With MWC Barcelona (formerly, Mobile World Congress) set to open its gates to a whole new world of mobile technology on Monday, few have doubts that 5G will be the most talked-about topic during this year’s edition of the show.
While network infrastructure companies like Huaweiand Ericsson would showcase what they could do with 5G, several handset makers are also gearing up to demonstrate their readiness for the 5G era.
South Korean tech giant Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G phone, showcased in the US last week, is likely to attract eyeballs at MWC Barcelona. Vying for attention of the expected one lakh visitors during the four days of the event will also be the 5G phone unveiled by Oppo on Saturday.
They are likely to face tough competition from Huawei’s much talked-about 5G foldable phone as well as from other device makers including LG.
The excitement built up around the 5G experience is not hard to fathom as this technology with its low latency and high-bandwidth promises dramatic changes in the way people interact with each other, play games or watch videos.
“The real difference between this year’s show and last year’s is that 5G is now a reality. 5G presents mobile operators and communications service providers (CSPs) with a unique opportunity that comes along just once in a generation,” Pat Gelsinger, CEO of enterprise software company VMware, wrote in a blog post.
How 5G could to change the gaming experience for people is likely to be another highlight of the show.
“We are still at early stages of 5G. But it is good to have these devices early as people will be able to get a peek into the future,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
Another challenge that hardware makers are likely to address at MWC is the growing customer demands for devices with larger screens which are also easily pocketable.
That would perhaps be the reason why, besides 5G devices, the foldable phones being announced by major handset makers of the world might get the blame for creating the long queues at the stores.
According to Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, a global market research firm, the sessions on 5G and foldable phones are likely to cast a shadow over MWC.
“It is likely top smartphone brands will claim to have reinvented smartphone design. However, it will take longer for these foldable screens to reinvent the smartphone category and deliver differentiated experiences,” said Husson.
Foldable screens will accelerate the convergence between smartphones, tablets and laptops, progressively unleashing a new form factor.
According to Paul Miller, Senior Analyst at Forrester, early experiments in augmented and virtual reality have matured and people would see tangible proof points of real value at MWC Barcelona.