Mobile World Congress 2019: The year 5G use cases got real
With the first commercialised 5G networks just months away in many countries, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, which took place at the end of February in Barcelona, was the perfect opportunity for the industry to take stock of how the race towards 5G is panning out, and what will be the big drivers and use cases for the new standard.
In this e-guide we will examine some of the bigger themes that emerged over the course of the four day event, which now attracts over 100,000 people every year.
At its core, MWC remains an event at which the big device manufacturers unveil their latest smartphone models. This year, foldable phones proved the big draw for many, and provided a welcome diversion from some of the more political themes around how governments are approaching their national 5G roll-outs.
However, 5G will be about so much more than new smartphones and consumer services, and at MWC this year, all eyes were on the industry use cases, with much discussion of edge computing and the so-called “intelligent edge”, and the enhancements 5G will bring in these areas. Ahead of the show, the likes of Ericsson were keen to talk about these industrial use cases, while others, such as VMware, explored how 5G will push telecoms operators towards new modes of cloud-based networking.
And of course, MWC wouldn’t be MWC without some quirky use cases, and there was plenty happening on the show floor to distract from the core technology. Building on industrial and edge use cases, many exhibitors brought robots with them this year, and Computer Weekly had a chance to check out the world’s first robotic barista.