After a three year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic MWC, formerly Mobile World Congress, which terms itself ‘the largest and most influential connectivity event’, was back this week. This meant consumer and telecom tech aficionados around the world were following a raft of announcements made by some of the world’s biggest brands, including a few of our clients, during the Barcelona conference. Reports claim over 88,500 people attended from 202 countries and regions.
With key themes ranging from 5G acceleration, to reality+, to digital everything, many of the announcements showcase the kind of fearless innovation that Clarity seeks to accelerate and amplify with our work. In this blog, we’ll share a round-up of the tech we believe will make the biggest future impact on the world, as well sharing the biggest industry news, brand updates, and plain old cool tech, from the show.
Space supercharges mobile tech: There were a wave of new mobile advancements taking advantage of satellite tech at this year’s MWC. Companies including Samsung, Motorola Mobility, Bullitt Group, Amazon and Qualcomm are incorporating satellite services into their portfolios, largely to support the likes of emergency connections and location sharing. As this deep dive from Computerworld explains, this is an area of innovation to watch, with 6G likely to use space communications to give us better connectivity than ever before.
DIY phone repair promotes sustainable use: HMD Global announced the new Nokia G22 which is designed to help you repair your phone if it gets damaged, rather than making the process so costly and difficult that you just end up getting a new one. This is a really exciting development in pushing consumer tech towards a more sustainable model, preventing e-waste and hopefully reducing the environmental impact of the constant demand for new phones.
Image credit: Future
Red Hat optimises 5G with stellar partnerships: Our client Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions,, announced partnerships with NVIDIA, Samsung, Arm, OMRON and Airspan which all optimised 5G solutions in different ways. Red Hat’s CTO Chris Wright spoke at the show about how the Arm partnership is delivering more energy efficient 5G and vRAN solutions. He also explored how keeping open source communities involved in developments like 5G can contribute to its positive development, including ensuring it’s as sustainable as possible. Check out this great piece from Adrian Bridgewater in Forbes about the Nvidia partnership.
5G tech brings us a step closer to autonomous driving: It may be a mouthful, but Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Auto 5G Modem-RF Gen 2 is a big step in boosting the quality of the connected car. The initial benefits are smoother streaming and gaming for passengers on the road, but in the near future it could support advanced autonomous driving plus better entertainment and smart traffic applications for your car.
High speed broadband for regional Australia? Australia’s broadband connection (led by local wholesaler NBN Co) is known for lagging behind other developed countries, especially when it comes to the vast expanse that is regional Australia. In fact, many communities still don’t have internet connection, which heavily impacts key services like healthcare and education as they become more technologically advanced. This may soon change however, as NBN announced at MWC that Ericsson’s extended-range software will soon be deployed across regional Australia, with advanced beamforming techniques and machine learning in the works to improve broadband coverage, speed and reliability.
Potential applications of the Metaverse under discussion
The Metaverse is well-known for being Mark Zuckerberg’s passion project, but a host of different companies were weighing into potential future applications of the VR universe at MWC. AP journalist Kelvin Chan took a ride in an air taxi over Busan, South Korea at MWC - except he was in Barcelona sitting on motion simulating seats and wearing VR goggles, provided by SK Telekom to show how air taxis could one day work, powered by a high-speed 5G wireless connection. Flying cabs aside, other use-cases discussed at the event were the augmentation of real meetings to simulate real connection, showcasing products too big or small to view easily (like private jets, naturally), and training for the likes of surgical procedures.
Nokia steals the show… by erasing some lines: More on Nokia! OK, our subheader may be a bit of an understatement as Nokia hasn’t messed with its logo for sixty years. The iconic Finnish tech firm launched a new branding strategy on day one of MWC, shifting from a consumer focus to enterprise business technology. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Nokia.
Image credit: Nokia.com
Telco Industry News
EU telecoms demands support from Big Tech: EU industry leader Thierry Breton has warned that he believes the EU telecoms sector isn’t up to the task of providing enough quality 5G connection to handle demand. To find a solution, Breton has launched a 12-week consultation on the so-called ‘fair share’ proposals, where Big Tech would be liable to pay higher fees to access the telecoms systems which give them access to their customer base. This has created a bit of a stand-off at MWC, with telecoms companies Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia agreeing Big Tech should pay the fees, while Alphabet, Meta and Netflix are pushing back, saying they already invest heavily in infrastructure. Read more here.
Totogi underscores the need to shift to public cloud software for telco and MVNO customer experience: Our client Totogi, the leading provider of public cloud-based telco software, warned telcos and MVNOs (Multiple Virtual Network Operators) at MWC that the industry is missing out on core opportunities to use public cloud-based software to develop data-driven innovation. If used properly, it could be creating a more personalised customer experience and grow average revenue per user, according to Totogi. Danielle Royston, Acting CEO at Totogi, said: “...The delay in adopting truly cloud-native applications will result in a loss of competitive market share and hinder companies from capitalising on the next wave of innovation in smarter data use and artificial intelligence (AI) within the industry… To take advantage of the next wave of ARPU growth, the industry needs to embark on the journey now.”
Image credit: Totogi - Totogi’s outdoor bus booth at MWC soaking up the Barcelona sunshine
Tech updates that are just really cool
Lenovo powers the *rollable* revolution: Lenovo is probably most well known for its ThinkPad, the go-to laptop for many corporates, but at MWC they were thinking outside the box with the introduction of rollable laptops. Lenovo also owns Motorola and launched the rollable Rizr alongside the laptops, which is very nostalgic for the iconic Razr from the 00’s. Check out the rolling laptop in action with this video from The Verge - warning: it’s very cool and you’ll want one, but it is just a prototype so unfortunately not for sale yet.
Phones are out and glasses are in according to Xiaomi: Xiaomi displayed its new AR (Augmented Reality) glasses, the Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition, at MWC - but the tech is so new that it was kept behind a glass case. Made of electrochromic glass, the glasses can almost completely black out the outside world and apparently provide an incredibly realistic AR experience. Slated by WIRED to show what the next generation of AR could offer, we’re excited to hear more announcements about these cool specs. Ready Player One here we come!
Image credit: Andrew Williams, WIRED
I, Robot: Consumer technology events like MWC often have their fair share of robots, but many are mainly there as gimmicks to draw attention to exhibitor booths, rather than robots with real purpose. That can’t be said for Alt Inc. and Eurecat. Memori Yamato is the founder of Alt Inc. which has built a ‘personalised AI clone’ which you can upload videos, images and audio samples into so your family can continue to speak with you after you die. Eurecat’s robot also intends to fill a social need, with NHOA (Never Home Alone) being designed to reduce loneliness amongst the elderly by ‘building an emotional relationship’ with them.
Image credit: Eurecat
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