For the first time at Mobile World Congress

  • Published: March 6, 2018
  • Categories: General, ICT, Smart City, Smart working
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This year I made my maiden voyage to visit the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain. I've been working in the mobile industry for nearly 4 years now so you could state that it's about time. In this article, I'd like to take you along in my personal experiences during this 3-day visit.

Packing my bag in cold Holland the Sunday evening before, I was excited to discover new high tech new innovations in the fast world of communications. But at the same time, I had the question whether I would have to pack my swimming trunks or not. To answer that last question quickly, the weather was rainy, cold and we even had some snow!

To start off, let's set the stage here:

Some numbers: 108.000 attendants and 2.300 Exhibitors (that could easily nudge the total number up to approx.150.000 I assume).

And all of this in beautiful Barcelona smeared out over roughly 8 halls, outdoor bars and a few stands in the hallways. It was so busy that sometimes it felt more like a million people were there. You really get the feeling your part of a huge Telco-ant-farm.

Although most of the logistics at the venue worked seamlessly this event does have quite an impact on the city.

Trying to get there by taxi or subway can take ages and it's a daily grind of standing in line with all the other ants trying to get in or out at the end of the day.

Some takeaways:
Let's be short about the big scoops, they've had more than enough media coverage I believe so: Google introduced Android Go, announced new languages for its Assistant and Flutter is supposed to make our life's easier making apps. Huawei announced the first 5G Chip that can do 2,3 Gbps, Nokia reinvented the Banana Phone, ow and hey Samsung had something to say about their new Galaxy. This surely isn’t all, no there is loads and loads more. Just Google it.

Themes:
Besides the new tech scoops there are a view major themes that really dominate the MWC. It's about 5G connectivity, IoT, Smart Cities and VR. Then there was a lot about Security and the Digitalization of our homes, workplaces and whatever could work with a sensor or connected chip. The minimum requirements for every self-respecting big stand-owner/company wouldn’t be complete without: a drone, Some VR glasses, a car, something with 5G and how to tackle security.

If you look at it from a distance you can conclude that everything will become faster, better, safer and even more connected. For me, that’s just great. I love digital innovations because my passion is to connect things. This can be connecting people, processes or systems.

My 2 cents:
So MWC showed a great number of innovations on technology and that's nice. There are 2 things that puzzled me. The first is, how is it possible that this whole industry of communications is all working towards and on the same topics? Is that a good thing? Bad? I honestly don't know. But I've met no disrupter in the field (chances are I missed them or they didn't bother to come at all). The second topic on my mind was culture. Not much attention was mentioned on the cultural aspects on the digitalization of our world. The reason I'm puzzled about this is because at Deutsche Telekom Europe we try to give Digital Culture and equal amount of attention as we do with Digital Technology and tools. These things should go hand-in-hand. Try to think of it like a driver and a car in Formula 1. You can’t focus on just one of them.

Well, that's my summary so far, I hope you liked it.
Feel free to drop your comments below.




To finish of I'd like to share my collection of Company subtitles I shot while passing by.
Sorry for the crappy resolutions.
With some colleagues, we started to use them in sentences that made great dialogues.


Let's ...


Or ...


So the ...


But ...


About ...


UH... Say what? Let's just....


Or just ...


And be an...


Lets start!


The end.

Author: Edouard Leeuwenburg Vice President Digitization SMB Deutsche Telekom
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