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  • RJ Bardsley

MWC had more than sexy gadgets on offer this year

By Andrea MacLean

Mobile World Congress is a veritable treasure trove of cool new tech from the latest must-have laptops and handsets to breakthroughs in virtual reality and the Internet of Things to driverless vehicles. And MWC 2022 did not disappoint. But there was something very different about MWC this year, and it felt like…hope.

People were hopeful that things are slowly getting back to a semblance of pre-COVID normality and beyond excited to be back at a major tech show, seeing the latest in mobile innovation, meeting up with colleagues, clients, prospects and friends. This long-missed social aspect of the professional world was so apparently overdue, it was almost a palpably euphoric sensation. The excitement was contagious, dutiful mask donning notwithstanding.

And speaking of excitement, there were certainly more than a few enviable new handsets to get excited about,

Caption: Oppo’s Find X5 Pro

Caption: OnePlus’ 10 Pro

and some very cool demonstrations, including one around the future of urban air mobility.

Caption: Urban air mobility demo at SK Telecom booth

There were also many informative and inspirational talks on artificial intelligence, data and sustainability. (Client) NTT’s Shahid Ahmed, spoke on a panel around AI convergence and challenged the industry to deliver on the promise of AI in more real and meaningful ways. Other industry luminaries talked about how we need to use data in a smarter, more scalable way, and how it’s time for a little less talk and a little more action when it comes to reducing the corporate world’s carbon footprint.

Woven into the shiny new tech talk was the role of 5G. Perhaps the most exciting component of that conversation was the emerging part that private 5G (P5G) networks have to play, and who is leading the market. Drew FitzGerald recently wrote for the Wall Street Journal that, while the industry waits for a return on the investment made in 5G infrastructure, many organizations are turning to tech companies vs. telcos for private 5G. Why? Because P5G goes beyond network connectivity. It’s about modernizing networks in a way that maps to an organization’s desired business outcomes – P5G networks are not just faster, but also more secure, more efficient and custom designed for enterprise needs.

The FIRA in Barcelona saw about 60,000 attendees, up from last year’s approximate 20,000 attendees. And though that is still a considerable amount shy of the usual 100K plus traffic the largest mobile tech conference in the world is accustomed to seeing, it’s certainly a vast improvement and a good sign of times to come…I hope.

Hope…There’s that word again… I can’t wait for next year!

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