Mobile Digest #1

Yesterday was Day One at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, where the global tech industry – minus Apple – gathers to launch and showcase the newest (and sometimes oldest!) smartphones, and the latest in VR and AR, software and wearables.

With many of us in Barcelona supporting clients this week, Fleishman will be capturing the show’s best bits and sharing them with you daily. So keep an eye out for our MWC Digest every morning wrapping up each previous day at the show.

Here’s some insights from day one at MWC…


Eager to get in ahead of the action, and sneakily steal the headlines in any day one round up, many device announcements happen on the Sunday before the show. ‘Device day’ allows attendees to fawn over the latest handsets the moment the show opens and this year didn’t disappoint.  So far the show has seen action from LGHuawei, and Lenovo/Motorola – with BlackBerry getting even further ahead of the game thanks to a Saturday night launch. But the most buzz came from the return of the much loved Nokia 3310… with Snake included!

Nostalgia seems to be a focal point of MWC this year, especially if you focus on the Nokia reboot and BlackBerry bringing back a handset with a QWERTY keyboard. Perhaps the industry is harking back to simpler times instead of focusing on ‘disruption’ in what has already been a tumultuous year.

Samsung forewent the option to launch a new mobile and instead launched two new tablet computers and a remote controlled virtual reality headset.

In other news, Sony announced its latest smartphone which is capable of filming smooth slow-motion footage at four times the rate possible on competitors’ top-end models. Technology partnerships were the topic du jour for Huawei who teamed up with GoPro, Leica, Pantone and Goodix for its P10 and the P10 Plus phones, which it unveiled alongside its latest series of smartwatches.

Smart Cities

AT&T announced it is working with Current to deliver internet of things technology to cities in the US and Mexico. Not content with those two continents, AT&T also announced an agreement with IDA Ireland and Dublin City Council to collaborate and exchange information about smart cities.  Dublin seems to be developing into a ‘one to watch’ IoT location…

Harman announced an early detection and warning system that could be useful to city utilities for monitoring vibrations from water pumps or other mechanical infrastructure. The Harman Quick Predict system was developed using a vibration analysis algorithm built by Intel and has already been put to use in Intel’s fabrication facilities.

Ericsson has launched its Connected Vehicle Marketplace, a cloud-based service aimed at allowing equipment manufacturers to share data and applications in a secure and scalable way with third parties. It will provide a single digital marketplace for open application programming interfaces for telematics data, regulated data sharing, partner management, and charging and billing solutions.

Deutsche Telekom announced its plans to expand its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network across its European footprint of eight countries by the end of the year – starting with the commercial launch of NB-IoT in Q2 in Germany, where it already runs several pilots with large customers in the areas of smart metering, smart parking and asset tracking.


Mobile World Congress likes big numbers; and this time it’s a billion. We will have 1.1 billion 5G connections by 2020 – that’s one-in-eight connections worldwide, said a new GSMA study.

5G was the hot topic on the lips of almost everybody around the conference halls. Whisper it or shout about it, it’s the dominant topic in a sea of announcements.  5G has the capacity to usher in a new era, creating a huge array of applications; everything from sensor-driven smart parking to holographic conference calls.

It looks like 5G products may hit even sooner than thought, whether industry standards are ready for them or not. Samsung is one manufacturer that has products to show already. It has a 5G home router with a top data range of 1Gbps (there, another figure for you) and trials of 5G devices begin this year in Korea, Japan and the US.

Monday ended with the customary day one parties and, bleary eyed, we all head back to the Fira to see what Tuesday has in store.