MWC 2022 – Major Themes
From 28 February to 4 March, the MWC show took place as an in-person event in Barcelona. In this report we analyse the key themes from the show.
The return of a physical show heralded the reappearance of many familiar themes in the mobile landscape. There was a noticeable energy at the event from exhibitors and attendees, and although attendee numbers were lower than normal, it was a far cry from the empty halls of 2021. However, the show took place against a difficult geopolitical backdrop, which resulted in little media attention to MWC outside the flow of technology news, and a sense of wider uncertainty permeated the show’s discourse.
As CCS Insight predicted, the conversation about 5G turned to the maturing of the technology and its ability to drive value, which was a core theme of the show. The network and infrastructure space saw plenty of development in cloud-native networking, 5G-based edge computing, virtual radio access network (RAN) and Open RAN.
Devices had a relatively quiet show, with almost no notable product announcements. The breakout device-makers of recent years, such as Oppo and Xiaomi, flexed their muscles with large stands demonstrating products, which included devices with flexible screens. Major semiconductor players such as Qualcomm and MediaTek had an important presence as enablers of the next generation of connected devices.
The metaverse was thankfully a relatively muted topic of conversation, with greater nuance than we had expected. Instead of simply driving hype, mentions of the metaverse largely focussed on a more gradual transition to next-generation spatial computing experiences and the infrastructure needed for this.
Sustainability spread its roots across the show to the extent that it was notable when major companies did not at least attempt to communicate their green credentials. It has become a firmly embedded part of conversations about networking and devices. It is easy for companies to say they care about the environment, and the important next step is for these words to turn into measurable, demonstrable and accountable actions.
MWC 2022 – Major Themes
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