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  • Writer's pictureJames Page

MWC 2024 Round Up – All about the Gs

What a difference a year makes. We arrived in Barcelona this time last year to hills capped with snow from Storm Juliette. This year the skies have been blue over Mobile World Congress but no one seems to have been taking in the rays for long, especially on the first morning when the Fira was jam-packed. We spent 5 days and many, many thousands of steps, walking all the MWC halls and beyond to the fringe events taking place across Barcelona. Here’s a brief snapshot of some of the things we learned.


All about the Gs


If it were Sesame Street, MWC 2024 would be brought to you by the letter G. But would it be 5G or 6G? Or maybe 5.5G (did someone whisper 7)? Much of the discussion at the conference or the exhibition revolves around either making 5G a profitable reality or preparing now for the arrival of 6G. Or, if you are Huawei, bridging the gap with 5.5G.


In the world of technology of course the dreamers and the creators want to look toward the future and toward the endless possibility it offers, but the pragmatists, the engineers and the financial directors want to make things happen now. At MWC its possible to both be excited about potential and about the applications and use cases that are already here.


More than last year the use cases seem to have become more practical. Virtual fairground rides and robot cocktail waiters have been replaced with cars, drones and hardware. We witnessed the latest smartphone launches including Xiaomi’s Ultra 14, and Motorola’s rollable phone. Innovations such as Samsung’s smart ring, Lenovo’s transparent laptop, and the Humane AI pin were also on show in the exhibit halls - all of which integrate technical advancements like AI to regular everyday items.


Of course, the big networks still have ‘booths’ the size of small villages and compete for footfall with each other in the lower numbered halls. In an eye-watering colour class Deutsche Telekom’s magenta booth (complete with football stadium-esque arena) faced directly into the orange booth of… well Orange. But the winner of the biggest screen of the week had to go to China Mobile – truly mesmerising!

6 is the magic number?


6G was everywhere. For some of the people we spoke to, it is about making sure that lessons are learned from the way that previous transitions (from 4-5G and 3-4G etc) were handled plus taking advantage of the new technologies and ways of working that have developed since then (going ‘cloud native’ from the start for example). Is it possible (or desirable?) to begin bringing some 6G capabilities as software without operators or users having to make wholesale changes to their hardware?


But while trade bodies like the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN) grapple with these bigger issues, others are bridging the gap with 5.5G. 5.5G, also known as 5G advanced, is the next generation of 5G network technologies and promises to deliver speeds 10 times faster than current 5G networks and are built to interact simultaneously.


Navigating the noise


With all the different technology on show and with all the individual terminology that comes with it, standing out at this huge event and in this market altogether is tough. As one analyst we spoke to on the final day said: “there are many people able to talk in detail and at length about their own products and services, the real skill is in being able to be clear and concise”. That isn’t easy, which is why hiring a PR agency that really understands the sector and has deep knowledge of the technologies being used and developed is key.


At Proactive PR, we’ve been helping brands at MWC deliver their messaging directly to the media and market for over 15 years. This year was no different. We managed industry briefings, we set up journalist interviews, we secured client news in top-tier publications, and we conducted filming on-site to deliver that messaging in a multimedia method. If you want your brand to stand out, not only at such industry events but year-round, click the button below to set up a meeting.



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