Recently held in Spain, the largest Mobile World Congress to date revealed the extent of technological innovation in the mobile world as techies from across the globe flooded the streets of Barcelona.
The Global System for Mobile Communications Association represents the interests of mobile operators from over 220 countries and is responsible for the 2013 Mobile World Congress held in the recently appointed Mobile World Capital, Barcelona. As one of the largest sectors in the world economy, “With the number of mobile subscribers standing at 3.2 billion people, nearly half of the world’s population now uses mobile communications,” said Abigail Faylor representative for GSMA. “Importantly, in 2017, companies across the ecosystem will employ nearly 10 million people globally. And mobile is a major driver in the economy as it influences adjacent industries such as education, healthcare, payments, transportation and utilities.” This year’s event included over 72,000 of the technology community in attendance.
“The GSMA has evolved in line with the mobile industry, which has changed beyond recognition, even in the last decade,” said Faylor. “The biggest change has been that we are moving to a world where virtually everything in our lives will be connected. ‘This Connected Life’ presents tremendous opportunities for consumers and businesses, for governments, for industries such as automotive and healthcare.”
The MWC offers the mobile technology world more than just an exhibition space and exposure, but a chance to have a dialogue amongst the most prominent players in the field. As visionaries gathered from around the world to discuss the future of mobile, conference topics this year included, “Applications, business strategy, cloud computing, connected living, developing markets, devices, mobile advertising, mobile health, mobile money, next-generation technologies, NFC, OSS/BSS and social media,” said Faylor.
Taking the stage at this year’s event, Stephen Elop CEO of Nokia, spoke about their new partnership with Windows and what mobile affordability can look like. As Randall Stephenson CEO of AT&T discussed the era of the Smartphone and the 30,000 percent increase in mobile data traffic over the past six years. Other successful players in the technology arena like Foursquare’s CEO Dennis Crowley spoke at the event about the future of technology using awaited product Google Glass and the idea of a wearable computer as a platform. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston also spoke out about the dangers of buying into certain cloud services.
In addition to speakers the MWC included multiple mobile exhibits like App Planet, which allowed “Attendees to explore the many dimensions of the ever-changing and critically important mobile apps market,” said Faylor. As one of the largest arenas of attention, this years App Planet exhibited more than 200 companies and gained the attention of about 12,000 developers.
In the ‘Car Connectivity’ sector, one of the largest announcements included GM and Ford discussing the future of WiFi capabilities in their upcoming line of vehicles. Beginning in 2015, LTE chips will be in millions of their cars allowing them to connect back to AT&T’s 4G network. This will open more bandwidth says GM and will also make their vehicles internet hotspots.
As far as engaging gadgets in the mobile medical world, the GPS ‘Cane’ represented what the future technology can do for the elderly, as the new Fujitsu Stylistic SOi ‘Cane’ includes Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi capabilities making it easier to keep an eye on your loved ones as the ‘Cane’ can even monitor heart rate. Multiple panels on how the future of mobile can financially curb medical spending were packed houses as technology is changing the future of healthcare at a rapid rate.
In the world of operating systems, changing their video support Firefox announced their new HTML5 operating system, as Canonical’s new mobile OS Ubuntu Touch delighted and intrigued with its user friendly capabilities.
This year’s Congress included its own live new source, “Mobile World Live is the online communications hub for the global mobile industry, said Faylor. “Our content includes daily news coverage of the industry’s biggest stories, as well as regular analysis and blog features from our experienced team of tech reporters.” In addition to Mobile World Live, the 2013 MWC also featured the use of Near Field Communication technology as attendees were given NFC-enabled handsets and by utilizing NFC touch points throughout the city users were able to access and range of instant information about the conferences, speakers and even tourist information on Barcelona.
“This year, the GSMA also expanded upon its highly popular ‘Connected House’ exhibit to create the ‘Connected City’. In partnership with mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KT, Telenor and Vodafone, the GSMA showcased a range of mobile connected products and services,” said Faylor.
As one of the largest contributors in the global economy the mobile world continues to change the technology landscape. “Total mobile ecosystem revenues were $1.6 trillion, or 2.2 percent of global GDP,” said Faylor. “For the period through 2017, the mobile industry will invest $1.1 trillion in capital expenditure and will contribute $2.6 trillion to public funding.”
In addition to exhibiting new technologies the MWC is home to the Annual Global Mobile Awards recognizing accomplishments and contributions in the mobile world each year. According to the GSMA, “This year’s new categories reflected the industry’s reach into many new sectors and we received more than 600 high-quality entries from across the mobile ecosystem”. With events like the Mobile World Congress healthy competition and dialogue is best for future advancement in the technology community, a community the GSMA believes will hopefully reach the 4 billion-subscriber milestone in 2018.
2013 Global Mobile Award Winners
Best Mobile Health Product or Service
MIPsoft for BlindSquare
Best Mobile Education or Learning Product or Service
Mobilink for SMS Based Literacy program
Best Mobile Product or Service for Automotive
BMW i, MINI, Sixt and Vodafone Group for DriveNow Premium Car Sharing
Best NFC /Mobile Money Product or Service
Etisalat for Flous – The Etisalat Commerce Programme
Best Mobile Publishing Product or Service
Ver Se Innovation for NewsHunt
Best Mobile Innovation for ‘Smart Cities’
Streetline for Parker
Best Mobile Enabled Consumer Electronics Device
Samsung Electronics for Samsung GALAXY Camera
Aticle Written by: Emma Watson