The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organized by the GSMA and held in Barcelona. It brings together the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology from leading companies across the globe. Here are some highlights from this year’s MWC in Barcelona, including updates from the B2B space, notable mobile consumer tech, and a quick look at the 4YFN program.
MWC attendance increases post-pandemic
MWC is one of the world’s largest annual trade shows for the mobile industry, where mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, and other industry stakeholders meet to showcase new products, discuss emerging trends, and explore business opportunities.
This year’s attendance is approaching pre-pandemic levels, with over 88,500 attendees from 200 countries and territories. Post-pandemic, the numbers were much lower, with only around 20,000 and 60,000 attendees in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The Open Gateway: Initial 8 open APIs launched
MWC organizer and host GSMA launched the Open Gateway initiative, providing developers with universal network APIs. Supported by 21 mobile network operators from different regions, including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Verizon, and Vodafone, this initiative is bigger than Ericsson’s similar initiative from last year.
At its launch, Open Gateway rolled out eight open APIs which include features like device location verification, edge site selection, and Quality of Service on Demand (QoD). A few examples of QoD include online gaming, video streaming, and video conferencing. More APIs are planned for release later this year. It will be exciting to see how this initiative can accelerate 5G service innovation.
Nokia rebrands with a new logo, emphasizing a focus on B2B
Nokia unveiled a new brand identity at MWC, the first logo redesign in almost 60 years. CEO Pekka Lundmark shared in a company blog post, “Our new visual identity captures Nokia as we are today, with renewed energy and commitment as pioneers of digital transformation.”
Kicking off #MWC23 with news. This is @Nokia but not as the world has seen us before.
Our new brand signals our ambition to harness the exponential potential of networks, drive digitalization across every industry https://t.co/flJpdmn0Ue. #NewNokia pic.twitter.com/x8asup3OtT
— Pekka Lundmark (@PekkaLundmark) February 26, 2023
Nokia shifts its focus to B2B with six strategic pillars outlined by Lundmark: growing market share with service providers, expanding enterprise customer mix, managing the portfolio, seizing opportunities beyond mobile devices, implementing as-a-Service business models, and developing ESG into a competitive advantage as per their messaging.
Mobile consumer tech highlights
A rollable laptop
Lenovo gave a sneak peek of its Motorola-branded laptop with a rollable display that can be extended in length at the push of a button. The device is not yet on the market, but the preview still created a buzz. Its unextended form features a 12.7-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, while the extended version has a 15.3-inch display with an 8:9 aspect ratio.
This concept could be a game changer for mobile consumers as it allows them to transform their device from tablet size to a full-sized laptop with just one action. It will be interesting to see which kind of new form factor will prevail or our mobile computers in the near and far future.
An Android you can repair on your own
While it’s not exactly the shiniest new phone in town, Nokia’s G22 boasts durability and ease of use. Developed in collaboration with iFixit, G22’s tech allows users to carry out simple fixes themselves, like replacing batteries or cracked screens.
The fastest-charging phone in the world
The Chinese phone maker Realme exhibited its GT Neo 5 phone, which supports 240W fast charging and it is claimed that it can be charged to 100% in only around 10 minutes, making it the fastest-charging phone in the world. It will be internationally available in select markets in May and June of this year in a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
— Francis Wong (@FrancisRealme) March 1, 2023
Over 700 startups in the 4YFN program
MWC launched 4YFN (Four Years From Now) in 2014, and since then, it has helped numerous startups by giving them a platform to connect with other startups, investors, and companies to launch new businesses and ventures together. Over 700 startups and exhibitors joined 4YFN this year. Meanwhile, investors who attended represented funds totaling approximately 45 billion euros.
MWC also hosts the 4YFN Awards annually to recognize outstanding startups. This year’s winner was financial wellness platform Payflow, impressing top investors with its project offering personalized and actionable insights to manage and improve users’ financial health.
Photo credit: The feature image is owned by MWC / GSM Association and was made available as part of a media kit.