Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is an event well known to anyone within the telecom and mobile industry. This year, I attended the event for the fourth consecutive year and just as the previous years, 2016 also saw a plethora of technological advancements in the field of mobile communications. The event had more than 100.000 visitors and 2.200 exhibiting companies showcasing a broad variety of solutions and emerging technologies related to mobile communication.
Of the many future endeavors that the consumer market is going to see, one that grasped my attention was the discussion around 5G connectivity. At the event, there was a lot of buzz around the 5G network and connectivity. Today’s 4G connectivity has enabled us to have high quality streaming or recorded video on our mobile devices, which has had a huge influence on how we, as users, are consuming content. When this technology was introduced a few years back, there was a tremendous increase in data volume and usage because of the increase in the use of video on mobiles. However, with 5G connectivity, the data volume will further multiply as it promises live video streaming capabilities and Virtual Reality (VR), both of which will result in improved performance and enhanced user experience.
One of my other takeaways at MWC 2016 was all the excitement I saw around the topic – Internet of Things (IoT), a very interesting area with relevance and offerings that are wide-ranging from smart homes to connected vehicles and IP-enabled bicycle lights. With so much being said about IoT right now, one of my thoughts on the topic is whether it is ideal for any type of device to be connected to the internet, just because the technology to achieve this is available. I believe that IoT technology brings great values, and will help us become more efficient in the future when it comes to conserving energy, saving human life, and in general using our time more effectively.
While it is undeniable that 5G connectivity will happen, the only question that arises here is when. According to my observation, in order to make 5G a true success, the key players bringing about this evolution to the telecom industry have three critical points to bear in mind. Firstly, telecom equipment manufacturers should develop the equipment with or without a finalized standard specification. Secondly, telecom operators who will be deploying the 5G technology must make a significant upfront investment to rollout operation. Finally, IoT must mature further by focusing on solutions that create real value.
I think it is inevitable that 5G connectivity, IoT and VR will together drive more mobile data traffic. The increase in network traffic will also escalate and raise the value of mobile data. A vital part of this hyper connected world will be solutions that can perform data analytics and ensure data security. At Napatech, we recently introduced a concept called Smarter Data Delivery. With this concept, we believe that now and in the future, faster and more efficient data delivery will play a significant role in network data analytics and security applications.
Get the full overview of MWC 2016 in this MWC infographic.