By EQUIIS Technologies
The sun was shining this week on MWC Barcelona, and team EQUIIS was there in full force. We met with some of the industry’s most influential brands and spent time pressing the flesh to get under the skin of all things tech for the upcoming year.
The event surpassed it’s usual standard, attracting over 109,000 visitors from 198 countries. Over 55 percent of this year’s MWC attendees held senior-level positions, including more than 7,900 CEOs; EQUIIS Technologies CEO and founder Derek Roga himself starred in one of the most popular panels on social media, privacy and the misuse of personal data. You can watch the debate in its entirety here.
Folding smartphones and 5G were much discussed, as was diversity and inclusion and Women In Tech, but data and privacy sat at the heart of almost every presentation and discussion during this year’s summit.
Data, regulation and ethics at MWC Barcelona
Whilst product launches dominated the exhibition space the main keynote stage was primarily filled with an agenda focussed around privacy, regulation and ethics.
In his opening keynote Director General Mats Granryd announced that the GSMA will be creating a framework to boost security and begin “an era of intelligent connectivity”; this supports the organisation's vision for the telecom sector to lead the initiatives and regulation for the future of privacy and data.
The European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel highlighted the importance of a unified digital view to create a Digital Single Market, which is critical in developing the European content industry, as well as other activities turning digital research into innovation success stories.
HUAWEI'S chairman Guo Ping was a keynote speaker at this years event, during his speech he placed heavy emphasis on refuting security risk accusations HUAWEI have faced in recent months.
Guo stressed that the company would never install backdoors in its products, pushing back on the growing number of claims that Huawei poses a risk to security.
"To build a secure cyber environment for everyone, we need standards, we need fact-based regulation, and we need to work together," he said, adding: "Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone else to do so in our equipment."
Throughout the event, there was a focus on leadership, and the co-operation of corporations and government organisations to create policies that enable unified international privacy, governance and control of data.
Intelligent Connectivity was in focus at this years event as it marks the beginning of a new era defined by highly contextualised and personalised experiences, delivered as and when you want them. A huge aspect of intelligent connectivity is digital trust. With digital density on the rise, of course so are the benefits to organisations in way of creating new value propositions. This in itself comes with challenges and threats that have to be taken into consideration in relation to the amount of personal data required to train the AI algorithms, the ownership of data and the security issues which may leave environments vulnerable to cyber attacks. Gaining digital trust is fundamental to the sector of intelligent connectivity and will continue to become more prominent as AI and digital density continue to expand.
Under this wide umbrella that we call ‘intelligent connectivity’ we find; 5G, IoT and AI.
5G has been one of the main show stealers this week. Since Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S10 5G, all phone makers have rushed to do the same. This resulted in a fresh wave of 5G ready-phones making their debut at the show.
There was a 5G demo network at MWC. The demo showcased the kind of speeds and services we can expect when it arrives in select cities later this year. The system showed the connection stably held at 2.7Gbps, whereas speeds on a standard smartphone capped out at around 120Mbps.
5G announcements included; Huawei Mate X, Xiaomi Mi Mix3 and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
Huawei Mate X: The first 5G device to have been announced by the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. 5G connectivity is provided via Huawei’s own Balong 5000 5G modem rather than the Qualcomm models favoured by most of the devices
Xiaomi Mi Mix3: The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is part of a rapidly growing trend where a phone takes an existing handset and produces a 5G variant.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G: The originally named Galaxy S10 5G was announced alongside the rest of the S10 lineup and features a larger 6.7-inch display than the rest of the range, as well as a larger 4,500mAh battery, and an extra camera on the front and back for better AR performance.
Key technology players demonstrated a wide range of IoT applications at MWC19, from smart cities and smart agriculture to robotic manufacturing and cloud VR. A vast virtual universe of automobiles, devices, appliances and vehicles. It is expected that by 2025 25 Billion devices will be connected.
Products underpinned by AI and machine learning technology made a big splash at MWC19 - from humanoid robots and VPA's, to intelligent cameras and autonomous vehicles.
Nokia announced that CTC and Nokia jointly demonstrate advanced machine learning innovations for 5G RAN mMIMO optimization. Under the strategic cooperation agreement between CTC and Nokia signed in October 2018. The ML powered mMIMO algorithms will improve 5G RAN coverage and capacity and provide higher throughput and spectral efficiency.
Arm’s CEO Simon Segars highlighted the importance of engaging with young people during his keynote speech on Wednesday.
‘True digital natives are coming of an age where they are really starting to appreciate this technology, they are going to come up with the ideas that are truly going to allow us to deliver on the full benefits of 5G, because I think those benefits are only going to come from the kind of unencumbered thinking the youth have, this encumbrance comes from not really knowing what is is impossible which creates a new optimism of what you can do with technology.’
An important message that should not be lost within the groundbreaking sea of announcements that have been made at MWC19 this week.
Diversity and inclusion: Women4Tech
The Women4Tech was well supported and documented, however, a quick look around the halls it is clear that this issue remains an important one for MWC to highlight. Diversity is vital, in that it enables organisations to offer technical solutions that are truly relevant to the communities that they serve.
MWC has a clear vision to promote diversity within the telco sector and it was great to see them promoting initiatives that support these aims. Panels that included I AM THE CODE founder Mariéme Jammev and UtterBerry CEO Hepa Bevan highlighted the importance of having women in positions of leadership so that young girls have role models to look up to. Hepa went on to say that in order for tech and innovation to succeed it is vital that we represent the community in our thinking “We need diversity, we need everyone to be a part of this”.
Team EQUIIS had a productive four days in Barcelona attending MWC19. We were excited to share our vision and hear the debates around privacy and data ownership in particular, we were certainly not disappointed. It was an outstanding event and we feel privileged to have been part of a truly fantastic week.