This year I attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The theme for 2016 - Mobile is Everything - showcased how companies born mobile, and those prepared to transform to embrace mobility, will become the most successful.
The agenda featured a combination of conversation, insight and innovation to inspire and motivate.
The challenge? To understand how the trends and opportunities translate to the Australian market.
Here's my thoughts:
Internet of Things (IoT) - an opportunity to deliver sustainable business outcomes
The majority of stands - from telcos through to system integrators - featured a connected car or IoT demo; many with case studies to profile what they have already achieved.
The connected car story was prolific - and much more than just high speed, driverless capabilities. One interesting use case from Shell caught my eye - that included the development of payment solutions for cars and smarter ways to recharge and refuel.
Another key IoT theme was the Smart City, with countless companies promoting their solutions for public safety, infrastructure, transport management and utility maintenance.
The importance of the network
There was lots of talk about the 5G LTE network. It has the potential to jet propel Australian enterprise and government organisations.
The 5G LTE network will enable:
Ultra-high speed wireless connectivity, including projected throughput up to 50 times faster than 4G
Incredible multimedia and video experience opportunities, to power the workplace of the future, and
The IoT device explosion and the need to reduce latency.
Despite the fact the standards are still being defined, and devices are being developed - Telstra has already we will trial 5G at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
IoT and LTE
The explosion of M2M and IoT will spark a dramatic increase in the number of devices connecting to the network. This will place new demands on connectivity, so the evolution of LTE will play a crucial role. One particularly exciting technology is Narrow Band LTE (NB LTE) - specifically designed for IoT. NB LTE will enable Telstra to provide long battery life, low cost, indoor coverage for many devices. There was a strong level of confidence at MWC that LTE-based IoT standards will win the battle with IP-WAN.
Rich Communication Services (RCS)
Not sure what that is? Think of it as enhanced messaging and calling that enables you to share multimedia content during a video or voice call and to move seamlessly between devices. This will prove a major milestone on the journey to total workforce mobility.
Devices and the new reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are predicted to grow by $150 billion - and represent a great opportunity to deliver real business and community outcomes.
There were loads of exciting devices at MWC, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 - an awesome phone with exceptional storage and camera quality. Connected Drones were also a hot topic. I really liked the Ericsson demonstration of drone used to support wind farm maintenance. Successful deployment will ultimately rely on a combination of LTE and unlicensed connectivity.
Security and Mobile Identity
Mobile Connect Identity and Authentication are essential in the digital world - enabling the mobile device to be used as a single ID for various digital services. You can learn more about mobile identity in my previous blogs. The real dilemma will be securing IOT. To be honest, I left MWC feeling there's still a lot of work to do to build a common approach. Getting security right before deployment is essential.
Add MWC to your bucket list - but here's my hot tips:
Wear flat, comfy shoes - you will walk kilometres
Plan your days well in advance, and
Don't fill your day with meetings - there is so much to discover.
I'm clearly a loud and proud advocate for all things mobility, but MWC 16 would have convinced even the most sceptical that 'Mobile is Everything.'
If your company wasn't born mobile, now is the time to transform.
Download the workforce mobility whitepaper for more insight into disruption in the enterprise.
For more mobility go to Telstra Exchange.