This week the mobile industry’s biggest event, Mobile World Congress, took place in Barcelona with figures from around the world of telecoms coming together to unveil their latest products, network and discuss the future of the industry and technology more broadly.
Some of our executives were on the ground in Barcelona to unveil the new Tata Communications MOVE mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) platform and while there, spent some time commenting on the trends they’re seeing from around the mobile industry.
Mobile-first digital transformation is happening
Digital transformation is going from being an industry buzzword to being a core part of business strategy for many forward-thinking enterprises. These businesses are moving away from traditional, physical infrastructures like desktops and enterprise data-centres and towards a mobile-first strategy – and in some cases mobile only. This means mobile connectivity is becoming mission critical for many businesses.
Mobility is enabling global IoT adoption
Increasingly, global companies are looking to deploy IoT applications to drive new business opportunities and open new markets. However, these devices have to be connected to the internet at all times, wherever they are – otherwise they become useless. Think of a global logistics company travelling air, land and sea and crossing borders and continents – the lack connectivity in one country or region could kill the entire operation. It’s for this reason that truly borderless, global mobility is the only thing that can help the internet of things realise its true potential.
5G is coming – but it may not be consumer demand that drives it
The hype around 5G has almost reached fever pitch at Mobile World Congress this year. However, there are still significant questions around its roll out, not least the question of who will pay for the infrastructure to deploy it. What’s more, we don’t even have complete 4G coverage yet, even in big cities where signal can be patchy. The smartphone was the killer app for 4G, and really helped drive it’s deployment. Something revolutionary in the consumer sphere will be required again to make 5G a must have to speed it’s deployment. It’s possible that the connectivity demands made by virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence, which will be huge consumers of this new bandwidth – could drive the deployment of 5G.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are gaining traction – that will drive demand for data
Looking at some of the announcements that are coming out of the show this year, it’s becoming clear that both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are moving beyond the hype. However, it’s the lesser-hyped AR, which literally augments what’s happening in your physical space, that’s really gaining traction with serious use cases, both for the enterprise and for consumers. Yet, as both VR and AR applications start to gain traction, they will drive enormous growth in demand for both cloud computing and mobile connectivity. Mobile network operators need to service this demand if they want to keep their customers satisfied.
Industrial applications for VR and AR
While most applications of VR and AR have been consumer-based up to this point, there’s actually going to be a lot more use in the industrial space. For example, in a factory setting users might be given headsets or glasses that overlay information or media – such as an equipment manual for example. This is going to have huge implications for productivity, as well as things like health and safety.
Watch the video to hear more from our executives. In the meantime, let us know what you thought the most important trends were at Mobile World Congress in the comments below