MWC 2022: 5G Open RAN, Private Networks, eSIM, Foldables & Sustainability Takes Center Stage

It was a great last week to physically go on the annual pilgrimage at the technology mecca GSMA MWC 2022 Barcelona after three years! It was a fantastic feeling to meet many of you in person with my rockstar colleagues.

These were some of the key trends at the show:

💡 5G is Everywhere:

Almost every booth was showcasing products, software or services with and for 5G. We saw a sleuth of 5G chipsets, phones/foldables, IoT Modules, CPEs, Robots, Drones, RAN, edge servers, software solutions and cloud. Foldables were also talk of the town and so were XR glasses as the industry looks for newer form-factors to make communication, content creation, consumption more immersive.


Hot booths: Qualcomm, ZTE Corporation, Huawei, Vodafone Deutsche Telekom, Zyxel, Samsung Electronics, Telit, MediaTek, Quectel, TCL Communication, Vuzix Corporation

Analysis here:

OPPO Find X5 Series, 240W Fast Charging Solution, AR Glass, & More Showcased at MWC 2022 (

Huawei Expands its Connected Devices Ecosystem with an E-Ink Tablet, AIO PC & More at MWC 2022 (

TCL Demonstrates New Foldable Concepts, Latest Devices – Counterpoint Research

💡Chipsets: Compute & Connectivity:

Great announcements & discussions with Qualcomm, Arm, Sony Semicon (IL) on the rise of newer technologies(Wi-Fi 7 , Snapdragon Connect, Bluetooth Snapdragon Sound) and architectures (security & compute, accelerators for Auto, IoT, RAN, Datacenters). e.g. ARM demoing the Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) to drive collaboration between i automakers, semiconductor suppliers, open-source and independent software vendors, and cloud technology leaders to deliver next-generation connected software-defined vehicles (SDV) experiences. Qualcomm announced its latest Wi-Fi7 solutions in terms of FastConnect 7800

💡Open RAN & vRAN:

The second hot topic across most of the telcos, infra vendors, and SIs. Open Interfaces, cloudification, intelligent automation of RAN and beyond, virtualizing network functions, need for accelerators across the network layers, and more! Rakuten Symphony’s acquisition of was the biggest announcement as Rakuten encapsulates the IP behind RCP.

counterpoint mwc 2022 virtualized and open ran

Hot booths: Rakuten,, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, Radisys Corporation, Vodafone, Qualcomm, and others

Analysis here:

Chip vendors showcase open RAN merchant silicon solutions at MWC-22 (

💡Private Networks:

This was the hottest topic as 5G infra kicks in and everyone in the value chain sees this as an opportunity to digitally transform the enterprises, industries and public sector applications with 5G.

counterpoint mwc 22 enterprise 5g

Hot booths: Cisco, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, AWS,

Analysis here:

MWC 2022 Highlights Growing Interest in Private 5G Networks – Counterpoint Research

counterpoint mwc 22 5g private network


The eSIM/iSIM is happening and fast. The eSIM Summit was fantastic with great discussions from Truphone, Kigen, Thales, KORE Wireless. Some great announcements on offerings, partnerships, demos from Kigen-Kore-Energy Web to Truphone-free eSIM to chip/module makers to Thales-Adaptive Connect, Amdocs, Ericsson & Nokia as well. Also, the trend of using SM-DP+ for IoT is catching on and so is eSIM driven Digital MNOs!



While LPWAN (NB, LTE-M) have been proliferating driving plethora of IoT applications, the rollout of 5G is going to unlock multiple high bandwidth and low-latency use-cases as we saw number of 5G IoT modules and chipsets from Quectel, Thales, ZTE, Sierra Wireless, Telit and others. The key applications include automotive mobility, FWA CPEs, Robotics, Drones, XR devices and more.


♻️ Sustainability:

Great showcase and growing focus from infra vendors, MNOs, device OEMs & other players on driving sustainability from using AI to drive energy efficiencies to eco-rated devices to using discarded fishing nets to green packaging, etc.

Hot Companies: Orange, OPPO, Samsung Electronics, Apple. Telefonica Deutsche Telekom EcoAct Assurant and more..

Overall, the above themes are going to shape the technology landscape for the entire decade and the digitization, cloudification, automation trends will make the devices, infrastructure, systems and services more useful, intelligent and efficient.

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Neil is a sought-after frequently-quoted Industry Analyst with a wide spectrum of rich multifunctional experience. He is a knowledgeable, adept, and accomplished strategist. In the last 18 years he has offered expert strategic advice that has been highly regarded across different industries especially in telecom. Prior to Counterpoint, Neil worked at Strategy Analytics as a Senior Analyst (Telecom). Neil also had an opportunity to work with Philips Electronics in multiple roles. He is also an IEEE Certified Wireless Professional with a Master of Science (Telecommunications & Business) from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

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