A Quick Round Up About Mobile World Congress 2019
The hyper-connectivity of the digital age is fascinating, and there isn’t any other place where this truth is more evident than at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). This world leading mobile technology exhibition takes place annually in Barcelona, and for the year 2019, data security was at the heart of the discussion.
The Mobile World Congress
The MWC is the biggest mobile tradeshow of the year and a mobile phone feast. The event for 2019 commenced on February 25th through to the 28th. And the theme of the Congress – Intelligent Connectivity, very well encapsulates the happenings in the global market as issues of network security were predominant at the event.
Technology companies from all around the globe came up with innovative products and services for MWC19 exhibition. The exhibition in the preceding year had featured more than 2400 companies from various parts of the world and numerous representatives from all spheres of the mobile industry. For these companies, exhibiting their products and services in such an atmosphere filled with over 107,000 big leagues influencers is a big plus.
The themes for the Congress
5G technology shows great promises in providing swift network connections and flexibility. This will help increase the reliability of the technology by end users and provide more quality services and performance.
However, this level of accomplishment can only be birthed in diverse markets by a combination of certain factors amongst which are proven and viable business models, seamless implementation strategies, spectrum and regulation.
The mobile phone market has been predicted to hit the $70 billion mark by 2020. This presents a viable environment to deploy AI technology which has repeatedly proven to have immense potentials for improving human life and mobile experience as we know it. Government, consumers and enterprises all stand to gain from this change.
- Industry 4.0
This congress theme dissects the consequences and broad effects of the integration of cyber-physical systems, cloud, IoT, and cogitative computing that make up the Industry 4.0
- Immersive Content
With the increasing popularity and widespread acceptance of VR, AR and other varieties of quality immersive content, there is an accompanying effect on the event venues, networks and the wholesome consumer engagement. These concerns will grow as immersive content gains traction, looking at all the aforementioned indications.
This event theme lays down the ground works and investigates the revenue models, challenges, and the correlation that exists between network capacity and consumption.
- Disruptive Innovation
WGC19 helped bring to bear the fact that innovation is happening in the mobile industry at an unprecedented rate. The entire event and the various products that were revealed help establish this fact.
The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that companies risk becoming obsolete and losing their competitive edge if they aren’t vigilant and spirited enough to identify the wave of change and get in on the action quick.
- Digital Wellness
We now live in a digital age where all spheres of human life involve interaction with one digital device or the other. Smartphones, computers, and mobile networks are all an integral part of this age.
As humans become increasingly dependent on smartphones for their day to day activities, the need has arisen for mental wellness to be established and the obsessive nature of the technology being looked into.
- Digital Trust
Safety, privacy and security in the digital space have been adversely affected by recent happenings. With the new interest in laws that govern the ethics of data usage and user privacy; digital trust examined the roles each party has to play in maintaining balance with consumers, regulators, and the government.
- The Future
This event theme takes a long term view of our world and the technologies that are expected to be in operation in a decade from now.
Various Chief executive officers (CEOs) of big league companies spoke at the MWC19. The Smartphone Company’s representatives that spoke at the event were Cher Wang (HTC’s Founder and CEO), Nick Read (CEO, Vodafone group) and Guo Ping (Huawei’s Rotating Chairman).
Other spokespersons were Simon Segars (Arm), Jeff Dean (Senior Fellow, and Senior Vice President of AI and Health at Google), Anjali Sud (Vimeo), Heba Bevan, OBE (UtterBerry, Founder & CEO), Sir Lucian Grainge (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group), Marc Berg (Berg, CEO), Marieme Jamme (iamtheCODE, Founder), Chuck Robbins (Chairman & CEO, Cisco), Thomas Bach (IOC,President), Hatem Dowidar (CEO, Etisalat International), Jorg Riemann (CEO, Charge Now / Park Now, Daimler & BMW), Mike Fries ( CEO & Vice Chairman, Liberty Global), James Forese (President, Citi), Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft), Amina J. Mohammed (Deptury Secretay General, United Nations), Jonn Hanke (Founder & CEO, Niantic Inc.), Robert Vis (Founder & CEO, MessageBird), Chang-Gyu Hwang (Chairman and CEO, KT Corporation), Vivian Chan (CEO & Founder, Sparrho), Stephanie Richard (Chairman & CEO, Orange Group), Anastasia Leng (Founder & CEO, Picasso Labs), Dave Grannan (Co-Founder & CEO, Light), Chua Sock Koong (CEO, Singtel Group), Andrew Penn (CEO, Telstra), Dr Aisha Bin Bishr (Director General, Smart Dubai), Kaan Terzioglu (CEO, Turkcell), Rich Williams (CEO, (Groupon), Mats Granryd (Director General, GSMA), Dieter Zetsche (Chairman, Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz), Mickey Mikitani (Founder, CEO & Chairman, Rakuten), Dr Daniela Gerd Tom Markotten( CEO, Reach Now, Daimler & BME), Olivier Reppert (CEO, Share Now, Daimler & BMW), Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete Lopez (Chairman & CEO, Telefonica S.A.), Mariya Gabriel (Commissioner, EU Digital Economy and Society), Angel Gurria (Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), and Francesco Rocca (President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [IFRC])
A lot of phone brands attended the MWC19. And amidst the whole announcements from the big league companies in the mobile phone industry, some of the most important ones were:
- Microsoft HoloLens 2
This is the ruling variant of the mixed reality headset. This version has better optics features creating a better-augmented reality experience. It also comes in a very stylish and comfortable design.
- Nokia 9 PureView
The innovative camera feature of this device sets it apart from the rest. This product features a five-lens camera array and has a lot to offer.
- Huawei Mate X
This was no doubt the most ludicrous phone in the show. The Huawei Mate X supports 5G connectivity and also features a stylish folding design.
- LG DualScreen
The LG V50 ThinQ mobile phone has introduced a new accessory that has astounded the industry. This accessory is in the form of a clip that serves as a clamshell case and also doubles as yet another full-sized screen for the phone. Does it get any better than this!
- Sony Xperia 1
Sony revealed its ultralong phones with 21:9 ratio screen sizes. The screen sizes of these phones make them very convenient to watch movies on. However, there is an ongoing debate about the usefulness of this phone daily in performing other tasks.
Smartphone upgrades have increased, but the mobile phone industry is experiencing an unprecedented decline in product sales due to the slower upgrade cycles and certain economic factors. Mobile phone users aren’t motivated to make new purchases, and smartphone producers have had to become more creative. 5G is one of the creative measures that have taken the mobile industry by storm.
The 5G technology in union with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) was discussed at this event. The discussion on IoT was from a connected sensor perspective, and noticeable changes were observed at this MWC19 from that of preceding years. Presently, AI technology has transformed into a means by which networks can be controlled more intelligently with the use of machine learning.
The trio – 5G, AI and IoT are perceived to have heralded the influx of variously sophisticated handsets into the mobile market. However, the present issues plaguing 5G handsets and base stations like battery life challenges, power consumption and smooth performance are promised to be overcome as the 5G technology evolves. Some 5G adapted devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Huawei Mate X, and LG V50 ThinQ were announced, and base stations were laid out, and smart network management solutions were exhibited.
The 5G network technology is brimming with potentials and has a lot of possible use cases. Mobile vendors from all parts of the world were relentlessly calling the attention of businesses and the human society to the immense potential of 5G; the new cure for all ails. This congress established that 5G presents a new playing field and introduces a new perception for device connectivity. We haven’t witnessed this combination of network-function virtualisation (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN) and 5G before, and this merger is a sure deviation from the common technology.
However, the hype of the 5G, AI & IoT trinity and the zeal of vendors in support of the trio wasn’t shared by most MWC attendees. Most of these attendees were uncertain about the financial merits of the 5G, AI and IoT union. And like the preceding 3G and 4G, potential 5G users are sceptical about its performance. In the long term, this scepticism is likely to work in favour of 5G as the expectations regarding 5G are low and can easily be exceeded. The Mobile World Congress played a crucial role in bringing 5G to the limelight. The immense potential of 5G to provide IoT solutions with machine-type communications, improve customer engagement and businesses efficiency via swift mobile broadband, as well as to create new business opportunities with very reliable and limited intermissions during communications is unparalleled.
5G data traffic and its challenge
The introduction of 5G mobile technologies was accompanied by much enthusiasm, and most tech giants opined that it would positively revolutionalise the world as we know it. However, some tech giants do not share this optimism. This faction believes that the emerging generation network will be fraught with just as much security threats as other generations. With the network having a more open architecture coupled with the feature of connecting more devices per time, experts have established that the 5G networks are more susceptible to virus attack and aren’t any more secure from hackers.
The 5G network did take into account mobile security. It has been set up such that its traffic is strongly encrypted right from the device to the core and in the entirety of the network’s core. However, the effort to improve network security has been frustrated by its open infrastructure.
Advanced phishing tactics
Cyber attacks have existed long before the advent of 5G network technology, and in recent years, the attacks have become even more sophisticated. Various trends have been experienced over the last two decades with the most recent trend being that of phoney mobile applications being used for phishing. These apps, once installed, begin to pilfer the user data and Android Users are the most susceptible to these attacks.
It is common practice for the attackers to target and tries to steal the mobile banking credentials of the victims. These criminal have devised elaborate techniques for mimicking actual banking applications, and unsuspecting humans often fall prey to their ploys.
A way out
The importance of data safety and privacy isn’t an unfamiliar topic in the digital age. Giant corporations and the government are the most concerned parties as a security breach at these levels will be catastrophic to a lot of persons. It is mainly for this reason and others that network privacy and data safety has been at the top of the industry’s priorities especially in recent years. Various approaches have been adopted to protect user data, and ultra-secure devices are now being built. These phones are capable of self-destructing in some tampering cases, consequently keeping the user’s data safe. A typical ultra-secure device is fitted with sensors that are capable of sensing certain physical tampering and then proceed to trigger a phone memory wipe and device shutdown.
As we step boldly into the new age of 5G network technology, a lot more devices will be on the internet, and it is just as much the responsibility of mobile device users as well as the tech companies to ensure their safety and security.