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10 Tidbits from Mobile World Congress 2016

As the Mobile World Congress’ over 100,000 attendees find their way home from Barcelona, it’s time to review some of the week’s happenings in what MWC’s keynote speakers referred to as the “mobile society” or the “gigabit society.”

  1. GSMA announced its Mobile Connect authentication solution enabling customers to create and manage a digital universal identity via a single log-in is now available to some 2 billion customers.
  2. A host of global operators, GSMA and Google, announced the launch of a new initiative to accelerate the availability of Rich Communications Services (RCS).
  3. Vodafone Group’s Matt Beal called for telcos to strengthen their trust relationships with customers and create value before monetizing data. Another panelist suggested engaging with customers to create a “segment of one.”
  4. Telefonica unveiled its index of 34 countries measuring progress towards a digital economy based on access, openness, confidence and entrepreneurship. The US led with the UK, France and Germany as the European market leaders.
  5. Accenture Digital executives called for traditional communication service providers to tap into “a broad array of other digital businesses, digital customers and even digital devices to create new digital ecosystems.”
  6. Many emphasized amped up 5G internet network capabilities. Wider bandwidth and an ever-larger network of masts and aerials will enhance connection speeds as fixed and mobile networks converge.
  7. Nokia announced a $350 million fund for investing in IoT solutions to go along with its 5G investments. “We are already at the forefront of making 5G a reality and enabling massive capacity and massive connectivity – this is an integral part of our vision,” Rajeev Suri, Nokia’s president and CEO stated.
  8. The danger of connecting billions of devices to the Internet also surfaced. ARM’s CEO Simon Segars noted the many security challenges will be “very different to what we have so far encountered.” He concluded with the warning, “If you have a role in IoT, you have a role to make this secure.”
  9. Ford CEO Mark Fields spoke about its new Kuga car and customer experience platform FordPass, announcing its transition from an automotive company to “an auto and mobility company.”
  10. Other examples continued to emphasize the need for network conductivity in rural settings. For instance, the GSMA noted examples of connected cows helping farmers determine the location of their herds and being able to anticipate cows giving birth by their behavior amidst the herd, or soil sensor predicting when fruit flies are coming to damage a vintner’s crop.

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