Every year, one of the biggest mobile events on the planet takes place in the city of Barcelona. Over 250.000 people from 180 countries ascend on Barna (not Barca btw, that’s the football club). This is a major event in Europe’s conference and business calendar, it deserves great planning and special forces style execution if you are to get out alive and prosperous.
This year, everything is set to be bigger and better than any other edition before. There are so many things going on inside and around the event that we thought to give you a brief overview of what to expect, and which side-events you should check out.
This is a very exciting year for the mobility sector in general, and with it for all automotive companies as well. Whether a small or a giant car company, they cannot survive without connectivity, which is essential for all operational matters. Today’s car is, in fact, a moving computer. A modern car is perhaps the most advanced technological hardware in the world, where millions of lines of code keep it running with thousands of kilometers of cables running inside. Cybersecurity, in-car interfaces, external activities, security and data sharing, are all dependant on flawless connectivity. With the growing external threats and an insane amount of data, an everyday vehicle needs to process in nanoseconds, it is then no wonder that OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) invest heavily in connectivity, and are actively building partnerships with telecoms and semiconductors. As times are moving closer towards fully autonomous vehicles on road, more infrastructure is needed to support these cars, and this begins with a solid communications network. Additionally, expect to see many OEM’s showing off their electrification as well as hybridization strategies and concepts, which increases their need for connectivity.
Mobile World Congress is a great event to understand where the automotive industry is heading towards, especially in the space of connectivity and in smart cities. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Peugeot, and Bosch will be showing off their innovations and projects, in hopes to gather momentum in this fiercely competitive market. In fact, Fernando Alonso – former Formula 1 World Champion, will be doing a keynote about the future of mobility and motor racing. Bosch, a German-based giant widely thought to be the leader in innovation in the automotive industry, in particular, is working on very exciting projects inside the smart mobility sector without being an actual car company.
We’ve been hearing about this for years but now finally it seems that things are coming together. The first iterations have been confirmed and the actual launch is predicted to take place by the end of next year. The prospect of having a widely available 5G network is a super exciting one, as it will enable for faster data transfer which will in return enable organizations to tap into the full potential of AI, VR, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Driving and much more. In short, the better the network the more innovation we can see in practice. Very exciting!
Artificial intelligence will be absolutely everywhere in MWC and no wonder. Except to hear Alexa being mentioned millions of times, and countless versions of Amazon’s Echo speaker. Companies will have to demonstrate what are their real plans for partnerships and integrations for AI and most importantly the protection of privacy which is always been a hot issue, but now even more so with the increasing intrusion by AI into our everyday lives.
This year we will finally have an actual launch some premium smartphones, notably the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus, along with launches from Huawei, Sony, Motorola and Nokia (who stole the show last year with their 20 Euro dumbphone).
The Startup Events
You can’t attend MWC without checking out the biggest startup event in Spain called 4 Years From Now. This year 4YFN will host over 20,000 people and host hundreds of speakers on multiple stages. It is the more agile and younger version of the bigger MWC, which is more for corporates and press. The exciting part of 4YFN is the sheer scale of startups, innovation, and people who are willing to learn from the exhibitors. Additionally and perhaps most importantly, the parties 4YFN crew throw are epic and the must-attend in the city.
4YFN and MWC have hundreds of side-events going on simultaneously around the city, so planning is crucial and you should pick out 3-4 not-to-miss events. Here are some great side-events worth checking out:
Mobile Sunday Barcelona – A glimpse at the future of mobile and a look at current trends and opportunities from some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and corporations.
TECHICONS is the annual event during the Mobile World Congress focused on bridging the gap between Europe’s key investors and innovators.
Women In Mobile 2018 – The theme of this edition is ‘personalization based on AI’. AI-based products can ingest rich data, learning about user preferences in on-going manner, delivering personalized content that users want and need.