The 2018 Mobile World Congress in hindsight

Mobile World Congress 2018

The Mobile World Congress, largest and most important event for the mobile industry, was held a few weeks ago in Barcelona. The event focused on many subject matters and their implications for the mobile communications industry and society at large.

An underlying theme was the Internet of Things (IoT) as it brings together connected objects and technology. In its infancy, the IoT has been slow in developing: the forecasted billions and even trillions of devices are not yet happening.  At the same time, everyone considers there is a need for better security when deploying the IoT and every stakeholder pretends they have the best solution for IoT security. The various solutions put forward address different stages in the IoT value chain such as data extraction, communication standards (LoRa, NB-IoT, Sigfox, …), data encryption, etc. Many examples of progress were examined but consensus on a standardized way forward has yet to be reached.

As the deployment of 4G is well advanced, 5G is in the mind of the mobile communication industry. Its implementation raises many questions around user identification technology: the SIM has been the standard for decades but with the advent of 5G, the eSIM (embedded SIM) or iSIM (internet SIM) could become the new norm. If we take a closer look at the eSIM and shift our focus to what is behind its components, we realize that its added value lays in its management opportunities. For instance, the eSIM orchestration technology requires the management of the entire life cycle of the eSIM: provisioning to activation, subscription management… Also, a new subscription management discovery service solutions enable end users to activate their devices without having first to choose their operator. The eSIM makes things a lot simpler for the end users while providing companies with the option to offer profitable subscription solutions to their clients.

The advent of Mobile Money was also discussed as its financial and client-retention potential wages a war between Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Over-the-Top (OTT) players:

Another topic addressed was Augmented Reality, its application in our everyday life and its need for data security:

Thierry Spanjaard, Consultant, Intelling