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
💡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 Robin.io was the biggest announcement as Rakuten encapsulates the IP behind RCP.
Hot booths: Rakuten, Robin.io, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, Radisys Corporation, Vodafone, Qualcomm, and others
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.
Hot booths: Cisco, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, AWS,
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.
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.