What To Expect at MWC 2018: Spotlight on Network Innovations

With the kickoff of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona fast approaching, smartphone makers, including Samsung, LG, and Motorola, are preparing to launch their latest devices for 2018. Among the likely debut highlights: the Samsung Galaxy S9, an update of LG's V30, and the Motorola G6.

Scheduled for Feb. 2-March 1, MWC 2018 will feature exhibits, talks, and other programs focused on key themes, including the future of telecommunications service providers; opportunities and challenges arriving with 5G and other network advances; the evolving digital consumer; technology's impact on society; the Internet of Things; artificial intelligence; and the changing media landscape.

MWC is the largest annual conference and expo for the mobile device and services industry. Organized by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a global industry organization for mobile operators, this year's event is expected to feature more than 2,300 exhibitors and draw more than 108,000 attendees from around the world.

'Cambrian Explosion' in Network Tech

As part of their theme of "Creating a Better Future," MWC organizers plan to showcase a variety of emerging technologies at the GSMA Innovation City. The innovation space will feature exhibits and hands-on demonstrations of mobile tech driving changes in healthcare, retail, industry, transportation, and other areas of daily life.

"For this year, we're actually in an immensely exciting position in the industry," Alex Lawrence, senior research manager, said in a GSMA video about MWC. "Some people have described it as being on the cusp of a Cambrian explosion in the way that networks look, the way they work and so on."

Lawrence said the network developments now under way with automation, virtualization, edge computing, and other innovations will bring dramatically different capabilities than, say, the step-changes seen in moving from 2.5G to 3G network connectivity.

"If you look at the technologies that are...

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