10 Take Aways from Mobile World Congress 2022
31 / 03 / 2022
Under the claim future of Connectivity Unleashed, this March of 2022, MWC22 (Mobile World Congress 2022) attracted over 61.000 physical attendees from almost 200 countries and more than 1.900 exhibitors in Barcelona.
Exploring the latest mobile technology innovations and trends around 6 main themes: 5G services, Advancing Artificial Intelligence, CloudNet, FinTech solutions, Internet of Everything and the general Tech industry horizon.
It deserves a special mention for the focus on the entrepreneurial start-up community through the 4YFN (Four Years from Now) programme. Welcoming over 500 international start-ups and over 300 speakers to share insights on how to drive the ecosystem forward. Competing for more than €24 billion of investment, 200 start-ups pitched to leading funds, VCs, and CVCs during the event.
These are our 10 take aways from this event, with many people willing to meet again in person after two years of a pandemic:
1. Metaverse everywhere but nowhere
Metaverse was shown at the event to combine various technologies like immersive experiences in 3D virtual environments, crypto actives, 5G, and new economies. Many companies were announcing various types of metaverse solutions but it was clear that the technology is not yet mature and in some cases they were only showing quick demos with a wow effect to get visibility but without robust value proposals. Some VR solutions shown in the past were rebranded as Metaverse to take advantage of the current hype.
Telefonica presented a quite complete pitch announcing their agreement with Meta, creating a new role of the Chief Metaverse Officer in their organization and the call for metaverse start-ups (https://www.wayra.com/open2metaverse). Some other companies that also presented their metaverse platforms were the Korean SK Telecom with Ifland, HTC with Viverse and Accenture.
And there were also several start-ups trying to position in the Metaverse. Some of them building the technological stack for the Metaverse, as 3D codecs and other components.
Year by year, we have seen how many operators have entered the financial service space, building fintech businesses with strong new assets and significant revenue growth.
FinTech was one of the six main themes in this edition, including conferences, start-ups, and big companies showing latest innovations in Payments, Identity and Security and Digital Currencies.
A large number of conferences from professionals and observers of the FinTech sector around the world took place. This is a brief list from some of the main sessions on hot topics like: Digital Identity, User Experience in Banking, Digital Money, FinTechs Start-ups ecosystem, Digital Payments, Digital Assets, etc. Full conferences agenda: https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/discover-mwc/industries/fintech
Companies like Huawei and others presented solutions both for Consumers and for Merchants. In order to improve the user experience and the personalization of financial services, as well as reduce frictions in the payment processes.
There was also a significant presence on payment devices growing everywhere in MWC Barcelona 2022 (MWC22), transversal to multiple solutions. Some examples were Zebra payment terminals, Claver payment terminals, Payexpress POS (PayXpert, payment solutions), car & payment NFC reader and Fujitsu ATM with self-assistance.
3. DEFI, Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Programmable money
Decentralized finance (DEFI), cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and programmable money were also key topics that were present in this event with many conferences and speeches.
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced: “We will soon offer products to our fans related to NFTs/Blockchain”, “we want to create our cryptocurrency”, “soon we will present our first NFT to help our finance for our 300M worldwide fans”.
Sotheby CEO Charles Stewart also commented the great interest around NFTs: “we can have an art exhibition in 40 locations are the world and engage simultaneously.”
Telefonica presented TrustOS, their blockchain platform powered by a partnership announced with Polygon one of the most relevant public Blockchain ecosystems. To use its network and tools to develop Web3 solutions and allow companies to create NFTs easily.
4. From 5G to 6G
5G arrived a few years ago to revolutionize the digital world and this year's Mobile World Congress is witnessing it with real cases and solutions in many areas like healthcare, automotive, aviation and manufacturing industries. In the automotive sectors it seems they are betting on implementing it on cars. Among many advantages like security and sustainability, could bring the possibility of making payments without a card, without raising the window or getting up from the seat.
Telco operators like Orange also showed interesting use cases like controlling a vehicle at 400km of distance with a submarine drone at the Valencia Oceanographic.
Fujitsu presented his private Enterprise 5G solution allowing business to enhance their efficiency.
China Mobile announced that by 2025 they will deploy autonomous 5G networks with the ability to self-configure, self-heal, and self-optimize.
And there were also some introductions to 6G as a next-gen standard that could be available in 2030.
5. From IoT to Internet of Everything
There were not many innovations around Internet of Things (IoT) on this edition and the new trend is moving to Internet of Everything as the next evolutionary stage of the connected world with over 40 billion devices worldwide.
6. Connected vehicles, Drones
In MWC 2018, we felt it was more like an automotive event than a pure mobile event with many manufacturers displaying autonomous, connected industry, 5G cars and flying vehicles. This year their presence was really testimonial with only a few exhibitors showcasing their solutions.
Among the most interesting use cases were drones for Predictive Maintenance presented by Telefonica.
WOW effect in some booths presenting very diverse robots in some rather exotic use cases like a 5G android as a barman in Telefonica stand. Another one with an articulated arm serving beers in Damm Bar and two cyber dogs from Xiaomi and IBM (in collaboration with Boston Dynamics).
8. Start-up ecosystems and Open Innovation programs
600 startups from multiple countries covering different technologies and sectors (AI, Blockchain, eHealth, eRetail, Fintech, ...) participated on the 4FYFN initiative that this year was sharing space with the MWC22. A great decision to facilitate interactions and business between industry and startups.
4YFN (4 Years From Now) is the start-up business platform that enables start-ups, investors and large corporations to connect and launch new business ventures together.
Companies like Decathlon, Nestlé, Banc Sabadell, CaixaBank and Deloitte showed their open innovation programs and start-up ecosystem dynamization.
9. Smartphones, laptops and consumer devices
The main smartphones and consumer devices vendors, excluding Apple, presented their new and latest devices launched to the market.
Top novelties of this year were improved (foldable) screens on smartphones and laptops, a transparent TV screen from Xiaomi, more sustainable equipment, powerful processors, more security and better video features and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence features on connected appliances, etc.
10. Low-code, No-code
Low-Code/No code emerges this year at the event as an alternative to face the high demand for technology and the lack of zspecialized talent. Several companies showed their solutions and some end clients provided their testimonials sharing their experiences.
Oscar Pallisa, Zurich Insurance (Spain) CIO declared: "The development of LowCode apps will grow exponentially. In the recent 12 months, we have created 20 apps and 10/15 are at the backline."
Barcelona Mobile World Capital and NTT Data presented the “Low code report” made by Barcelona Digital Talent.
Our conclusion about this edition of the event goes beyond the technologies and innovations presented and focuses on the satisfaction of having participated in person in an event like this again which will surely have been the biggest physical event after two years of the pandemic in the same way it was the first event that was rightly cancelled just before the explosion of the pandemic two years ago.
We hope next year's edition planned from 27th March to 2nd March 2023 confirms the back to normal and we can have a new edition with plenty of exhibitors, visitors and start-ups sharing and discussing their latest solutions and ideas.
The Mobile Competence Center is organizing sessions with clients to share all this finding from MWC22. Anyone interested to get more details can contact the following people: