- Over 100,000 attendees came to Mobile World Congress 2016; 101,000 to be exact. People from more than 204 countries attended the MWC this year.
- More than 3,600 members of the international press and media came to this huge event to be the first ones to know about the new products launched and innovation plans from leading companies and promising fast-growing startups.
- More than 2,200 companies related to the mobile industry participated in the 2016 exhibition, nine halls and one dozen outdoor spaces at Fira Gran Via and Fira Montjuïc.
- 374 speakers from leading brands, mobile organisations, mobile operators and other companies that are influenced by the mobile shift: advertising companies, banks, health, NGOs, entertainment, education and many others.
- It was the 3rd edition of 4YFN – MWC sister and startup focused event – with 12,500 attendees, 50% more than the previous year. The Innovation Market, a 4YFN exhibition area, counted 500+ startups, as well as large companies and accelerators. 4YFN 2016 expanded its space to 18,000 m2; more than the double that at the 2015 edition.
MWC got started with the Mobile Sunday – Mobile lunch, which Apiumtech couldn’t miss. We received an invitation from Barcelona Tech City to attend the MWC kickoff – first mobile lunch on Sunday in history. There, we met the CEO of Mobile World Capital – Aleix Valls and the CEO of GSMS – John Hoffman, as well as politicians like Oriol Junqueras, Victor Calvo-Sotelo and the manager of the innovation department at Acció- Carles Gomara who gave speeches about digitalisation of the world and the upcoming mobile week.
This year Apiumtech was an exhibitor at 4YFN in Fira Montjuic. It was organised by Mobile world capital – an initiative driving the mobile and digital transformation of the society while helping to improve people’s lives globally.
4YFN is the place to get inspired, to learn, to get advice, to participate, to show and to share your ideas with the world’s most prominent mobile influencers of our time. The event brought together mobile leaders, start-ups, investors and interested business owners for learning and networking opportunities, with the aim of giving them the exposure they need to take their ideas to the next level. 4YFN featured interactive workshops, cutting-edge exhibitions and unique networking opportunities. The programme included different content track daily was led by globally known experts and entrepreneurs. Content tracks included: disrupted by mobile, IOT and Digital Media. Some of the most fascinating speakers in the mobile ecosystem shared their ideas and vision at 4YFN, for example Yoddi Vardi – 4YFN Chairman, Marcus Weldon – CTO at Alcatel-lucent, Mark Shuttleworth – Ubuntu co-founder, Jimmy Wales – Wikipedia Chairman, Rich Miner Android co- founder and many many others. Key players at 4YFN this year were: IBM, Banco Sabadell, Mazda, Lavazza, Telefonica, Twitter and Zurich. 4YFN included activities such as “pitch the press”, founders and Investors “speed dating” activity, and startups pitched to investors at a “pitching point”. Networking areas have also grown a lot, so there was more space to chat and there were daily afterwork networking sessions to continue having productive days, in a more informal atmosphere.
Also, every year, 4YFN has different awards for different categories and this year these companies were the finalists, but who were the winners? There was 3 award winners from three different fields: Disrupted by Mobile – Thingthing, The Internet of Things – Slock.it, and Digital Media – Pixoneye.
Also, the Apiumtech team attended the MWC at Fira Gran via in Barcelona to see what mobile experts think about the future, what are the plans of the leading companies in different industries in terms of digitalisation and what are the new products of mobile leaders.
Of course like in 4YFN, GSMA and MWC also had their own awards, which were called “Glomo Awards“, thousand of companies competed to get this high honoured award. There were 8 categories : the connected life award, best mobile services, social & economic development, best mobile apps, best mobile handsets & devices, best mobile technology, government excellence awards and outstanding achievement, you can see all the winners here.
We attended many speeches and spoke with different exhibitors to get insights about the current mobile industry and its future, highlighting specific areas of growth as well as the latest technological developments, next generation services and growth strategies.
Here we highlighted eight MWC takeaways:
MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2016: 14 KEY TAKEAWAYS
1. STARTUP INVESTMENT RECORD
Spanish startups raised more than 500 million euros from various investment funds in 2015, the highest figure in the history of Spain’s young entrepreneurial ecosystem. This was largely due to the numerous Barcelona-based startups, such as Wallapop and Letgo.
2. M-COMMERCE IS GROWING EXPONENTIALLY
Mobile is everything to us now. It helps us keep in touch with family and friends. Stay on top of work, improve fitness, monitor health, manage homes, conduct financial transactions and many many more. Mobile is changing all industries inside out, giving us huge opportunities. By 2020, m-commerce will represent up to 45 % of total e-commerce, equaling $284 billion in sales. 1 billion people will connect to mobile networks over the next five years, bringing the total number of global mobile subscribers to 5,6 billion or 72 % of the world’s population according to the GSMA study. Also, digitisation will boost the number of connected devices from 18 billion to 50 billion by 2020 said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.
3. RABBITS WILL SUBSTITUTE UNICORNS
While 2015 was a year of unicorns, CB Insights stated that 2016 will be the year of rabbits: tech companies with Real Actual Business Building Interesting Tech.
4. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning will grab much of the attention in 2016. A total of 5,5 million new things will get connected every single day in 2016 according to analyst firm Gartner. Angel Garcia – founder and managing partner of accelerator programme Startupbootcamp believes that an increasing share of IOT investments will log towards AI startups in the upcoming two years. “ Investors are realising that AI will be extremely relevant for IOT” he said.
Data became a strong competitive advantage for most of the companies. Now there is a notable increase in data investigation, data gathering and data sharing. Combining data from the network core, radio access network and handset connectivity, together with customer value and touch point interactions, can enable service providers to improve many aspects of customer experience management.
6. 5 G
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg stole the headlines on Monday at Mobile World Congress. You can watch a video here. Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, warned Congress delegates not to overlook the task of connecting some four billion people that still don’t have access to the web. He expressed disappointment that the 5G industry focus was on connecting things rather than the unconnected people, and that there was a danger of just providing faster connections for rich people. Zuckerberg expects to ramp up tests of solar-powered drones, equipped with laser technology to provide internet access, starting later this year, and that he would be in charge of negotiation with operators about ways to deploy them. The Facebook CEO also flagged Telecom Infra Project, a newly-launched engineering-focused initiative from Facebook designed to bring together operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other tech companies to develop new approaches to infrastructure.
7. VIRTUAL REALITY
This year virtual reality (VR) took centre stage at Mobile World Congress and it’s no surprise as virtual reality is on course to become a $1 billion global business. Virtual reality will play an important role in the new era of learning. Mark Zuckerberg entered Mobile World Congress wearing a virtual reality headset combined with the Samsung Edge smartphone – these images of Zuckerberg soon went viral, and the footage was even used in Samsung TV ad later that day. The potential of Virtual Reality is the immersive experience and a great way to get users to engage more closely with content and services. Marc Zuckerberg said that on facebook there are more than a million people watching 360 video every day. Zuckerberg says that in the social context, VR is more than just gaming. It’s about immersion, putting people in the moment, giving them an opportunity to experience a scene first hand, even though they’re not really there. Marc Zuckerberg said that since 2011, taking and sharing photos has been easier than ever, now, it’s all about video, and services like 4G and 5G will facilitate that.The future is 360-degree video, VR or otherwise.
8. FORD IS GOING MOBILE
Ford is aggressively pursuing opportunities in the mobile space. Its CEO- Mark Fields said that Ford is going to do a transition from “automotive company” to an “auto and mobility” company through its mobility efforts. Its plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, data and analytics. It announced that the third generation of Ford Sync vehicle is coming to Europe this year with compatibility with Android auto and Apple Carplay.Sync allows drivers to control audio, navigation, climate functions and connected smartphones using conversational voice commands.
Drones have sparked the imagination of entrepreneurs, consumers and large commercial users. The adoption is happening very fast. Every month people find new ways of using them therefore giving insights of what new functionalities should be added.
Smartphones will become people’s connection to everything: home, office, car, city etc. Key players like Ubuntu presented absolutely outstanding IOT products, which I am sure inspired others to work towards that direction. It was a hot topic during MWC and it seems that all big players will invest in it.
The smartwatch market will increase exponentially in the years to 2018 hitting $20 billion in revenue, dominating the market of health and fitness trackers, according to GfK data prepared for Mobile World Daily. Smartphones will generate more than 50 % of the demand for wearables at the end of the period, with one smartwatch sold for every ten smartphones. For 2016, the report forecasts that 50 million smartwatch units will be sold in North America, 33 million in China, 17 million in developed APAC.
Authentication – death of the password. For at least 10 years, operators and major Internet players have tried to agree and establish standards for single identity and authentication. So far the most successful initiatives have been social sign-in by Facebook followed by Google, Twitter and LinkedIn. Many people thought biometrics would be the solution. At MWC this year we saw a lot of exciting activity in this space. A few of the best examples include DDS Inc., GSMA Mobile Connect, Intercede, OneVisage, EyeVerify, FusionPipe and FaceOn. 6.
13. SMARTPHONE WILL KEEP EVOLVING
Mobile will keep evolving. In 2015 the typical premium smartphone came with 38,9GB of storage. By 2018 the typical capacity for premium smartphones will nearly double to 77,2GB according to SanDisk Market Intelligence. The fastest growing smartphone maker in the second quarter of 2015 was Huawei according to Gartner. Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei will continue to shake up the smartphone market with new designs and new ways of selling directly to consumers.
14. NEW GSMA INITIATIVE
GSMA launched the Connected Women Commitment Initiative, with initial commitments from operator members aiming to connect millions of women in low and middle-income countries by 2020.The aim is to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The work builds on projects that already see 15 million women benefiting from female-focused services offered by the GSMA’s Connected Women operator partners. GSMA research estimates there are 200 million fewer women than men who own a mobile phone in low and middle-income countries. And even when women own a mobile device, they are far less likely to use it for more sophisticated services such as mobile internet and mobile money, and therefore miss out on key socio-economic opportunities.
MOBILE WORLD CENTER
This year, for the second year in a row, Mobile World Centre becomes a window to Mobile World Congress from 22nd of February to the 6th of March. For two weeks MWCenter invites all citizens to experience a selection of the latest developments exhibited at Mobile World Congress by leading manufacturers. This year, more than 40 000 people are expected to come.