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Mobile World Congress 2018: What to expect in IoT. #MWC18


Internet of Business says:

With its heady mix of mobile big hitters, multinational enterprise providers, and innovative startups, Mobile World Congress is Europe’s biggest gathering of the IT sector.

Over 108,000 people attended the 2017 event, a seven percent increase on figures for the 2016 exhibition and conference. So as #MWC18 draws near and is certain to be the biggest yet, Internet of Business is packing its bags for Barcelona.

Our 2018 previews to date have included:-

MWC 2018: Smart wine, tools, and cities from Deutsche Telekom IoT

MWC 2018: World’s first streetlight powered smart cell lights up

Key themes

As you can see from the stories above, #MWC18 frequently offers unusual applications, more than a few surprises, and some inspiring examples of how mobile and IoT technologies are pushing back the boundaries of connected business.

While the focus is on mobility, of course, the IoT, sensors, robotics, and smart devices are increasingly important elements in that universe.

Arguably, the balance will shift in the years ahead and mobility will become a critical part of the Internet of Everything, along with edge services, location-specific content, augmented/mixed reality, and blockchain. Data will be the currency, along with managed consent.

For connected business, there will be seven key themes at the 2018 event:-

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI & ML)
  • Forthcoming 5G & LTE enablement, and Enhanced Voice Services (EVS)
  • IoT smart city technology and edge computing devices
  • Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)
  • Big data and analytics
  • Technology in society and net neutrality
  • Consumer smartphone and tablet devices

While that list isn’t necessarily in descending order of importance, putting handset devices last could become a theme in itself.

As a 2018 Reuters report explains, “Global smartphone growth is slowing. Smartphone shipments grew three percent last year, compared with 10 percent the year before and 28 percent year the year before that. But despite this, our dependence on these devices is growing.”

This downturn in the handset market is even occurring in China, though Huawei’s sales are growing fast.

IoT specifics

There will be a number of dedicated IoT tracks, speaker sessions, and technical workshops at this year’s event. One focus will be on where the IoT hits consumer endpoints, revealing how communities can benefit from smart devices; while another will be on how the complex systems that will make up a global IoT infrastructure can be woven together.

Speakers will cover areas ranging from the use of smart, connected devices in healthcare and clinical research, to the expanding security threat landscape and the impact of IoT-fuelled big data analytics on the digital economy.

IoT security has certainly been a key focus for Internet of Business this week:

IoT ramps up cyber security risk, says in-depth report

Prevent malicious use of AI, say Oxford, Cambridge, Yale

For organisations and technology professionals, however, the emphasis now is much more on what happens at the back end, in the cloud data centre, across the network, and throughout the layers of intelligence that are delivered to mobile devices.

But for consumers, it’s much simpler than that: for them, it’s all about how mobility will make their lives simpler and more productive. And within that, usability, accessibility, security, transparency, and trust will be essential.

Here are some current Internet of Business stories that explore these central themes:-

Flip and run: Contactless payment wallet for cryptocurrencies launched

Five predictions on the future of smart warehousing

Retail IoT: Why Vodafone’s digital fitting rooms are a good fit for Mango

Retail IoT: Shoppers demand AI, VR, and a better fit online

Why you could soon have a neural network on your smartphone

On your bike, GPS! Is Sigfox a better low-power location service? (Case studies)

MIT’s NanoMap helps drones to navigate safely at high speed

PAL value chains: How IoT transforms manufacturing and supply

Regulate the IoT: Exclusive Q&A with Netatmo CEO Fred Potter

Additional reporting: Chris Middleton


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