[Trendpaper] Mobile World Congress – Highlights 2018

Every year mm1 consultants of the Consumer IoT Practice review and analyze the product presentations of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona to gain an overview of the development of current industry, technology and market trends. This year’s main focus were new network technologies with the priority "5G" as well as product and innovation concepts in the field of IoT. In addition to an overview of selected news and impressions on these two focal points, we would also like to present you news from Smart Mobility, Smart Home & Appliances, AR/VR & Media and Mobile Devices & Smart Gadgets.

Next Generation Networks & Connectivity
The next generation of the mobile communications standard "5G" was the guiding theme last year. This technology is going to provide the basis for future use cases, especially due to high data rates, low latencies and high scalability of end devices. In addition to "5G", MWC also focused on "NB-IoT", which will push forward the communication of machines in the coming years. Both chipset and network manufacturers, as well as mobile operators presented different use-cases based on the new network techonlogies.

Smart Mobility
Connected mobility has become an integral part of the MWC and was a focus topic this year once again, not only because the automotive industry relies increasingly on the new 5G radio standard. Mobile streaming of high-resolution media content as well as mobile working in high-class vehicles were the most attractive examples of the new technology's applications.

Smart Home & Appliances
In the field of Smart Home, this year's MWC offered only a few surprises for visitors. In most cases, existing and established products like security and comfort solutions were only reworked on an evolutionary basis. More unusual and exciting were the announcements made by telecommunications providers such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica, emphasizing artificial intelligence and voice assistance in their services. Closer networking with the customer's home is also planned. „Voice assistants play an increasingly important role in connected homes, because many providers legitimately see a certain potential related to the usability of their services. Nevertheless, the interoperability of platforms, standards and wireless technologies remain major challenges in the Smart Home", says Marcel Kubon, Manager at mm1 and Consumer IoT expert.

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality & Media
As a logical continuation of the trend to simplify tasks and situations in everyday life, the expansion of augmented reality applications continues to grow rapidly. In the field of virtual reality, there are no world firsts, rather improvements of existing technologies. In the television world, the trend towards integrating artificial intelligence continues. An example of this is the use and operation via voice command.

Mobile Devices & Smart Gadgets
In addition to numerous model iterations from most manufacturers and the presentation of the iconic Samsung Galaxy S9+ as iPhone X competitor, only a few vendors presented mobile devices with innovative features. In the field of wearables, more and more companies focus on the health and fitness sector and present improvements in the areas of design, functionality and energy efficiency.

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