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The GSMA Mobile World Congress is the world’s biggest, most influential annual mobile technology event held in Barcelona. With a record breaking attendance, this massive event has drastically changed the mobile technology industry. From numerous executive conferences and panels, to countless vendors, mobile operators, device manufacturers and technology providers, attendees flock from all across the world to witness the innovative products that will forever change technology as we know it.
This year, over 100,000 attendees from 204 countries were present, and the show was covered by more than 3,600 members of the international media. 2,200 companies participated in the massive exhibition, including such tech giants as Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and many more.
The event has evolved from a way to keep pace with the latest mobile technology trends into an event marketers must now attend to stay on top of the rapid changes in technology.
Everything from virtual reality and 3D printing to privacy protection and backend solutions were on display at the event. Companies involved in mobile health, NFC, apps, green technology, IoT, and wearables were all present.
Here is a list of emerging mobile technology trends to watch as the year unfolds:
Expect the release of virtual reality from companies such as HTC, Samsung, Sony and Oculus in the coming year. In 2015, Samsung rolled out Gear VR, a phone-based VR headset, while Facebook introduced Oculus Rift. HTC launched the HTC Vive, which lets users walk around and interact with virtual worlds. Virtual reality is officially in full swing.
There has been much talk of 5G since the introduction of 4G networks. Major carriers such as Verizon and SKTelecom are said to be in the process of testing 5G. While prototypes can be expected as early as 2018, a full roll-out should arrive by 2020. Qualcomm and Intel are driving this trend, as they believe that there will be no other way to manage and connect the billions of smart devices and the entire Internet of Things across the world.
We will start to see a more connected world thanks to the IoT. Everything from home automation, to health, services, and utilities will all be connected. Even your toothbrush will be connected to the IoT! In order for this to happen, networks will need to support large volumes of data and adapt to data being pulled from countless objects. The connected car and smartwatch are only the beginning.
And to add the cherry on top of all this change, more than 20% of the Mobile World Congress attendees were female – their highest attendance rate to date.
Cheers to innovation!
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