartwatches Dominate eSIM Deployments; Smartphone Adoption Will Take Time
According to an in-depth report, titled “eSIM in China: the road ahead” prepared by GSMA Intelligence in partnership with the Telecommunication Terminal Industry Forum Association (TAF), Smartwatches with eSIM technology are gaining momentum in China supported by products from numerous vendors.
AlthougheSIMsmartwatches still account for a small percentage of total smartwatch ownership this is likely to increase in the future. To drive adoption, Chinese operators are also allowing consumers to use their smartwatches as secondary devices with one mobile subscription. Despite creating smartphones for the global market, the Chinese domestic market has not formally adopted eSIM technology which will require appropriate regulation and new manufacturing, logistical and supply chain processes. Globally, over fifty mobile operators already support eSIM functionality in smartphones.
3. The Mobile Industry Manifesto for Europe
Ahead of the European Parliament elections this spring, the GSMA’s manifesto calls on policymakers in Europe to modernise regulation and create the right conditions for a new era of Intelligent Connectivity.
Europe has the highest rate of mobile connectivity compared with other regions, and the mobile industry’s contribution to the EU’s GDP is projected to grow from €550 billion annually to €720 billion by 2022. Supported by the right policy environment, Europe has the potential to increase 5G take-up to 30 per cent of all connections by 2025.
4. Turkcell CEO Named as Winner of 2019 GSMA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry
This prestigious award recognises individuals, companies and organisations that have contributed in significant ways to the development of the mobile industry and the advancement of mobile communications.
Kaan Terzioğlu is CEO of Turkcell, a company offering digital services and connectivity on mobile and fixed networks. He been CEO since April 2015 and has transformed Turkcell into a data-driven company with a range of digital service brands across music, instant messaging, cloud, security and TV. Also under Kaan’s leadership, Turkcell is providing connectivity in humanitarian emergencies and disaster areas including services for over 1.4 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
5. The three things you notice when trying on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2
Microsoft announced the new HoloLens 2 on Sunday (Feb. 24), updating the mixed reality headset with a greater field of view, better ergonomics, and more processing power.
6. 5G Networks and Foldable Phones
The folding phones on display will cost thousands of dollars. The costs of building out 5G networks will cost a small fortune. And it’s not clear yet whether the benefits will be real. It’s great that we can watch more YouTube videos on ever-larger displays. Is that enough?
Tests right now clearly suggest faster speeds on 5G networks versus older 4G technology. But not the mind-blowingly fast, reliable speeds that might realistically usher in the next generation of connected devices, like fleets of self-driving cars, drones making deliveries, or VR telemedicine.