5G Technology & More: Over 109,000 people attended 2019’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. More than 2400 companies exhibited – from within the mobile industry, as well as from many other sectors, showing how central mobile connectivity has become as an enabler of the economy and to individuals’ lives.
5G Technology dominated – the overriding message was ‘5G is here’ – and the momentum behind the latest cellular technology was made clear by the number of announcements of devices, network infrastructure advances, base station shipments, core network migrations, and service and use-case developments.
5G network technology in itself isn’t the whole story of MWC – nor of the mobile industry generally. 5G is a means to an end; a way to deliver more throughput, more capacity, lower latency, greater security and reliability, all in a more flexible way, to support the digital transformation that is happening across industries, and driving a change in how we all live and work. As this process gathers speed, MWC itself becomes somewhat less mobile-technology-centric and more inclusive of other industries – just as, say, the big industrial trade shows in different sectors show more mobile technology than ever before. This year’s giant industrial trade show, Hannover Messe, will have a large contingent of mobile telecoms exhibitors.
However, this report focuses predominantly on the network technology innovations that are driving and enabling broader transformations, and rounds up some of the significant announcements made at MWC – but note that it is not exhaustive – examples only are given. To keep track of the latest 5G tchnology and other wireless technology developments, GSA also publishes a regular series of reports measuring and analysing progress in a number of key areas, including spectrum use, tests and trials, network status and the device ecosystem.
Papers from GSA members also contribute to the debate around 5G and LTE evolution. All are available through the organisation’s website gsacom.com.