Mobile Digest 2019: Day Four!


On the final day of MWC, the pace slackens a little. The painkillers are spent, the foot balm finished and it’s time to think of home. When was the last time you saw your family? It’s all lost in the blur of Las Ramblas and hall after hall after hall of conferences and exhibitors and press conferences.

It’s time, maybe, to reflect on some of the conferences and panels during the four days of MWC Barcelona. It’s a heady mix of topics to take in, so we’ve looked at a few below.

But dashing for the shuttle bus and the last leg to the airport, spare a thought to those we leave behind. The army of stand deconstructors, engineers and electricians who are waiting in the wings.

Overnight, they’ll strip MWC down to its bare bones like a swarm of locusts over a wheat field. How they do it, we’ll never know. But it’s the final swansong for MWC, its 2,400 exhibitors and 107,000 delegates.

Hasta la vista, MWC19 Barcelona. The hotels will empty and the streets fall quiet – until the same time next year anyway!

Daily Round Up

  • Huawei has won the “best in show” award for the Mate X foldable phone. Despite the turbulent start of the year for the brand, the company has still managed to pull it out of the bag and wow crowds with its brilliant bendy design
  • We can finally fit 4K into our pockets! Sony launched the Xperia 1, with an eye popping 6.5-inch, 3840×1644-pixel, 21:9 CinemaWide OLED display. The first 4K display to feature in a smartphone, this update means that Netflix will now look just as good in our hands as it does on our TV screens!
  • Idemia launched an interactive booth experience showcasing how fingerprint and face scanning is increasing capabilities of the hands-free tech experience. The powers that be are marking this as the end of password protected security as we move into instant unlocking in our everyday lives


5G was undoubtedly the dominant force at this year’s MWC, with the promises that come from increased bandwidth and connectivity. Don’t just take it from us, Cisco VP Jonathan Davidson said, “We’re now moving into an era where 5G has 10 times the amount of bandwidth available… That changes the equation.”

Much like the smartphone has had a lasting impact in the last decade, it’s being speculated that 5G could bring on a new era of technology. It might not be immediate, especially with Apple being out of the equation for now, but the jump in speed and absence of latency that 5G provides promises exciting possibilities for everything from augmented reality to healthcare..

Nonetheless, many of the exciting ideas being mentioned won’t be available until at least 2020 as the industry adopts the technology and figures out final technical details. It won’t happen overnight, but it will eventually open up previously unheard of avenues for businesses and brands to innovate and connect. Get ready, the future is coming (…sooner rather than later we hope).

Smarter than Smart

We can’t leave without mentioning smart cities. The panel at MWC argued that a successful smart city was all about scale. It can’t be an isolated project or test in a small segment of the city infrastructure.

Mrinalini Ingram, VP of Smart Communities at Verizon, said many cities are stuck because they don’t have the necessary means to scale. Michael Zeto, VP and GM for smart cities at AT&T, argued that scale is, indeed, essential to create safer and more liveable urban environments. He also noted a shift towards more viable business cases.

But scale is also about partnerships, said Dan Rabinovitsj, VP of connectivity at Facebook. Municipal governments don’t have the budgets so, “Cities need to feel they are partnering with companies that are not trying to drain them of funds.”

Jane Rygaard, head of marketing for mobile networks at Nokia said every part of a smart city has different requirements and connectivity needs. She thinks too much of the focus is on productivity gains and would like more attention given to improving energy efficiency and getting green thinking into deployments.

All valid points,  and an indication that this topic will run and run. Limitations such as budget restraints and lack of resources need to be addressed to succeed in making our cities truly smarter.

That’s all folks – that concludes our MWC2019 Barcelona Mobile Digest. Until next year!