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Digital-POV: Mobile World Congress 2019

Background:

GSMA, the trade body that represents mobile network operators globally and the organiser of the Mobile World Congress, opened the doors on MWC 2019 in Barcelona on 25th February to 2,400 companies and nearly 150,000 attendees from around the world - the biggest dedicated mobile event in the world.

Details and Implications:

MWC 2019 will be remembered as the ‘5G edition’. 5G was the talk of the town as the new facilitator that brings to life the promise of the Internet of Things and makes everything faster, with better capacity and wireless. We also saw the announcement of foldable phones, flying taxi-drones, witnessed the first long-distance surgical intervention, attended a piano concert by a pair of robotic arms and even listened to Sophie, the most intelligent robot in the world, answering questions in a live interview – but it was 5G that was on everyone’s mind. Here are some of the highlights:

Mobile - At a mobile phone user level you may not see the benefit of 5G for some time. The technology is more focused on the industrial field and connectivity between companies, devices or interconnected objects. The main advantages of 5G are speed (with reach up to 10 Gbps), better connectivity from more locations, greater capacity and latency, which will decrease to 4 milliseconds. In short, 5G will be the electricity of the 21st century.

Media - In a 5G media environment, surfaces can become interactive and agencies will be able to explore new advertising formats that could take advantage of all the new possibilities. 5G will also increase ad inventory, since super-fast wireless connectivity will allow for high-end displays in more areas. Augmented Reality (AR) will proliferate in new moments and locations and will be able to handle all types of 3D images and even holograms. Advertisers may, for example, provide customers with AR glasses to connect different marketing channels and integrate multiple layers of information in their consumers reality.

E-commerce - The growth of e-commerce and the advantages that 5G provides will enable the development of technological innovations, such as Machine Learning, AI, Big Data and VR, to increase the omnichannel presence of information. The amount of information flowing through multiple channels makes the need to consider new communication strategies and unify the information across all of them that much more important in order to treat the customer as a unique user.

Summary:

5G will allow the connection of billions of “things” to the new network and each other by 2020. The human-machine interaction is already starting to feel “natural”. As Michael O'Hara, Marketing director of GSMA, said: "Backed by 5G and AI, intelligent connectivity is an important technological force that will set the path in which the future world will communicate".

This new connectivity will see many more objects and devices connect seamlessly to each other, without human interaction, in order to make our lives easier. For example, you probably won’t see a talking yoghurt any time soon, but by putting the yoghurt inside your refrigerator it will be able to connect with your refrigerator, mark ‘use by’ date and even add to a shopping list when it runs out. The paradigm shift for marketers will be the ability to detect a minimum change in consumer habits and open a whole new range of commercial proposals based on the data - programmatic or retargeted offers and adaptive, tailored advertising based on consumer behaviour. If we can avoid over hyping 5G, which we may already be guilty of doing, then the benefits could be amazing. Brands will have to adapt and expand their range of content and services to keep interest, so keep an eye on 5G as it rolls out globally.


Further Reading:
Mobile World Congress | CNET list of new 5G Phones on the way | Verge - Verizon launches 5G in 30 cities