Intelligent connectivity was the overarching theme at MWC19 Los Angeles, but certain technologies trended more than others.
During the opening keynote at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles (MWCLA), director general of GSMA Mats Granryd established intelligent connectivity as the conference's main theme. A group of technologies fall under this theme, including 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data, according to Granryd.
SEE: Special report: The rise of Industrial IoT (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
"The theme is intelligent connectivity because we're seeing the convergence of many different technologies enabling a future that is going to be very different than what we know today," said Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere, head of North America GSMA, during an interview at MWC19 Los Angeles.
Big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and edge computing will enable unimaginable capabilities, making big waves in the enterprise, Lattibeaudiere said.
However, three technologies are trending above others at this year's MWC, she said. These technologies are 5G, IoT, and big data.
Emphasized the most during MWC's opening keynote and publicized extensively throughout the expo floor, 5G is clearly the top trend at MWC19.
"5G is a big difference from 4G. With every G, we've had faster speeds," Lattibeaudiere said. "5G will certainly bring that, and will bring so much more. It'll be at the core of enabling services that require low latency, no network slicing, and the ability of having different qualities of service depending on what you're trying to enable. 5G is truly revolutionary."
With the conference being in Los Angeles—a hub for entertainment—5G applications in entertainment are a hot topic at MWC19, Lattibeaudiere added. These applications aren't just from a user perspective, she said, but also from a studio or entertainment company perspective.
The topic of 5G in entertainment was the main focus of president and CEO of Viacom Bob Bakish's closing keynote on Tuesday, where he stressed 5G's potential role in premium mobile video deployment.
IoT is another trending technology at MWC19, but Lattibeaudiere accentuated the hype around narrow band IoT.
"Within the family of 5G technologies, there are two technologies that are done specifically for IoT. One is LTM (Local Traffic Manager), and another one is narrow band," Lattibeaudiere said. "Narrow band is specifically done for services that require very low bandwidth, but require a very extended lifetime. It enables you to have a battery life of years rather than days."
This extended battery life would enable a bevy of use cases for IoT that were impossible prior to narrow band, she said. For example, trackers and sensors wouldn't have to be charged every day or every week, which is expensive and time consuming. With narrow band, sensors could be placed on difficult-to-reach objects or used to collect data uninterrupted for longer.
3. Big data
With 5G and IoT as trending topics, big data inevitably follows. 5G enables data collection, and IoT devices do the collecting. With the development of 5G connectivity and more IoT capabilities, data is bound to increase, Lattibeaudiere said.
"The more data you have of things connected, the more machine learning and the better the AI that comes on top of it becomes," she noted. "The idea of having automation in more places, like factories, becomes so much more relevant than they used to be."
The important takeaway with all of these trends is that they are no longer rumors or hype, but realities. As 5G continues permeating the US, IoT and big data capabilities will see significant growth.
For more, check out Mass machine communication expected to be most impacted by 5G on TechRepublic.
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