This year’s Mobile World Congress – attended by 107,000 people over four days at the end of February and beginning of March 2018 – was dominated by 5G, with announcements by most vendors regarding network infrastructure and devices that are ready – or can be made ready – to help operators deliver standards-compliant 5G services. Operators too were keen to showcase the progress they are making, but while they recognise the need for 5G, several remain somewhat cautious about the business case for 5G investment and about the potential for profitable new services.
The standardisation process is still running its course, but some functional specifications are already known, and some critical 5G enabling technologies, such as network slicing and massive MIMO, do not need full standardisation before they can be deployed and used: indeed, many exhibitors emphasised the capabilities of their products to support evolving 4G networks while laying the foundations for 5G networks.
Other GSA reports and papers from its members (all available through www.gsacom.com) examine broader progress towards 5G; in this brief paper we round up some of the most significant announcements made at MWC.
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