The dust has settled on another Mobile World Congress (MWC) and what a brilliant event it was once again.
Over 100,000 industry professionals descended on Barcelona in the last days of February for the event that defines the mobile and cellular industry for the year to come.
This year’s theme centred around Intelligent Connectivity, with the event exploring the powerful combination of flexible, high bandwidth networks, IoT, AI and big data.
Unsurprisingly, 5G was one of the major talking points at MWC and intelligent connectivity will be key to realising the full potential of 5G networks. Exploring intelligent connectivity is extremely important as the above trends are going to increasingly define how networks are deployed and managed. From shifting application data and content to the edge in order to process data with decreased latency, or to ensure fibre networks have the density to connect to the increased amount of smaller cell locations required for the roll out of 4G and 5G spectrum – these are all concepts that telecommunications businesses are going to need to have at the front of their minds this year and beyond.
Those in the industry know that 5G hasn’t really come to fruition yet, and the news that 5G is here at MWC 19 is clearly centred on the first use cases of 5G which are mobile broadband and fixed wireless access. Despite the likes of LG, Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei, Netgear, D-link and HTC all announcing the launch of 5G devices, this left some press asking, “is that it?”, well for now, yes, but it is a positive start. Whilst the 5G waters may be somewhat choppy, there was definitely a real buoyancy to the event this year. The message was more upbeat, and to me, it seems that the industry is now moving forward with the necessary network investment cycle. This should see the potential option for new entrants, particularly around private cellular for medium and large enterprises.
Therefore, I came away from MWC 19 this year excited about the future prospects for our industry. I joined Colt at the beginning of the year because it is already enabling intelligent connectivity in its markets and is now making this happen for the wireless community. The fascinating paradigm is that as the world disconnects from cables and moves wireless, the wireless access point moves closer to the user and the need for the fibre connectivity to that wireless access point is growing substantially both in terms of capillaries and bandwidth.
Of course, there is room to grow for Colt as the requirements for the 5G network itself evolves. However, from my point of view, 5G is only in the first phase of its outlay and this stage is the precursor to a major evolution and revolution of the offering, and both myself and Colt can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Mark Gilmour is Head of Mobile Connectivity Solutions at Colt.