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Highlights from Mobile World Congress 2017

05 April 2017 - 16:54


I write about science, technology & digital media.

Mobile World Congress 2017 marks yet another record breaking year with over 108,000 visitors from 208 countries and territories worldwide. MWC 2017 hosted over 2300 exhibitors featuring some of the most high-profile names in the mobile industry and beyond. The event itself was mentioned on social media more than a million times, featuring close to half a million photos and videos tagged with #MWC17.

The GSMA programmes showcased their influence and impact on the mobile industry though series of seminars, events and demos.

Network 2020

In this years event, one attendee compared the jump from black-and-white television to colour to the upgrade from SMS to Rich Communication Services. This was one of the big topics at this year’s event.

UK’s most successful train company, Virgin Trains, and Walgreens, the largest commercial pharmacy company in the western world, showcased how they are harnessing GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging, through a series of interactive demonstrations at the GSMA Innovation City.

The Network 2020 showcase also revealed how network advances are important in the formation of public services and smart cities. Jaguar showcased their F-Pace SUV at the GSMA Innovation City highlighting the use of 5G’s high speed and ‘network splicing’ to perform different functions such as telematics and remote diagnostics.

5G was one of the most widely discussed topics at Mobile World Congress 2017 at the Network 2020 seminar, and debated the need for investment in 5G networks. 

Connected Living

In this years mobile world congress, Internet of things (IoT) was one of the most anticipated topics. With the commercial launch of Mobile IoT, it formed one of the centrepieces of this year’s event.

Inside GSMA Innovation City, attendees were given the chance to experience some of the applications of Mobile IoT, such as smart utilities, next-generation tools, freight tracking and marine wildlife monitoring. The latter tipped to enable the Internet of the Seas.

Personal Data

Personal Data was characterised as a key element of next-generation services and digital identity touched almost every element of this year’s event. The industry seminar explored Mobile Connect’s suitability for use with emerging technologies such as biometrics and blockchain.

A diverse range of live demonstrations of Mobile Connect included a biometric airline check-in, a connected vending machine which used the solution to authorise purchases, and the British Government’s Gov.uk/Digidentity solution that allows citizens to verify their identity in order to check their pension account details.

The Mobile Connect seminar on combatting fraud and protecting brands highlighted how Mobile Connect is helping to restore trust between buyers and sellers at a time when digital services are reducing face-to-face transactions as a result of ever-evolving digital world.

Mobile Development

GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, in his opening keynote, talked about how the mobile industry is uniquely placed to address all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This set the scene for a focus on how mobile technology can achieve social good, particularly in emerging markets, throughout Mobile for Development’s busy schedule of seminars, roundtables and report launches.

The two Mobile for Development seminars looked at solutions to product-level challenges in developing markets, and explored how operators and start-ups can work together to innovate and achieve scale.

At the GSMA Innovation City, the mobile for Development Rural Village showcased how mobile technology has transformed the lives of farmers and rural communities, engaging visitors to interact with a range of products and services, from weather forecasting to solar energy and cooking gas.

Mobile Congress 2017 was yet another tremendously successful show and the GSMA programmes highlighted their innovations and thought leadership within the mobile industry.


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