Recap Mobile World Congress 2018

Last week it was time for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 that this time was organised in Barcelona. MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry and is organised by the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. As every year there were big announcements from leading organisations and plenty of news around technologies. Key themes for this years’ event included Industry 4.0 digital transformation, 5G, Artificial intelligence and software-centric network agility.

In this week’s blog we are updating you about the happenings at last week’s MWC. If we would cover everything this would be a very lengthy blog. As covering everything would be to much we tried to create a brief overview of last week’s happenings.

Keynotes and speakers

The opening keynote: Creating a better service provider

During the opening keynote many industry experts such as Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, Mats Granryd, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Shang Bing, Marie Ehrling and others spoke about technologies that will shape the future for consumers and businesses. Topics ranged from 5G to intelligent connectivity and how operators can drive the digital economy.

F1 driver Fernando Alonso

An interesting speaker in our opinion was former F1 world champion, Fernando Alonso. In a panel discussion during the Fourth Industrial Revolution keynote, Alonso said data and connectivity are crucial elements in a successful race weekend. “People at home watch the TV and maybe they see 22 cars running around the circuit, but I think each car is providing so much data in every single second that I think no-one can imagine.”

Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group, noted innovations surrounding the collection, analysis and delivery of data, and automation is revolutionising even in one of the world’s most technologically advanced industries. There are no boundaries to where technology innovation will take us. It’s a part of our day-to-day life that everyone, not just the F1 teams, depends upon.

Despite the focus on technology Alonso pointed out the human element remains a key part in Formula 1.

The biggest announcements


Samsung revealed their newest phones, the Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ at MWC. Compared to the Galaxy S8 there are many small changes. But the biggest difference is the camera. This is the first Galaxy S flagship with dual cameras and dual optical image stabilization. The setup is similar to the Note 8, two 12-megapixel cameras with one wide-angle and one telephoto lens, and it offers similar extra tools like Dual Capture and Live Focus. The paired sensors are available only on the larger S9+ though.

A dual-lens setup is only one of many new camera features for the S9 and S9+. They both come with something the company is calling “Dual Aperture”.

The front 8-megapixel camera and the iris scanner now work together for more reliable unlocking via what Samsung calls “Intelligent Scan.” According to the company, the iris scanner isn’t as effective in bright light as it is in the dark. With the new system, the S9 will try to sign you in with your eyes by default, but when that fails, it will use facial recognition.

The galaxy S9 also has AR emoji, which is the Samsung version of Apple’s Animoji. Furthermore, Samsung made major changes with Bixby – specifically in the augmented-reality vision section. Besides interface tweaks that make Bixby Vision look more in tune with the camera app, Samsung also added three new modes – Live Translate, Makeup and Food. A Bixby feature is able to estimate the number of calories in food you point the S9 at. Well, that’s pretty cool!

the Galaxy S9 is a formidable giant that will tower over the Android phone industry for at least the rest of this year.

In the UK, the Galaxy S9 will cost £739 while the S9 Plus comes in at £869.


Nokia came out with their new affordable smartphone, the Nokia 1. It’s the company’s cheapest entry-level device to date. It’s a version of Android that’s designed to be functional and simple for phones with 1GB of RAM or less.

The device will cost around £61.


Sony launched the Xperia XZ2 and it is the organisations fastest flagship phone yet. The vendor came out with two devices, the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact which is a smaller version of the normal version. The phone is packed with the latest Sony technologies and has a new advanced Motion Eye camera.

The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will be available in the UK for £699 and £549.


Huawei showed its newest laptop the MateBook X Pro in Barcelona. It’s a larger, more powerful notebook with a better display and impressive audio tech. The camera on this laptop is pretty interesting and might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Huawei’s solution to the sticky note over the camera trick is a pop-up camera. Push down the spring-loaded middle button of the top function row, and up pops a 1-megapixel webcam with a light next to it indicating it’s on.

Interesting idea but webcams placed below the display make for seriously unflattering, unclear angles in photos and during conference calls. It will be difficult to avoid on-screen double chins…


Asus has revealed three new phones at Mobile World Congress in the form of the mid-range ZenFone 5 and flagship-spec ZenFone 5Z. The ASUS Zenfone 5 made its first appearance in Barcelona. the ZenFone 5 is a slick Qualcomm Snapdragon 636-powered, 6.2-inch handset.

The press conference revealed that, in response to Apple and Samsung, ASUS equipped the Zenfone 5 and 5Z with Zenimoji. Both the Zenfone 5 and 5Z will be available later in the year in the UK. The 5Z will retail for £500.


Vivo’s Apex concept phone at MWC is very futuristic. The Apex concept device strips the bezels back even further and it achieves that by vibrating the screen so as to produce sound without an earpiece. Vivo also shifts the selfie camera to a pop-up module that extends from the top of the phone like a periscope.


SAP chose MWC to release its SAP Leonardo Industry Innovation Accelerator for Telecommunications. This bundled telco industry software package has been designed for deployment in the communications industry to identify margins of risk across operations, track customer behaviour, analyse product effectiveness and asset profitability.


Mobile World Congress 2018 saw dozens of 5G-related announcements, spanning devices, modems, radios, plans, spectrum, and trials. Also. several vendors made big announcements on 5G.


Intel works with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft on bringing 5G connectivity to Windows PCs using the Intel XMM 8000-series commercial 5G modems. Also, It was showcasing its first 5G-enabled 2-in-1 concept PC at MWC. this is powered by its 8th-generation Core i5 processors and an early 5G modem, with the expectation of bringing 5G-connected PCs to market in the second half of 2019.

Intel also announced that it will partner with Japanese telecommunications carrier NTT DoCoMo on providing 5G coverage and technology for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


The company said during MWC that it is delivering a 5G-ready Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) based telco cloud with specialist provisioning for digital video and mobile data services. Hewlett Packard Enterprise also offers its HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems for what it calls ‘high performance compute’ at the edge of the network for reduced latency.


Huawei launched its first commercial 5G CPE, a terminal device supporting 3GPP 5G standards with a Huawei-developed Balong 5G01 chipset, as part of its end-to-end 5G solution.


The australian carrier Telstra announced its 5G launch plans, wanting to provide 5G to major cities and regional areas by the end of 2019 using both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrum.


Sprint said during MWC that it will be bringing 5G networks to Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston. And will begin experiencing “5G-like capabilities” in these cities as of April.

Also, T-Mobile announced to start building 5G across cities in the US. They aim to have the service by 2019 in 30 cities.

Interesting gadgets

Nokia Smart Jacket responders

Nokia made a smart jacket for first responders. The jacket called the CHASE LifeTech FR was designed with Kolon, a fashion brand from South Korea and GINA, a software developer from the Czech Republic. CHASE stands for connected health and safety equipment and the FR behind LifeTech stands for First responders.

The jacket might look familiar and will remind you of a bright reflective jacket, but there are a few things that make it different from a normal bright reflective jacket.

First of all, there are modular sensors on it, which allows the wearer to access data such as a heart rate, temperature, GPS/location and motion. The benefit of those swappable modules (located around the sleeve and chest) is that you can put sensors in there that fit different needs. A member of the police force could, for example, have a body cam rather than a temperature sensor – which would be more suitable for firefighters.

The data that is captured by the CHASE LifeTech FR jacket is sent back to a base station, where GINA’s software management system views it in real-time and can use it to keep track of first responders. That’s something that has the potential to save lives.

Samsung Galaxy S9 AR Emoji

Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Animoji. It creates an emoji of your face and not an impersonal, generic one. You can use the S9 to create a cute cartoon version of yourself by taking a photo of you staring straight ahead. When you’re done customizing your emoji, the S9 auto-generates a set of animated stickers that you can insert from within the Messaging app’s keyboard.


McAfee security is getting in on the Alexa action. Now, with the right network router, you can ask Alexa to find out if there are any unfamiliar devices on your network and kick them off.

The Vhoop

Yes, a smart hula hoop excists. The Vhoop is a hula hoop ring with an embedded motion sensor that tracks your workouts in real-time. It works via Bluetooth that sends your data to an app. You can measure how many calories you burned, the duration of the workout and your clockwise and counter-clockwise revolutions.

And maybe the best thing about the Vhoop is that you can compete to other people. This can be your friends, family or people all over the world in a setting wherever you want. The app has a leader board included that has a detailed history section, trophies and it send you notification reminders.

2018 themes

At this years MWC they had 8 core event themes which was an easy way to find the industries that have your interests. The themes were the following:

The Fourth industrial revolution: Technology is rapidly changing, think IoT which has meant that every type of industry is now looking at connected technologies to make sure it’s ready for the move from automated production and IT, to an automated society. This “fourth revolution” is one of the most complex, inclusive and automated revolution of our society. From transportation to how we communicate, automation is creating smarter services and a new way of life.

Future Services Provider: The industry is changing and Service Providers will need to address the fundamental strategic question of where and how they want to compete going forward. They will have to think about the impact of 5G, machine learning, analytics and digitization on their cost structures, customer engagement and strategic options.

The Network: There are rapid developments in network technology. This theme examines the opportunities, the technical challenges and what is the real ROI of 5G, NFV, SDNs.

The Digital Consumer: The way consumers interact and transact with companies through digital channels is rapidly evolving, driven by constant and rich connectivity, and data creating new services and interfaces. Here you could find out what’s happening and what it means for you and a business.

Tech in Society: Connected technologies have the potential to offer huge benefits for society; better government, security, transport, health, education, arts, emergency response and the environment. But a tool without guidance, ethics and craft is useless or even dangerous. What will it take to make a better future and how can we avoid taking wrong turns on the way?

Content & Media: Here you could dive into the world of VR, content rights, production, acquisitions, partnerships, business models and delivery networks.

Applied AI: AI is the key to managing, using and scaling the rich data sets enabled by connected technologies. It’s still in its infancy, however, it brings along a complex web of issues. This theme aims to cut through that complexity.

Innovation: The innovation theme featured anything that falls outside of the themes above. The most innovative solutions, are after all, often the most unexpected and therefore hard to classify.


Of course much more has happened during this years’ MWC and this is just a small recap. But we hope to have filled you in on the biggest announcements.