When there are 100,000 people gathering in one place, you know something big is happening.
That’s exactly what happened at the largest gathering of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona earlier this month. Players from every walk of the mobile ecosystem were there: network service operators, technology providers and app developers serving the many industry verticals developing new business models that leverage the mobile infrastructure to unleash growth.
After all, who’s not affected by mobile? With the increased adoption of the smartphone (half of all mobile phones shipped 2015 were smartphones) and ubiquitous high-speed mobile broadband networks, the mobile impact is most felt in examining how it’s changed the way we live our daily lives.
We have more connected devices at home, on the go, at work and during leisure activities. Mobility and high-speed connections have intertwined to make our work more productive and our outside lives more enriching. Productivity increases when information is at our fingertips: this is life in the fast lane.
As you would expect at MWC, there was much said about the Internet of Things (IoT). Everything being connected – mobile payments, remote medical diagnostics, asset tracking and monitoring, management of service delivery — coupled with faster speeds create new industries and spawn new ventures and services.
Just a year ago we were talking about 4G LTE deployments and challenges in certain parts of the world that are still lagging behind in upgrading from 2G and 3G networks to LTE. Now, 5G is no longer a novel idea — it’s real. Both mobile operators and app developers have started exploring the services that will be unleashed by this super-fast mobile network, truly bringing forth an IoT reality.
While mobile operators are focused on improving throughput and solving latency issues, new industries are bringing the services to life with wearables and virtual/augmented reality. These may seem to be just entertaining frivolities, but new business models are developing and these concepts will soon become as commonplace as the smartphone that once seemed just as impractical.
For those of us on the side of the mobile ecosystem that provide enabling technology, our focus continues to be on what can be done to help operators improve their customers’ experiences, ultimately driving service adoption and speeding change. This enabling tech includes automatic mobile connections, single subscriber sign-on and secure access to services and data, all while keeping mobile within a private and trusted environment.