MWC 2021: A new era of a connected world

The GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association) hosted the Mobile World Congress (MWC) last week from June 28 to July 1. As the largest telecommunications event in the world, MWC attracts some of the most influential decision makers. Here, attendees can network, exchange ideas and learn about the evolution of the telecommunications industry as it prepares for digital transformation with innovations in 5G, edge computing, AI/ML and IoT.

The theme of this year’s event was “Connected Impact.” The program offered insights into how AI, 5G, Big Data as well as IoT will shape the future and further transform lives. With more than 600 keynote and conference speakers, the GSMA was pleased to welcome leaders from a variety of industries to the MWC21 stage, including mobile, healthcare, cloud and finance.

The 2021 edition was a powerful combination of a physical and virtual event at Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via – the first of its kind since COVID-19. 

Offering the best the mobile industry has to offer for the 35,000 attendees onsite and thousands more worldwide.

Face-to-face interaction is important to build solid relationships. Using digital tools allows virtual participation to continue to exchange ideas. This makes connecting with each other easier, more accessible and even smarter. This new format started a new era of connectivity and collaboration in the mobile industry. 

Message Networks was part of the virtual NRW.Global Business booth and looks back on interesting and inspiring conversations with partners from different industries.

Sustainability – leading the way in the mobile industry

The 2021 event aimed to be climate-neutral, similar to the 2019 edition, which was officially certified by AENOR International. This certification secured the event’s status as the world’s largest climate-neutral trade show. The GSMA worked to further reduce the event’s environmental impact and carbon footprint as part of its overall leadership in climate action.

Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General, opened MWC Barcelona 2021 with a keynote address: “We are looking forward to getting back to business as usual, being back in Barcelona and working together again. This year’s theme, Connected Impact, puts the power of mobile technology first to cause meaningful changes. With our strongest speaker lineup yet, innovative product launches and the release of the GSMA Intelligence Global Mobile Economy Report 2021, we celebrate the resilience and progress the industry has made despite a year of extraordinary challenges.”

5G Netzausbau

Global Mobile Economy Report 2021 reaffirms 5G dynamics

The annual Global Mobile Economy Report, released at the Congress, shows that the 5G rollout continues to gain dynamics: Every region of the world now has a commercial 5G network.

Since the industry’s last meeting in Barcelona in February 2019, the number of 5G networks has grown from three in South Korea to 165 networks in over 65 countries worldwide.

The report highlights the critical role that mobile technology will play as governments seek to revitalize their economies and build a better, more inclusive society. It outlines a series of policy recommendations for shaping the post-pandemic digital economy, from direct subsidies to balanced personal data policies to removing barriers to network deployment.

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What trends are important?

While MWC was different this year, the show remains the fundamental principle of the mobile industry and a great opportunity to gain insights into the future of the market.

Below, we name the most important MWC trends of 2021:

5G: Next Big Thing

  • By the end of 2025, 5G will account for just over one-fifth of total mobile connectivity and more than two in five people worldwide will live within range of a 5G network.
  • In 2021, 5G networks first launched in Indonesia, Kenya and just this month in Tajikistan.

Although 4G still has significant room for growth, 4G is expected to peak at nearly 60 % globally by 2023, while 5G is beginning to gain traction in new markets. In leading 5G markets such as China, South Korea and the U.S., 4G has peaked and in some cases has already begun to decline.

Companies will continue to roll out the next phase of 5G to enable better employee productivity and machine efficiency. Consumers, however, won’t see the full realization of this technology for a while until 5G networks, carriers and infrastructure become more commonplace.

GTI Online Summit 2021

The GTI Online Summit 2021, themed “5G Reshape Industries,” gathered operator and vendor leaders, innovators and doers to discuss the current status, collaborative practices and challenges of global 5G B2B commercialization and accelerate the integration of 5G into all aspects of life to create new business opportunities and new digital value.

Cloud Messaging

With applications moving to the cloud, cloud-based messaging is becoming increasingly popular. It provides secure, reliable program-to-program communication as a cloud service. The cloud messaging service typically provides all the management and tracking of customers, so individual applications do not have to take on this responsibility and the complexity of message delivery is built into the cloud messaging service itself. This type of infrastructure allows users to focus on their applications rather than dealing with the secure and reliable exchange of data between programs. It also allows users to run them virtually on any device.

Messaging is often chosen over traditional request-response approaches when the two programs are running asynchronously, when message delivery, integrity and reliability are important or when the same message needs to be delivered to multiple consumers. Messages can be delivered either to specific devices or to all devices that subscribe to the corresponding application.

Message Networks, as an experienced mobile messaging provider, advises and assists businesses with their communications strategy. Our Messenger Communication Platform can be used in any industry and opens up new solutions for intuitive, professional and privacy-compliant customer¬interaction that goes far beyond mere communication. 


How COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation

With nearly 6 billion subscribers, smart connectivity is building a better and more connected future for all. COVID-19 has affected many, but the benefits of mobile now reach further than ever before. Mobile networks have proven resilient, coping with new demands across different industries and business sectors and enabling mobile operators to diversify their offerings. However, building future-proof networks requires the power of new collaborations and social responsibility to achieve the long-term benefits. 

Our connected world

Connectivity is part of every home, business and economy affected by COVID-19. During the global lockdown, being connected enabled many to live outside the home – video conferencing with family, starting new businesses, accessing medical care or watching the latest movies. All sectors adapted to the new way of life and, as with any crisis, new opportunities emerged. Connectivity has become a key driver of economic recovery and with technology at its heart, the foundations are in place to drive innovation further and enable the spread of digital services across all industries. 

Addressing society’s most urgent challenges

John Hoffman, CEO GSMA Ltd, commented, “The mobile industry is committed to drive innovation that is accessible, fair and secure for all. This year’s MWC Barcelona was a perfect opportunity to come together as an industry and discuss how we can achieve this. While the gap in mobile coverage has narrowed by 1 billion people in the last five years, there remains an even larger gap in usage that we must combat together.

“They say that times of crisis accelerate progress and innovation. The impact of this global pandemic has proven that this thinking is no exception. The pace of change is phenomenal and that was going to be a theme of the MWC program,” Hoffman continued.