What to watch out for at MWC 2017

Last updated: 24 February 2017


It’s that time again – Mobile World Congress 2017 is due to open its doors next week. Whether you’re attending the show in person or following developments from afar, here are a few things to look out for…

New (and old) devices

As you would expect, there’ll be a raft of announcements from technology manufacturers showing off their latest devices. Notably, we could be seeing TCL’s first BlackBerry branded device, a new tablet from Samsung, more details on LG’s G6 phone and a range of Nokia branded devices from HMD. One of the most popular stories ahead of MWC is the expected relaunch of the Nokia 3310, one of the most popular phones of the early 2000s.

The evolution of 5G

The hype around 5G has been growing steadily, and MWC will take it to the next level. We expect lots of announcements around trials, standards and devices across the 5G ecosystem. We also hope to see greater elaboration of use-cases for 5G that go beyond simply speeding up consumers’ smartphone experience. The improved reliability and ultra low-latency that 5G provides will have a huge impact on a big number of industries and MWC should provide the forum to further the conversation. Security and standardization will both be critical parts of this debate.

The continued consumerization of biometrics

At last year’s show, MasterCard introduced “selfie” payments, marking a shift in both corporate and consumer trust in biometrics. This year, we expect more biometric options to appear on consumer devices – from iris scanning and heart beat detection to vein mapping. We may also see more device manufacturers announce on-screen fingerprint readers as the desire for bezel-free displays on smartphones grows. It’s clear MWC 2017 will be a showcase for what the future of biometrics holds.

Standards in biometrics are also an important consideration in this area. We expect FIDO to announce standards, or at least a roadmap for standards, for biometrics on Android devices, and more details on how third party apps will be able to make use of biometric features.

The next steps for connected cars

In recent years, MWC has become a showcase for cars and 2017 will be no different. From advances in autonomous technology to the latest connected features, there’ll be lots to digest. From our perspective, we’ll be showing technology that links connected cars with the digital life of the driver or passenger. For example, the Virtual Car Key (VCK) is an example where the key, as part of a digital Car ID, can be securely stored on the end user mobile device, and function even when you’re outside the network.

Elsewhere we expect announcements from major automotive manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford and BMW.

What are you most looking forward to at MWC? Let us know in the comments. And if you are at the show, please drop by the Gemalto stand to say hi! We’ll be at Stand 2J29 in Hall 2.

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