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Mobile World Congress 2018 wrap-up

GSMA Intelligence is today publishing research highlighting its key takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2018.

The 2018 edition of Mobile World Congress welcomed more than 107,000 visitors to Barcelona for the biggest event in the mobile industry. While the temperatures outside were unusually chilly, what was hot inside the halls was less surprising, with 5G and AI dominating. There was also lively, sometimes heated, discussion on how to ensure mobile can continue to fuel innovation, transform industry and impact people’s lives for the better.

We present our key messages from MWC in the report, but several broader themes run across much of this analysis and point the way for the industry as it continues to transform:

• Getting real: 5G has been gathering momentum for some time, and we’re now seeing concrete deployment plans alongside more practical demonstrations of use cases. But there was also something of a reality check around the inherent challenges of evolving the network for 5G to meet the needs of vertical industries. Meanwhile, in IoT, there’s recognition that the business case actually revolves around addressing specific needs rather than simply providing connectivity.

• Getting together: The need for collaboration ran across several streams this year. Examples included alliances to serve vertical industries; partnerships to bring solutions to the expanding smart home market; and industry-wide collaboration to bring safe and reliable smart-city deployments. Co-operation continues to be key across and beyond the ecosystem.

• Getting better: Creating a better future was the theme of MWC18. Industry leaders provided ample inspiration on how connectivity can create new drivers of economic growth, and how the industry can help make communities healthier and stronger. But the debate continues as to how to ensure the right investment climate and regulatory environment to underpin such development going forward.

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