The HSC team attended Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona between 2nd-5th Mar 2015. The show provides a platform for all players from telecommunication/communication industry to exhibit their products and is probably the most reliable platform to identify future trends in cellular telecommunication industry.
This year’s MWC is claimed to be biggest with approximately 90000 visitors. The show has something to offer to anyone related to the telecommunications industry. There were numerous product launches of wearables, tablets, phones, accessories and innovative applications and services (payment, location, multimedia, social, vision aware applications) enabled by these devices. Internet of Things continues to evolve with creation of new partnerships and ecosystems between chip vendors (low power sensors), device manufacturers and software vendors who collect, interpret, transform, analyse and visualise the data received from the sensors. Cloud or NFV enabled software is standard now. The wireless industry is fast moving towards a GHz spectrum. Core networks are becoming smarter and virtualised.
SDN/NFV, 5G, IoT, Analytics, VoLTE were some of the trending words at the show. Majority of wireless access vendors support LTE release 11 and release 12 specifications. Software for core networks, networking planning, service assurance, OSS/BSS, WLAN or small cell controllers support cloud and NFV. Test OEMs are at an interesting position where they are migrating to NFV to test software that runs in virtualized environment. VoLTE and VoWLAN, both seem to be picking up and their relationship at this time seem complementing than competing. IoT use cases were pre-dominantly for Automotive, Home Automation and Healthcare industries. There were quite a few companies with real time (aka high velocity ) data processing platforms but interesting there were not as many novice analytics use cases for operators. Typical uses cases focused on subscriber centric behaviour (churn, usage, location) or network troubleshooting.
The future of wireless and connectivity looks quite promising and exciting. Even though 5G is suppose to be a specification in progress, a closer and collective look at all the technologies available today (SDN, carrier aggregation, location, beamforming, millimeter wave) clearly show that we are much more ready to enable fundamental 5G functionality today than we were a couple of years earlier.