MWC 17: the highlights

Last updated: 10 March 2017

MWC 17


MWC17 was an event to remember. We can’t believe how quickly it went! Tech leaders, journalists and influencers gathered in Barcelona to exhibit and survey the latest in mobile technology. To mark the end of the show, we thought it’d be a good idea to review the highlights. There’s a lot to choose from; new handsets, wireless technology demo, connectivity solutions – so what did we end up selecting?

Comeback kings


Probably the biggest news was Nokia and BlackBerry’s shock comeback in the handset space. Everyone remembers the Nokia 3310, that handy little phone that seemed practically indestructible. Now, a new version is available, coming with convenient connectivity features, but retaining the original model’s simplicity. Nokia stopped manufacturing handsets back in 2014, but HMD Global recently won the license to make Nokia-branded phones, and wanted to bring back the legendary 3310.

There was also good news for BlackBerry lovers. The company had stopped making handsets due to market domination by Apple, Google and Samsung, shifting to focusing on software. At MWC17, though, it surprised everyone by bringing out a new Android design. We’re intrigued to see how the new mobiles perform.

Connected cars

MWC smart city

We’ve talked before about how the cars of the future are set to be autonomous and equipped with connected features. MWC17 showed that faster, smarter vehicles are becoming a reality. One of our favorite innovations, the Robocar, is the first driverless vehicle to achieve a 200mph speed. We talked about it more in our smart cities MWC round-up post, which you can read here. We hope some of the Formula One drivers weren’t at the show – they might be very worried!

Connected street lighting

MWC17 also highlighted the potential of smart cities, especially the Eluminocity solution. The demo, which took place at Gemalto’s stand, showed how cities can better manage their street lighting through connected LED and M2M modules, linking to a central control system. Crucially, governments won’t need to invest in a whole new set of lighting poles – the technology allows existing poles to be equipped with the intelligent solution. Not only could this save money through better energy management, but it could also contribute to creating more environmentally-friendly city governance.

While we’re on smart cities and 5G, there was also an interesting product demonstration by Intel. The company showed how 5G will empower vehicles, big data and Virtual Reality to create a truly connected urban experience.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence was a central theme at MWC17, where there were two important announcements. O2 revealed it would be using the software for customer service, allowing user queries to be addressed in a much faster way. Samsung also announced it would be using an AI bot to guide new retail staff in helping customers and managing complaints.

As you can see, MWC17 was certainly a show to remember. It wasn’t just about mobile; if anything, the event focused more on the underlying technologies like smart cities, 5G and artificial intelligence.

What were your highlights of MWC? Let us know by tweeting to us at @GemaltoMobile or posting a comment below.

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