While hundreds of events are organized by the mobile industry every year, not a single one is as important or significant as the Mobile World Congress, GSMA’s convention held in Barcelona, Spain, every year, which attracts the most important figures and players in the mobile world. And 2015’s edition will be no exception.
With a projected attendance of 85 thousand professionals, journalists and bloggers from all around the world, this exhibit will open its doors on March 2nd through March 5th.
Like every year, the MWC will be the central story both on the specialized media, and on mainstream news sources, since it will be the venue where most of the major players in the mobile industry will be launching their new device lines for 2015. But that is just the surface of what this conference has to offer.
This year, attendants will be able to enjoy seminars, workshops, and keynotes by the some of the industry’s key executives and entrepreneurs, as well as from some of its best analysts, on topics as varied as the explosion of imaging apps and tools; the development of contextual experiences on mobile commerce; gamification on the video games sector; or even on the impact mobile is having in the development of public health policies in underdeveloped countries. And dozens of topics in between, as well as over 1,900 stands by all sorts of brands, and companies related to this market.
However, this congress will most likely to focus on five key trends, that will define the industry on the year to come. Let’s have a look at them.
What Trends Will the WMC 2015 Focus On?
Internet of Things
The first of this five major trends the WMC will focus on this year, is a line of technologies that has been slowly developing over the past couple of years, and which most analysts predict to be the next big thing. We are speaking of the Internet of Things. This means, the expansion of the web to all kinds of devices that, up until now, work offline, and completely on their own.
This trend is especially interesting for a variety of reasons. For starters, there are many great advancements that are occurring in this field, thanks to the development of new protocols such as the WebRTC, which allow a browser to communicate with no intermediaries with other devices, as well as the evolution of Bluetooth.
The advancements on this field will have great repercussions on the business side of the mobile industry, as it will allow carriers to explore new lines in revenue, as well as bringing new players which formally had nothing to do with mobile – like car makers, and home appliance manufacturers – to the sector.
The Road to 5G
It may seem pretty premature to be thinking about 5G when 4G LTE networks are barely getting deployed in some markets, and when no definitions or standard technologies have yet been defined. However, it is precisely that lack of definition what will drive players in the mobile infrastructure business, such as Ericsson and Huawei, to present their latest experiments and projections for new networks, and to discuss their potential, and the direction on which development should occur.
Triple and Quadruple Play Strategies for Carriers
The development of fast speed networks, as well as the change of paradigm on revenue channels, which have transformed value added services into the main line of income for developed market operators, are opening the door, like never before, to the offering of new services and service packages to users, which have to potential to grow the business in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. A few examples are the offering of quadruple play services that include mobile services, alongside cable, phone services, and residential broadband connections. Sometimes over the alliance with other providers (such as the acquisition of EE by British Telecom in the UK), and at other times with their own infrastructure (like Virgin Media does in the UK as well), these packages allow carriers to offer a great variety of services, to reduce cost in areas like customer support, and to gain customer loyalty.
Other services that start to turn up on the carriers’ portfolio are content streaming, security services, and even connections for new devices such as wereables and even cars.
The development of these new markets, as well as the expansion of traditional services to new devices (where this trend collides with the Internet of Things evolution), will surely be widely discussed at the WMC, both among developers, carrier operators, and even OEMs.
Another trend we can expect to observe at the World Mobile Congress 2015 is the evolution of wearables. These devices, which started to take off in the mass market in 2014, through fitness trackers and smartwatches, have begun to earn some respect from the public and the press. For that reason, it is to be expected that new releases are going to be presented this year.
It is important to remember that 2015 is the year when Apple will do its big leap into this market, with the introduction of the Apple Watch. Additionally, other key players like Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, and even Pebble, will be renewing their lines, which are entering the second or third year of evolution.
However, what may be most notorious, is the introduction of new devices by companies that, up until recently, had nothing to do with the mobile market. We are speaking of brands such as Swatch, which see a big opportunity in this segment, and will be releasing new product lines of their own.
New Product Releases by OEMs
Finally, the fifth trend we will observe at the 2015 WMC will be the massive amount of press and industry events held by major OEMs to announce and introduce their new lines of devices.
These are some of the most anticipated keynotes for the year:
- HTC will be introducing the HTC One M9, the highly praised HTC One M8 successor, which – while not especially profitable – has managed to position the brand as one of the best and most innovative in the market.
- Samsung, one of the leaders in the smartphone business, is expected to recover some of its hype with the presentation of the Galaxy S6, perhaps in more than one version, as well as new gadgets, a new line of rounded smartwatches, and a mobile payments system to compete with Apple Pay.
- Microsoft will be taking over Nokia’s preeminent stand this year, and is expected to present at least a new Lumia phone. No official word has come from the company on this regard, but it’s been a long while since the Windows Phone maker launched a new device, so a few surprises may be in order.
- On a different lane, Sony and LG are not expected to launch new flagships on the smartphone market, but may surprise with new tablets and other announcements.
- Finally, Chinese makers such as Huawei and Xiami are expected to have a bigger role this year, as they begin their expansion to the west.
MOMO Buenos Aires at the WMC
MOMO Buenos Aires will be present at the 2015 WMC in the body of Antonio Peña, its director and co-founder, who will be presenting his own projects, as well as representing the institution in meetings with the staff from other Mobile Monday chapters, with whom he will be discussing the future of the mobile industry and MOMO’s impact around the world.
This way, well have first hand coverage of the event, the announcements, and the most fascinating conferences held in Barcelona this March.
If you do not wish to wait, you should follow the keynotes and talks through the WMC live broadcast, available here.