Having returned back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I’m particularly excited about the future of telecommunications and what lies ahead for Vodafone this year. The conference was buzzing with new device announcements, technology trends and the possibilities that a 5G network holds in store. As we gear up for another exciting year, here are the most important takeaways from MWC...

The future of 5G

There was a lot of talk about the race for 5G at Mobile World Congress, and particularly the applications of 5G outside of mobile devices. The uses for 5G in IoT really are endless – read our series on 5G in regional areas for more on how it can be used in healthcareagriculture, and education.

The announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

There were many new device announcements to get excited about at Mobile World Congress, but the Samsung Galaxy S9 presentation certainly made a splash. With a reimagined camera designed for a social media generation and even fun AR Emoji functionality, it had everyone talking.  For more on the Samsung GS9, read our in-depth introduction to the features of the device.

4G on the moon!

Nokia announced that they are partnering with Vodafone Germany to take a 4G network to the moon next year. They will equip two Audi lunar quattro rovers with LTE connection and deliver them to the moon via SpaceX. This will then enable the first live-streaming of HD video from the Moon’s surface to a global audience – so watch this space (so to speak!).

Smart homes

Voice-activated digital assistants were a central theme of MWC, as smart homes are becoming more of a reality. We’re moving to a world where you can control connected appliances and devices in your home with assistants such as Alexa, Bixby and Google Assistant – and the opportunities are endless. One interesting smart home device that was showcased was PillowSoft, a pillow from South Korea that will automatically adjust pillow height, and even detect sleep apnea. There was also Livin Shower, which allows you to set your shower temperature and even music playlists!

Artificial Intelligence in mobile devices

There was lots of discussion this year about new AI technology that improves the user experience using analytics to improve automation and personalisation. Lots of mobile devices that were announced this year included a machine-learning function that provides customisation based on user preferences, and it seems there will be a focus on improving this technology in the near future.

So ends another huge Mobile World Congress. For more info on MWC, check out my interview with technology commentator Trevor Long on his Talking Technology podcast.

Can’t wait for all that’s to come this year…

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Ben McIntosh

Chief Commercial Officer

Ben McIntosh,
Chief Commercial Officer

As Consumer Business Unit Director at Vodafone, Ben is one of Australia’s foremost telco thought leaders with a strong background in retail. Ben is deeply passionate about freedom and choice, and about challenging the status quo for our customers.

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