Internet of Things surprisingly commonplace at show
Let’s face it, Mobile World Congress [MWC] Barcelona 2014 did well. Attendance was up by 18 per cent compared to 2013. Event organisers, the GSMA, announced that over 80,000 visitors from 201 countries attended the 2014 event plus more than 5,000 people participated in a range of partner programmes. As the dust settles on MWC 2014, GoMo News talked with Andrew Skinner who is relationship director for Technology, Media & Telecoms (TMT) at Barclays [Bank], about the major themes from this year’s show. These included wearable technology (no surprises there); 4G; IoT [Internet of Things]; NFC [Near Field Communication] – as well as security, of course.
In terms of security and privacy, Samsung announcing its secure Knox solution for mobile devices. Then there was Boeing’s Blackphone which cclaims to be super secure.
Mobile devices, owned by corporations and employees alike as a rseult of BOYD [Bring Your Own Device] implementations, will increasingly be used to access sensitive corporate networks and data via such solutions.
“It will be fascinating to see how uptake and adoption of secure devices and services evolves in the next twelve months, and whether companies are genuinely planning to place more emphasis on mobile device security,” Skinner observed.
Wearable technology was fairly prevalent at the show, but with many devices seemingly aimed primarily at promoting healthy living.
“Sony’s SmartBand promises to track everything in a user’s life and Samsung unveiled no less than three different variations of smartwatch – all of which extend the functionality of mobile technology,” Skinner added.
4G is still being pushed heavily by mobile network operators [MNOs] and handset vendors alike.
Especially as as huge investments are made in not only the infrastructure to support it.
That’s not to say, however, LTE isn’t still without its issues. Meanwhile some people at MWC 2014 were certainly talking about 5G as it’s also being heavily invested in.
Skinner says, “The EU is pushing for roll-out plans to be ready by 2015, but we’re probably a few years off this becoming a reality.”
At MWC 2014, NFC was being promoted heavily by the GSMA and there were even NFC enabled sleeves for iPhones available for free, so iPhone users could take advantage of the NFC access points across the conference hall.
Finally there as the Internet of Things [IoT], which is slowly gaining traction, which was a strikingly common theme at the show.
“The number of ‘connected cars’ on display at MWC this year just goes to show how interwoven disparate industries are becoming as connectivity becomes an essential component of virtually every product,” Skinner reckons.
He continued, “From the connected home, to the GSMA’s Connected City stand, every ‘thing’ is effectively becoming an extension of communications devices, or vice versa.”
“At Barclays we’ll be watching with interest to see which of these technologies companies invest in this year , and whether they can drive widespread adoption.”