MWC 2017: 5G Possibilities, VR Realities, and Rumba Festivities

StartApp Booth at MWC 2017

The headlines from Mobile World Congress ’17 (MWC) in Barcelona are in, and if you missed the action… you definitely want to attend next year.

But for industry followers, some key trends became clear throughout the event


5G was a big topic, but the question around it, as CNET writes: “Is it hype or real? That’s the constant question surrounding 5G — which stands for the fifth generation of wireless technology. It promises a blazing connection that smokes even your fastest home broadband connection, and is supposed to transform the way we live by connecting everything around. More importantly, 5G will unlock the potential of many other tech trends like virtual reality and self-driving cars.”

Or, as The Verge calls 5G: “Super fast data, throttled by reality,” adding that “the technology for next-generation cellular data is here, but everything else is going to take a while.

Indeed, TechCrunch reports that 5G had great buzz “in spite of the fact that no one is quite sure what it means.”


Virtual Reality

Virtual reality. It’s still big and growing… but the focus may be even more on content. Writes CNET: “VR was everywhere at last year’s show, but this year saw more emphasis on content and less on hardware. Around the world at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, though, plenty of new VR gear was on display from the likes of Qualcomm, Microsoft and LG.”

On the topic of VR, AdAge adds: “The lack of a breakthrough product at MWC 2017 isn’t a criticism, but is actually a good thing. Without revolutionary products to understand, we now have 12 months during which everyone can focus on getting the current ecosystem working as effectively as possible.”

New Devices

Of course, new phones were on display, including from Sony, Nokia, and (yes, you’re reading this correctly) Blackberry. But the big phone news more likely was about the one who wasn’t there: Samsung. As CNET writes: “How did the absence of Samsung’s latest Galaxy affect the world’s largest mobile show? Deeply.”

Decline of Wearables?

Are wearables taking a hit? TechCrunch’s report added: “Perhaps this is confirmation of yesterday’s report from IDC that the wearable industry is dying so much as shifting, but as a bell weather for the space at large, this year’s MWC didn’t seem particularly bullish on the space moving forward.”

That said, Tom Goodwin, exec VP and head of innovation at Zenith, reports in AdAge that “Mobile World Congress saw Huawei introduce a smartwatch and Robert Scobe reiterated his prediction that Apple and Carl Zeiss are working on AR glasses to launch this year/ We’re perhaps starting to see digital convergence reverse and for people to own personal device ecosystems, the phone as the sun in a solar system of devices.”

Best year for StartApp

Finally, this year, StartApp also had our biggest presence yet at MWC with 13 delegates, a Barcelona-centric VR experience for all conference-goers, and a cocktail party at Casa Batlló – Gaudí with more than 200 guests.

And while the party may not have attracted global media attention, our unbiased view is that it was the can’t-miss event of the week!

If you won’t take our word for it, look at some of the great tweets and photos. As we said at the beginning of this post – if you missed the fun this year, you’ll definitely want to attend next year:




Share Article

Back to Blog