5G Set to Take Center-Stage at MWC Barcelona 2019

Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2019 is set to kickoff on February 25th, bringing together over 100,000 visitors and 2,400 companies from all across the wireless industry representing 200 countries and territories. This year's show should be one of the most exciting editions to date, as 5G networks, devices and services will dominate the exhibition ahead of the commercial service launches in 2019.

Much of the hype around MWC Barcelona 2019 will focus on mobile devices, as the industry will get its first real look at 5G smartphones, including the much-anticipated foldable devices. But the consumer electronics aspect of 5G will only be a small portion of the event as 5G network infrastructure and use cases including connected vehicles, robots, drones, smart cities and industrial applications will also all be on display.

Fittingly, the theme for MWC Barcelona 2019 is “Intelligent Connectivity” which will focus on the new business opportunities created by the convergence of intelligence – notably artificial intelligence and big data with next-generation wireless connectivity – 5G and IoT. The show will also feature topics such as Digital Trust, Content, Digital Wellness and the Future.

For Communication Service Providers MWC Barcelona 2019 represents an important opportunity to better understand and evaluate how to plan their 5G network and service strategy, which is by far the most important task CSPs have faced in the last several years. 5G development will be fundamentally different from 2G/3G/4G network strategies as CSPs will need to move beyond selling SIM cards and work more closely with IT vendors and enterprise customers to create new services. Hence the concept of an “open ecosystem” is expected to be a major theme at the show. Therefore 5G networks will create many new services for CSPs by utilizing ultra-high bandwidth combined with low latency and these new services will create the need for new business models. Major 5G network vendors such as NEC will be exhibiting at MWC2019 to highlight these key industry trends.

Photo: Mr. Kukita

Mr. Shinya Kukita, the Chief Engineer of NEC's Global Business Unit agrees that 5G will require CSPs to evolve from their current business model. “Essentially 5G is about co-creation” he said in a recent interview. “CSPs have traditionally focused on their consumer business, and that will continue to be important in the future, but the potential of 5G will be fully unlocked when CSPs, IT vendors and vertical businesses work together to co-create new services.”

Mr. Kukita also added that he believes that because of massive increases in 5G data connectivity, CSPs are in a unique position to manage a wide variety of data. This can be challenging as there is a need to both open smart city data for public use but at the same time respect the privacy of individual users and he expects this to be a major theme at the show.

At NEC's MWC Barcelona 2019 booth CSPs can learn more about how CSPs can play a more active role in various solutions and how CSPs can better manage public and private data by acting as an authentication agent.

For more information about NEC's 5G technology and integration capabilities please visit our stand at MWC Barcelona 2019 Hall 3 3M30.